We can thank Vince, Sr. for the Moondog gimmick

Those of you who ever wondered where Rex, King, and Spot — the Moondogs — got their gimmick from can thank Vince McMahon, Sr., the father of the current Vince and prior owner of the WWE and WWF.

In 1972, McMahon brought in Lonnie Mayne, an established star from the West Coast, to wrestle Pedro Morales, who at the time was the WWWF Heavyweight Champion.

“McMahon, Sr., named him Moondog Mayne, because he looked like a man called Moondog, a well-known blind Manhattan street musician of the ’50s and ’60s,” according to the April 1 issue of the Wrestling Observer.

Click here to see a photo of Moondog the musician. I think he actually looks more like “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant.

Anyway, Moondog Mayne wrestled several times at the old Boston Garden in 1973. He died in a car wreck in 1978, but about two years later, McMahon, Sr., brought the gimmick back for Randy Culley and Sailor Ed White, who became Rex and King. The duo beat Tony Garea and Rick Martel for the WWF Tag Team Championship in March 1981, which was the first title switch I ever saw.

White, who was Canadian, was arrested at the border allegedly carrying drugs, so he was replaced by Larry Booker, a.k.a. Moondog Spot. The switch in personnel led to one of the great lines by the team’s manager, Captain Lou Albano, who said King had been hit by a car while chasing it.

The were several other guys who also used the Moondog gimmick in other promotions, including the former Cousin Junior of Hillbilly Jim fame, who became Moondog Cujo.

Advertisements

4 comments

  1. Evan J Rodgers

    Again, it should be noted that Moondog Spot actually gave his life for wrestling. He had a heart attack DURING A MATCH and died!! It has happened before in wrestling and boxing, and people tend to forget how much these guys give for their profession. Due to a computer virus I am limited to what sites I can get to but the details of his death are out there. I think he was wrestling on an independant card when it happened. King and Rex looked a more ferocious duo, but Spot held his Moondog status with dignity and honor right till the end. In the mid eightys there were actually wrestling cards (like baseball cards) on the market and I had a card of Moondog Spot, although he had been relegated to pseudo jobber status by then he was still a star and had his own card!! I wish I had it now!! Maybe I take all this a bit too seriously, but the Moondogs and wrestling in general have had a profound impact on my life!!

  2. Joe

    The Fabulous Moondogs and Capt. Lou Albano had to have been the best pairing to date. I too recall the first time watching these maniacs capture WWF tag team gold on Saturday Morning wrestlng back in 1981. There crazy in ring antics and those huge bones they brought to the ring made for very entertaining television. They looked and wrestled their parts very well. I recall the tremendous heat they brought to the old Garden. Of course back then my favorite tag team was Tony Garea & Ric Martel and whenever they squared off against the Moondogs I was right there. Thanks to the cable boom in the mid 80’s, I do remember somewhat their stints in Memphis, TN. and of course when the Hogan era began they were regulated to almost jobber status. No doubt that back in there heyday they were a force to be reckoned with. Good stuff, Scott.

  3. Evan J Rodgers

    It should be noted that Moondog Spot actually died while wrestling in more recent years. It bothered me that the WWF relegated Spot to pseudo jobber status without mentioning that he was a former tag team champ!! Although Rex and King won the title, Rex and Spot defended it quite well. While not in the same leauge as The Samoans or The Valiant Brothers, The Moondogs were a force to be reckoned with and wont be forgotten any time soon. I had heard about Moondog Mayne but did not know the correalation. Thank you for this dynamite article/blog- it is ALWAYS GREAT to read about the Moondogs!!

  4. Chuck Mullen

    I remember the day that I spent literally a full charge on my Galaxy Note during a long trip, watching on YouTube series the Horror of the Moondogs from Jarrett and Lawlers group in Memphis. Some of the video was so low quality that I had to be a COLOSSAL mark to watch the entire set… plus I remember them hitting the Civic Arena (Mellon NOT MULLEN! Arena) in 1984, and they got good heat from the crowd… but once again a good article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s