Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cowboy Bob Ellis

Rumors of his death have circulated, been discounted and recirculated for nearly two decades but as of right now, Bob Ellis is still alive and well in   Oklahoma.

Throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s, this charismatic cowboy wrestler remained one of the most popular stars to ever come into Arizona. He appeared all over the world, working most of the USA as well as Canada, Japan and other foreign countries during his long career, but seemed to forever be back in the Phoenix/Tucson area for programs.

While as a single, or tag teaming with the likes of Ray Gordon, Tito Montez or Luis Martinez, Cowboy Bob Ellis was always over big with the Arizona. He also held their regional version of the "world" title for a time.

Ellis was known for a bulldog headlock to win most of his matches and also developed a reputation for starting off scientific, getting bloodied up, losing his cool and turning matches into brawls where he gave the rule breakers a dose of their own medicine. Sometimes his grudge bouts reached insane lengths as one match with Jody Arnold where the stipulation was for the winner to don spurs and ride the other around the ring like a horse. So help me, I am not making this up.

The feud with Jody Arnold was a long and violent one, with Ellis aging at the time and Arnold as a muscular young upstart claiming to be a "nephew" to the hated Don Arnold.

Others Ellis faced in Arizona for either one time shots or for long feuds include Don Arnold, The Comancheros, Woody Farmer, Jack Ringer, Henry Pulusso, Chuck Karbo, The Vulture, Don Kent, Spike Jones, Charlie Carr, John Shane, Eddie Sullivan, Gypsy Biviano, Bearcat Wright, Jerry Graham, Killer Kane, Sputnik Monroe and Blas Corona. He wrestled his last Arizona match in 1973.

Ellis was known for bloody matches in other parts of the Untied States as well, including feuds with The Blackjacks, Dick The Bruiser, Bobby Heenan. Brute Bernard and Bob Geigel. One of his greatest victories came when he reversed the Indian Death Lock on Buddy Rogers and forced him into submission.

Unlike many of the stars of today, Ellis was always willing to mingle with fans, sign autographs, pose for pictures and give interviews for free.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, there was a woman wrestler using the name of Ellie Elliot and claiming to be his sister, but she was evidently not a relation.

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