Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Amarillo Territory: Bob Roop

Dan Black is a wrestling fan who grew up in Amarillo, Texas attending the matches at the Amarillo Sports Arena from 1969 - 1979.  Here are some of his memories;

Some of the top heels in the Amarillo Territory in the late 60's to mid 70's had to be Harley Race, Jack Brisco, hard for some to believe, but the Brisco's were hated here, and of course Cyclone Negro.
One individual that arrived on the scene as a face, was Bob Roop. He beat Cyclone Negro soon after he entered the territory and was very popular with the fans. 

Bob Roop
However the tide would change on August 26, 1971 when Roop challenged Dory Funk Jr for the NWA Worlds Championship and frustrated late in the match would turn heel.  Over the next several months he evolved into one most hated wrestlers in the territory. 

He would later have two epic Texas Death Matches with Junior, one of which he get a stunning non-title victory. That Fall, Roop was part of a double Main Event in which he faced Dory Funk Sr. and Terry Funk went against Cyclone Negro in a Russian Chain Match. In the match with Senior he got the upper hand and was about to jump off the top rope onto his head. Terry rushes from the baby face locker room, but Roop cowardly heads to the heel's locker room where Terry chases him inside. 

Cyclone Negro
Seconds later Funk is lying a few feet from the looker room door in a pool of his own blood. If Roop's intentions were only to get under the skin of the NWA Champion there was no turning back now, it was all out war. 

Even though Roop made his way to the ring to offer to take Terry's place in the Main Event Chain Match against Negro, battle lines had been drawn. As Terry explained the following Saturday on TV

Terry Funk
"THE FIRST THING I REMEMBER AS I ENTERED THE LOOKER ROOM DOOR WAS BOB ROOP HITTING ME AND THE LAST THING WAS BOB ROOP HITTING ME". Even then, Terry could sell the promo, and far as the Amarillo fans were concerned, there was no turning back. 

Dan Black

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I love these little peeks inside the Amarillo Territory. It’s one of those places that doesn’t get talked about enough. It sounds like it was one heck of a bloody, violent territory. I look forwarding to reading more from Dan.