The world of professional wrestling is a harsh and unforgiving place and this past year has been especially sad considering the fact that quite a few wrestlers have passed away. We have more sad news to report as former AWA star Bob Bruggers has passed away.

According to The Minnesota Star-Tribune, former AEW and and Mid-Atlantic Bob Bruggers passed away at the age of 80. Hailing from Minnesota, Bruggers enjoyed a successful football career spanning six seasons in the National Football League before transitioning into professional wrestling.

Trained by legends Verne Gagne and Billy Robinson, Bruggers made his mark in promotions such as the AWA, NWA Big Time in Texas (where he had memorable clashes with Roddy Piper), Championship Wrestling from Florida, and even toured Japan with IWE. Known for his football background, Bruggers incorporated a football tackle as his signature move.

In 1973, Bruggers made the move to Jim Crockett Promotions’ Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, where he formed a formidable team with Paul Jones. Their partnership saw them capture the Tag Team titles, with a memorable victory over Gene and Ole Anderson in April 1974, before ultimately dropping the titles to Rip Hawk and Ric Flair in July of the same year.


Tragically, Bruggers’ wrestling career was cut short in October 1975 when he was involved in the infamous plane crash alongside notable figures such as David Crockett, Johnny Valentine, Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods, and Ric Flair. Sustaining a broken ankle and multiple spinal injuries, Bruggers ultimately had to retire from wrestling after the crash.

Following his retirement, Bruggers relocated to Florida and ventured into entrepreneurship, opening a bar. We here at Ringside News offer our deepest condolences to Bob Bruggers’ family and loved ones during this sad time.

Do you have any fond memories of Bob Bruggers? Share your condolences in the comments section below.

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

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