58. DICK MURDOCH
Aliases – Captain Redneck
Hometown – Waxahachie, Texas
Debuted – 1965
Titles Held – WWF World Tag Team; WWC Universal
Heavyweight; NWA World Tag Team
Other Accomplishments – son of wrestler Frank Murdoch;
cousin of wrestler Tim Brooks; not related to WWE’S Trevor
I was never a real fan of Dick Murdoch. He was ahead of my time and when I did see him he never really impressed me to a great deal. But my peers at Pulse Wrestling and his peers in the wrestling business were fans of his, and thus he will be honored here for his accomplishments.
Hoyt Richard Murdoch was a second-generation wrestler from Texas. He grew up in the business with fellow second-generation Texans Dory & Terry Funk while watching their fathers tear up the industry.
Murdochâ€™s first real success came in the 19070s when he and fellow big-bellied blonde Dusty Rhodes formed a violent heel team dubbed â€œThe Texas Outlaws.â€ They tore up all the territory hotspots like Florida, Mid-South and the AWA through the decade and made a name for themselves in the ring and out of it as well. Eventually Dusty decided he wanted to go solo and left the territory they were working. The pair split without the violent break-up that has become commonplace.
Through the â€˜80s Murdoch made a name for himself as an established singles star and a top-flight technical wrestler, even though his demeanor and physical appearance didnâ€™t lead credence to that notion. Even though he looked like just a raw-boned brawler, he could put on scientific mat clinics with the best of them if he was so inclined.
He was dubbed â€œCaptain Redneckâ€ for his apparent bigoted and racist tendencies, but those who knew him best said it was just a facade to keep the fans paying their money to see him. In fact his tag team pairing with the Junkyard Dog in Mid-South in the early â€˜80s was a huge draw for the promotion, with both black and white fans.
In 1984 he made a stop in the World Wide Wrestling Federation and picked up a Tag Championship with Adrian Adonis. That run didnâ€™t last long before he soon settled into Mid-Atlantic/Jim Crockett Promotions in the late â€˜80s. He gained national notoriety thanks to his battles with Ric Flair, his old partner/rival Dusty Rhodes and The Russians.
As the â€˜90s came around Murdochâ€™s career began to wind down. He made one last stop down south, in WCW, where he teamed with Dick Slater as â€œThe Hardliners.â€ They made a name for themselves by attacking The Steiner Brothers at a Clash of the Champions in July 1991 and legitimately injuring Scott Steiner.
His last appearance on the global stage was his one-shot deal for the World Wrestling Federation, where he was an entrant in the 1995 Royal Rumble.
A year and a half later, Murdoch died of a heart attack. He was only 49 years old.
He could be hated or loved by fans, but was genuinely loved by those co-workers who really knew him. He could wrestle Broadways with Ric Flair or engage in bloodbaths with the likes of Kevin Sullivan. He knew how to read a crowd and knew how to work a ring. Murdoch was a man who was good at his profession and was rewarded for his talents.
Though he is gone his legacy still lives on. Even in todayâ€™s wrestling landscape he is honored. Current WWE wrestler Trevor Rhodes, who bears a striking resemblance to Murdoch, uses the surname â€œMurdochâ€ and is billed as hailing from his old stomping grounds of Waxachachie, Texas as a tribute to late â€œCaptain Redneck.â€
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