BOB TAKES THE BULLET
WWE Hall of Famer Bullet Bob Armstrong has died, aged 80, after a battle with cancer. The former fireman’s wrestling career, which started in 1960 and ended last summer, was known for its longevity and generosity. Indeed, Armstrong was known, even in his late 70s, as a man who could be called from anyone in the States at the 11th hour to replace an MIA legend in a small arena, thus ensuring the arena staff got paid. In the 1970s he was a perennial challenger for Jack Brisco’s NWA title, before engaging in a long rivalry with “Cowboy” Bob Orton. He was Mid-America Heavyweight Champion twice and won a number of NWA regional title.
This was also when he suffered a nasty accident in the gym – a dumbbell landed on his face – leading to a period as a masked wrestler, and where the nickname “The Bullet” for his recovery speed came from. In 1988, he “retired” in the wrestling sense of the word, but had matches on a semi-regular basis for the next 30 years, including several with his sons. Armstrong had four sons, all of whom became wrestlers in their own right. His sons Brad and Scott became mainstays of 1990s WCW, and Scott Armstrong currently works as a referee. His youngest son Brian was to become The Road Dogg, one of the most popular WWF wrestlers of the 1990s, and still a key behind the scenes figure in modern WWE. Brian has credited his father’s unwavering support as a major influence in kicking a severe drug habit.
In 2011, he went into the Hall of Fame and in 2012, his son Brad Armstrong died suddenly from a presumed medicine reaction. Bob Armstrong was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier in 2020, and one of his last actions was to refuse chemotherapy that would only extend his life a few months, preferring one of the few chemo spots available in covid Florida went to someone younger whose live could be saved. A gentleman to the last, it remains a sad indictment of the Wrestling Reaper that widely respected veterans like Bullet Bob leave the stage while dubious types like Marty Jannetty and Superstar Billy Graham continue to waste precious oxygen.
He was picked by two teams, a wrestling theme team Grappling with Mortality, and Gooseberry Crumble.
“Bullet” Bob Armstrong
3 October 1939 – 27 August 2020