Buddy Roberts

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Buddy Roberts
Birth name Dale Hey
Born May 16, 1947[1]
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada[1]
Died November 26, 2012(2012-11-26) (aged 65)[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Dale Valentine
Buddy Roberts
Dick Roberts
Billed height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[2]
Billed weight 225 lb (102 kg)[2]
Billed from Badstreet U.S.A., Atlanta, Georgia
Trained by Ivan Koloff
Debut 1965[1]
Retired 1988

Dale Hey (May 16, 1947 – November 26, 2012)[1] was a professional wrestler, better known under his ring name, Buddy Roberts. Roberts was best known for his work in tag teams during the 1970s and 1980s, particularly as one-third of The Fabulous Freebirds.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Dale Hey was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He started wrestling in 1965 as Dale Valentine, the "brother" of Johnny Valentine. At the tail end of the 1960s, he was working as a preliminary wrestler in the American Wrestling Association. One of the AWA's main event wrestlers at the time, Bill Watts, left the promotion to become the booker for the NWA Tri-State promotion based in Oklahoma. Impressed by Hey's work, Watts invited Hey to join the promotion in 1970. Watts changed his name to Buddy Roberts and teamed him with career journeyman wrestler Jerry Brown as the "Hollywood Blondes". The team of Brown and Roberts won numerous regional tag team titles across the United States throughout the 1970s.[3]

After splitting from Brown, Roberts joined with Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy to form The Fabulous Freebirds. Again, Bill Watts played a major role in this decision. Hayes and Gordy had been teaming together in various promotions in the Mid-South and Southeastern regions of the United States for several years, but Watts was not as impressed with Hayes's in-ring work as he was with his skills on the microphone. His original plan was to have Gordy and Roberts as the actual tag team, with Hayes as their manager. Except for a high-profile stint in 1980 in Mid-South Wrestling (formed by Watts the previous year after breaking away from NWA Tri-State) with Hayes and Gordy as the Freebirds, Roberts did not work full-time with the team until they joined World Class Championship Wrestling (see below).

Hey later became known as Buddy "Jack" Roberts, due to his penchant for drinking Jack Daniel's whiskey.[4]

World Class Championship Wrestling/World Wrestling Federation[edit]

The Fabulous Freebirds won several titles and moved on to World Class Championship Wrestling in late 1982 and began a high-profile feud with the Von Erich family. They wrestled David Von Erich, Kerry Von Erich, Mike Von Erich and Kevin Von Erich numerous times in 1986.[5] Roberts also had a long-standing feud with Von Erich ally Chris Adams, which lasted on and off for more than five years.[4][6]

Roberts' most famous singles angle came in WCCW in 1983, and involved the invention of what the Freebirds referred to as "Freebird Hair Removal Cream". The angle culminated in a hair match between Roberts and Iceman Parsons on June 17.[7] Roberts seemingly won the match via tight-pulling, but the decision was reversed and the match restarted. In the fracas, Roberts' head was lathered in the hair removal cream. At subsequent events, Roberts wore a wig, kept in place by boxing headgear.[4]

In 1984, Roberts and the Freebirds had a short stint in the World Wrestling Federation, mainly competing in six-man tag matches.[8] Here, they were managed by Cyndi Lauper's manager, David Wolff. They left the promotion when WWF officials stated their intention to split the team up. At the AWA's SuperClash in 1985, Roberts helped Hayes and Gordy defeat The Road Warriors for the AWA World Tag Team Championship, but the decision was later reversed.[4]

Universal Wrestling Federation[edit]

In early 1986, The Freebirds went to the Universal Wrestling Federation, where Roberts won the Television Title on September 28. He lost it to Savannah Jack on November 9.[9][10]

Return to World Class Championship Wrestling[edit]

In 1987, The Freebirds split up and reformed. Roberts and Gordy turned on Hayes and teamed with Iceman Parsons to feud with Hayes and the Von Erichs. Gordy eventually left Roberts to rejoin Hayes. The feud ended in late 1988 when Hayes and Gordy left for the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions, and Roberts acted as a manager to the Samoan Swat Team before he retired from wrestling.[4] Roberts also had a short feud with World Class referee David Manning, which included several gimmick matches, such as Roberts wrestling with one arm tied behind his back. Manning, who was touted as an accomplished amateur wrestler by the promotion to compensate for the obvious size difference between the two, won most of the matches on a fluke.


Roberts managed Hayes and Jimmy Garvin in one match against Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) on September 5, 1990.[4] He came out of retirement on April 2, 1993 for the Global Wrestling Federation's Kerry Von Erich Memorial Show, and teamed with Michael Hayes (with Skandor Akbar in their corner), losing to Kevin Von Erich and Chris Adams (with Fritz Von Erich in their corner).[11]

Hey later developed throat cancer, and had surgery to treat it. He was quoted as saying "Don't smoke. I think the reason this happened to me is because I was smoking too much. I recommend to anyone who smokes to quit now. It is hard, but it is worth it."[12]


He died on November 26, 2012, at the age of 65, of pneumonia.[13][14]

On April 2, 2016, he was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame by his son, Buddy "Jack" Roberts Jr. as part of The Fabulous Freebirds.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

1During the Freebirds' 5th reign, the reign carried over after the title's name was changed to the WCWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship since they were the champions during the time the name change occurred.


  1. ^ a b c d e Buddy Roberts at WrestlingData.com
  2. ^ a b Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). "The Next 5: The Hollywood Blonds". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. pp. 98–100. ISBN 978-1-55022-683-6. 
  3. ^ Hollywood Blondes title listing, from WrestlingData.com
  4. ^ a b c d e f Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). "Top 20: 7 The Fabulous Freebirds". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. pp. 46–51. ISBN 978-1-55022-683-6. 
  5. ^ Buddy Roberts' 1986 WCCW matches, from WrestlingData.com
  6. ^ Roberts matches with Chris Adams, from WrestlingData.com
  7. ^ WCCW Wrestling Star Wars results, from WrestlingData.com
  8. ^ Roberts' 1984 WWF matches, from WrestlingData.com
  9. ^ UWF Television Title history, from WrestlingData.com
  10. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "UWF World Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 234–235. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  11. ^ "Barneys Room Global:1993-Pt.1". 
  12. ^ "Where are they now "Buddy Roberts"". WWE.com. 
  13. ^ Kevin von Erich comments on Buddy Roberts' passing
  14. ^ Jim Ross comments on Roberts' death
  15. ^ Matt Mackinder (January 17, 2008). "Sir Oliver Humperdink recalls career of yesteryear". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  16. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "AWA Southern Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 189–191. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  17. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Florida Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 160–161. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  18. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 115. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  19. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA North American Tag Team". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 294. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  20. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Texas Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 268–269. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  21. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 271–272. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  22. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "WCCW Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 270–271. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  23. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Americas Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 296–297. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  24. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Tri-State Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 235. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  25. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "Mid-South Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 232–233. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  26. ^ Oliver, Greg (2014-11-26). "Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2015 announced". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2014-11-28. 
  27. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "SCW Southwest Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 276. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  28. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "SCW Southwest Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 276. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.