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.