Sputnik Monroe (wrestler)

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Sputnik Monroe
Ring name(s) Elvis Rock Monroe
Rock Monroe
Pretty Boy Roque
Sputnik Monroe
Billed weight 235 lbs.
Born (1928-12-18)December 18, 1928
Dodge City, Kansas
Died November 3, 2006(2006-11-03) (aged 77)
Billed from Wichita Kansas
Trained by Jack Nazworthy
Debut 1945
Retired 1998

Sputnik Monroe (December 18, 1928 – November 3, 2006), born Rosco Monroe Merrick, was a professional wrestler from the mid-1940s through the early 1970s. Monroe was a headliner in many territories, and was best known in Memphis, where he and Billy Wicks set an attendance record that lasted until the Monday Night Wars boom period.[1]


Monroe was born in Dodge City, Kansas. His father had been killed in an airplane crash a month before his birth and his formative years were spent living with his grandparents. His mother remarried, and his stepfather, whose last name was Brumbaugh, adopted him at age 17. Monroe's legal name became Roscoe Monroe Brumbaugh.

Debuting as "Rock Monroe" in 1945, Monroe began his career by wrestling in traveling carnivals. He changed his name to "Rocky Monroe" in 1949, and adopted the nickname of "Sputnik" in 1957.

Monroe was a noteworthy figure in Memphis cultural history. During a period where segregation was the norm at public events, he, as the biggest wrestling draw at the time, refused to perform unless black patrons were allowed to sit in any seat at the Ellis Auditorium. At the time, at wrestling matches, as well as any public events, African-Americans were being limited to sit in what was at the time known as the "colored" section.[2][3]

Monroe worked mostly as a heel, and was known for being flamboyant and for possessing a quick wit.

He died in his sleep on November 3, 2006 in Florida.[1]

In Popular Culture[edit]

On May 4, 2007, HBO announced they would make a movie based on Monroe's life.[4]

On September 6, 2007, Julien Nitzberg confirmed the first draft of the Monroe movie had been completed.[5]

A Los Angeles-based rock band is named after him.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brady, Hicks. "2006: The year in wrestling". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts (Kappa Publications). p. 27. 2007 Edition. 
  2. ^ Sputnik wrestled against prejudice By Thom Loverro
  3. ^ Sputnk Monroe, RIP
  4. ^ "Nitzberg Penning Sputnik Biopic"
  5. ^ "Interview with Julien Nitzberg about Sputnik Monroe movie
  6. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2012-11-17). "Sat. update: Great TV show, WWE multiple releases, Austin talks WWE Hall of Fame, Best night for Bellator, PPV predictions, NWA Hall of Fame, James Storm headlines benefit show, Devitt takes another title". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  7. ^ "Memphis Hall of Fame". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]