Bugsy McGraw
McGraw delivering a shoulder blow to David Von Erich during a match, c. 1981
Birth nameMichael Davis
Born (1945-11-01) November 1, 1945 (age 78)
Florida, United States
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Beautiful Brutus[1]
Bugsy McGraw
Buggsy McGraw
The Big O[1]
The Brute[1]
Michael Davis
The Mighty Brutus[1]
The Skull[1]
Billed height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Billed weight279 lb (127 kg)
Billed fromCentral Florida[1]
Debut1967
Retired1991

Michael Davis (born November 1, 1945), best known by the ring names Bugsy McGraw and The Skull, is an American retired professional wrestler.[1] McGraw is known for his long beard and for his philosophical, crazed rants during wrestling interviews. He was a major star in significant territories during the 1970s and 1980s, including major runs in Vancouver, Australia, Florida, Dallas and Memphis.

Professional wrestling career

Early career (1967–1981)

Davis started his career as "The Big O" in 1967 in Florida, Detroit, and Central Areas Wrestling, wrestling under a mask. In 1971, he competed in Florida as "Beautiful Brutus", first managed by The Great Malenko, who he would go on to feud with after firing Malenko as his manager. Beautiful Brutus went on to defeat Malenko for the NWA Brass Knuckles Championship. Their feud led to a bloody series of matches across the Florida territory. In the mid 1970`s he wrestled as The Brute in Gene Kiniski`s All Star Wrestling in British Columbia and held their version of the Canadian Heavyweight title.

McGraw striking David Von Erich with his elbow during a match, c. 1981

Under the name "Bugsy McGraw", he wrestled all over the world, including a brief stay in the World Wide Wrestling Federation. But his reputation was primarily built in Florida, where career highlights included beating Dusty Rhodes for the NWA Florida Television Championship and Don Muraco for the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship in 1980. McGraw also feuded with major Florida stars Barry Windham, Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk.

Texas (1981–1982)

In late 1981, McGraw moved to Texas and World Class Championship Wrestling became a huge star there, first as a babyface feuding with Great Kabuki and defeating him for the NWA American Heavyweight Championship. He also competed as a heel, feuding with Bruiser Brody, Kerry Von Erich, and Kevin Von Erich. He also wrestled in a Body Slam Battle Royal, losing to André the Giant at Texas Stadium in 1982. McGraw wrestled in Memphis in the early 1980s in CWA mostly as a member of Jimmy Hart's heel First Family stable.

For part of his run as a heel, he was part of the heel stable of wrestlers managed by the managerial team of H&H (Armand Hussein and Gary Hart). McGraw made a face turn once again after both of his H&H managers turned on him, later defeating them in a handicap match at Wrestling Star Wars in August 1982.

Jim Crockett Promotions (1983)

After leaving Texas, McGraw would go to several territories, finally settling in Jim Crockett Promotions in North Carolina. He feuded with The Assassins, teaming mostly with Rufus R. Jones. McGraw and Jones won the NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship and wrestled in the first Starrcade event, losing to The Assassins.

Championship Wrestling from Florida (1985–1987)

McGraw returned to the promotion he had the longest and most prominent run in, Championship Wrestling from Florida, and would start off in a big angle with the Fabulous Freebirds turning heel right away and jumping Mike Graham only to have him make the save and get the feud rolling often teaming with Mike Graham and Brian Blair and later Wahoo McDaniel. The Freebirds would eventually leave Florida and along with Blackjack Mulligan would feud with Percy Pringle, team of The Missing Link, The Assassin, and Abdullah the Butcher. He would have one more feud with Rip Rogers that would have Rip Rogers valet giving him a bottle with something in it to blind McGraw in early 1986. He would not be seen for over a year and would return in 1987 once again with Blackjack Mulligan feuding with Kevin Sullivan only to have Sullivan become a babyface to feud with Oliver Humperdink and Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk. Florida would later on merge and be absorbed by Jim Crockett Promotions and even with a brief teaming with Jimmy Valiant he would not be held on to by The Crocketts and would be let go.

Late career (1987–1991)

He would show up for several independent promotions and would even join the reformed Florida Championship Wrestling as a heel and feud with old partner Blackjack Mulligan. He would retire from active competition in 1991. He would return to the ring a few times. On October 30, 2004 U of Virginia Children’s Medical Center Benefit Show Bugsy McGraw beat Masked Superstar. And January 29, 2005 at WrestleReunion participated in a Legends Battle Royal that was won by Greg Valentine.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2009)

On the June 18, 2009, edition of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's Impact! television show Davis appeared as the new head of security hired by Mick Foley.[1]

Personal life

After retiring from full-time wrestling, Davis enrolled in nursing school in 1988 and subsequently worked as a registered nurse for more than 20 years before retiring from nursing in 2014. While working as a nurse, he assisted with the care of Jack Brisco during the former world champion's health difficulties following open-heart surgery.[2]

Autobiography

On March 26, 2019, the release of Bugsy McGraw's autobiography was announced through a partnership between WOHW Publishing and the Darkstream Press imprint. The book was coauthored by Ian Douglass, the writer of Dan Severn's autobiography and a contributing writer of Hornswoggle's autobiography. It also included a foreword by Rocky Johnson and an afterword from Brian Blair. Davis insisted on using the two-G spelling of his wrestling name on the cover of the book, which he said he always tried to use in place of the one-G spelling for the sake of "being different."[3]

The book finished sixth in the voting for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Best Pro Wrestling Book of 2019. In the process, it received the highest number of votes of any independently published pro wrestling autobiography released during that year. [4]

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Wrestler Profiles: Bugsy McGraw". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
  2. ^ Russo, Ric. "WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO . . . BUGSY MCGRAW?". OrlandoSentinel.com.
  3. ^ "411MANIA". Buggsy McGraw Autobiography Now Available.
  4. ^ @BulletClubIta (March 6, 2020). "5. The Mid Atlantic Championship by Dick Bourne 20 6. Brute Power by Bugsy McGraw 17 7. Behind the Curtain by Jim…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA United States Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 295–296. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  6. ^ Hoops, Brian (January 15, 2019). "Pro wrestling history (01/15): Big John Studd wins 1989 Royal Rumble". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  7. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Brass Knuckles Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 159–160. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  8. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Florida Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 158–159. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 159–160. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  11. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA United States Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 163. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  12. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Atlantic Coast Tag Team Title / NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 115. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  13. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Canadian Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 332–333. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  14. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Pacific Coast Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 334. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  15. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Texas: NWA / World Class American Heavyweight Title [Von Eric]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 265–266. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  16. ^ "NWA United States Heavyweight Title (1967-1968/05) - American Heavyweight Title (1968/05-1986/02)". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  17. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA American Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 267–268. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  18. ^ "N.W.A. American Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  19. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "World Class Brass Knuckles Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 270. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  20. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Texas: WCWA Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 396. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  21. ^ "World Class Television Title". Wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  22. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "North American Title / MSWA Mid-South Wrestling Association North American Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 231–232. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  23. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA United States Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 232–233. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  24. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Austra-Asian Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 425–426. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  25. ^ "World Brass Knuckles Title (Australia)". www.wrestling-titles.com.