Dick the Bruiser
Real Name: Richard Afflis
Stats: 6' 1" 260 lbs.
Dick the Bruiser
Richard "Dick The Bruiser" Afflis was an early NFL football star turned pro wrestling legend...one of the key wrestlers during wrestling's incredible boom after World War II, and with out a doubt one of the most influential brawlers ever. Dick the Bruiser originated, and personified, wrestling's beer guzzling, cigar chomping, tough-as-nails Bar Room Brawler toughguy character. From the 1950's and 1960's, through the 1970's and early 1980's Bruiser was a force like few others within pro wrestling. Quite simply, he faced off in some form or another against virtually every wrestling superstar for over 30 years. In the past, it was once joked in wrestling locker rooms that no matter where you had wrestled during your career...until you'd faced off against Dick the Bruiser, you couldn't really call yourself a true pro wrestler...
One of his first major championships was the nationally prestigious N.W.A. United States Heavyweight title, which he won in 1957. For the next 5 years he dominated the title, winning 5 U.S. championships between 1957 through 1962, and at the same time, he also ruled the tag team division. In 1960, he and Gene Kiniski teamed to win the NWA World Tag Team (Chicago) title, just months before several Midwestern promoters broke away from the NWA, and the championship was renamed the A.W.A. World Tag Team title. Dick The Bruiser would go on to win the A.W.A. World Tag Team title 5 times between 1963 through 1975, with both Wilber Snyder, and Bruiser's longtime fighting partner The Crusher. Dick the Bruiser also won the A.W.A. World Heavyweight championship in 1966, and dominated the W.W.A. World Heavyweight title, winning it 9 times between 1964-1984.
After a decade or so of being one of wrestling's most feared villains, yet being cheered by a large section of the audience (especially in Bruiser-strongholds like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Missouri), The Bruiser eventually became a complete, and incredibly popular, fan favorite. He still guzzled beer and chewed on his trademark cigar, but now he -- along with his longtime fighting partner The Crusher -- were stomping all over the "bad guys" instead of trying to cripple the "good guys." The two similar brawlers seemed as though they were brothers separated at birth, and they absolutely dominated tag team wrestling in the Midwest.
10 years, virtually no one pinned the shoulders of The Bruiser and/or
The Crusher. Even fewer made it out of the ring without being battered
and bloodied by the violent blue-collar heroes. They were unstoppable,
and the fans loved their bombastic exploits. Bruiser and Crusher were so
dominant during their matches against the competition (The Valiants, The
Texas Outlaws/Rhodes and Murdoch, Von Raschke & Ladd, The Blackjacks,
etc.) that once their match was over, they would often trade blows with
each other, to the thunderous roar and delight of the sold-out crowds.
Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher won the W.W.A. World Tag Team title (in
addition to their AWA World Tag titles) 6 times between 1967 and 1976.
Even Bruno Sammartino, in one of his very few non-WWF championship reigns,
teamed with The Bruiser in 1973, and "Annihilation Inc." (as they were
known) held the W.W.A World Tag Team title's for nearly 6 months before
losing a tainted match to The Valiant Brothers.
The Bruiser either directly or indirectly influenced generations of
tougher-than-tough wrestling brawlers from Bruiser Brody and Mad Dog
Buzz Sawyer, to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Cactus Jack/Mankind, of course
The Sandman, and dozens in between. The Ring Chronicle proudly inducts
the original, real toughest S.O.B. in pro wrestling and one of
the sports biggest influences, Dick the Bruiser, into T.R.C.'s Pro Wrestling
Hall of Fame...
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