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Larry "Rocky" Hamilton (April 1, 1931-July 20, 1996), known by his ringname The Missouri Mauler, was an American professional wrestler who competed in the National Wrestling Alliance as well as Florida Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions, becoming a mainstay of the latter promotion throughout the 1960s.

One of the earliest professional wrestlers to appear on televised wrestling events, he feuded with many popular wrestlers of the era including Jack Brisco, "Plowboy" Stan Frazier, Steve Keirn, Tim Woods, Tarzan Tyler and Fritz Von Erich during his 31 year career.

He is also the older brother of wrestler Jody Hamilton who competed as the masked wrestler The Assassin as well as the uncle of former World Championship Wrestling official Nick Patrick.


Early life and career

Making his debut in the Missouri area during the early 1950s, he began wrestling for promoter Ed Don George in Buffalo, New Yorkmarker where he and his brother began teaming together as the Hamilton Brothers in 1957 headlining an event at Madison Square Gardenmarker against Antonino Rocca and Miguel Perez the following year.

Splitting up shortly thereafter, Hamilton and his brother went their separate ways leaving New York in October 1958 with Joseph Hamilton leaving for San Franciscomarker while Larry Hamilton began working for promoter Jim Crockett, Sr. in the Carolinas.

Crockett Promotions

It was during his time in what would later become Jim Crockett Promotions that Larry Hamilton would find his greatest success becoming a major star in the promotion in only a few short years. Appearing in the earliest televised matches for the promotion, Hamilton teamed with The Great Bolo to win the regional tag team title from Mr. Moto & Duke Keomuka in 1959.

The two would remain the top "heel" tag team in the promotion until the early 1960s when Joseph Hamilton was brought into the promotion and began teaming with the Great Bolo in 1961 (the two would continue teaming together as The Assassins for the next 15 years).

Hamilton and The Masked Bolos (Jody Hamilton & Tom Renesto) would face Haystacks Calhoun and The Kentuckyians (John Quinn & Grizzly Smith) in a series of six-man tag team matches during the next year setting several attendance records in the Carolina-Virginia area including an event held the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolinamarker.

During the early 1970s, Hamilton would form a successful tag team with Jim "Brute" Bernard winning the Texas-based NWA America and NWA Atlantic Coast tag team titles between 1971 and 1972.

Later years

Following his retirement in 1981, Hamilton entered the bail bonding and was involved in the St. James Catholic Church in his hometown St. Louis, Missouri. Although undergoing a hip replacement in his later years, Hamilton remained in relatively good health until his death from a heart attack on July 20, 1996.

Championships and accomplishments

*NWA North American Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Dutch Savage
*NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (2 times)

*NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (2 times)
*NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
*NWA Florida Television Championship (1 time)
*NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (6 times)

*NWA Eastern States Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
*NWA Atlantic Coast Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Brute Bernard
*NWA Southern Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Great Bolo (1) and Pampero Firpo (1)

*NWA American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
*NWA American Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Brute Bernard

*NWA Austra-Asian Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Steve Rackman

*NWA Southeast United States Junior Heavyweight Championship (2 times)


1Note: This promotion, though named World Championship Wrestling, was an NWA affiliated promotion based out of Australia and operated from the 60's to the 90's. This promotion should not be confused with the U.S.-based World Championship Wrestling once owned by Ted Turner and sold to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2001.Finishing Move: The Powerslam


Further reading

  • Flair, Ric. Ric Flair: To Be the Man. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. ISBN 0-7434-5691-2
  • Johnson, Weldon T. and Jim Wilson. Chokehold: Pro Wrestling's Real Mayhem Outside the Ring. Philadelphia: Xlibris Corporation, 2003. ISBN 1-4010-7217-8
  • Meltzer, Dave. Tributes II: Remembering More of the World's Greatest Wrestlers. Champaigne, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC, 2004. ISBN 1-58261-817-8
  • "Interviews: Jody Hamilton, Memories of his brother The Missouri Mauler." Whatever Happened To ... ? Oct. 1996.

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