Moondog Spot
Larry Latham (wrestler).jpg
Birth nameLarry Wayne Booker
Born(1952-06-06)June 6, 1952[1]
Louisiana, U.S.
DiedNovember 29, 2003(2003-11-29) (aged 51)[1]
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Cause of deathHeart attack
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Larry Latham[1]
Moondog Spot[1]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)[1]
Billed weight375 lb (170 kg)[1]
Billed from"Parts unknown"
Trained byHerb Welch
Debut1977

Larry Wayne Booker (June 6, 1952 – November 29, 2003), better known by his ring names Moondog Spot and Larry Latham, was an American professional wrestler.[1]

Professional wrestling career

Early career (1977–1981)

Booker debuted in 1977 under the ring name Larry Latham. Latham formed a tag team with Carl Fergie called "The Ragin' Cajuns" managed by Billy Spears in the Gulf Coast territory.[1] Early in his career, he wrestled in Memphis and Mid-South, and his first big push came as a member of the Blond Bombers with Wayne Farris (The Honky Tonk Man).[2] The Blond Bombers were involved in heated feuds with several babyfaces across the two competing Tennessee promotions, appearing in both Nick Gulas Nashville based territory, and Jerry Jarrett's Memphis area. The team was managed by Danny Davis.[1] Their signature moment was the "Tupelo Concession Stand Brawl" against Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee, which occurred on June 15, 1979[3] and won Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Feud of the Year in 1992.[4] This served as a precursor to the "hardcore" style that was popularized by Extreme Championship Wrestling in the mid-1990s.[2]

World Wrestling Federation and Memphis (1981–1987)

Years later, Booker resurfaced as "Moondog Spot", a member of The Moondogs, whose name was suggested by Vincent J. McMahon.[5] Booker became a WWWF World Tag Team Champion as a replacement for Moondog King in May 1981.[6][7] Booker held the title along with Moondog Rex until they were defeated by Rick Martel and Tony Garea on July 21, 1981.[6][7] The Moondogs also frequently appeared in Memphis where they feuded with The Fabulous Ones, The Rock 'n' Roll Express, and Midnight Express.[3] With scraggly hair and beards, Spot and Rex wore tattered blue jeans and simple black boots to the ring, carrying their trademark oversized, dinosaur-looking bones, which were often used as foreign objects when needed.[4][5]

The Moondogs became a regular gimmick in the Memphis promotion featuring a revolving door of wrestlers who teamed with Latham.[5] In 1984, Booker and Rex returned to the WWF with Jimmy Hart as their manager.[3] The next year, they split up and Rex became the original Smash in Demolition before being replaced by Barry Darsow.[3] On November 7, 1985, he wrestled in the tournament on the WWF pay-per-view event Wrestling Classic, defeating Terry Funk in the first round by count out, but losing to Junkyard Dog in the quarterfinals.[7][8] After the tournament, Spot was relegated to jobber status until leaving the company in 1987.[1]

Various promotions (1987–2003)

After leaving the WWF, he went to All Japan Pro Wrestling where he teamed with Moondog Spike for a few months in late 1987. Spot kept up The Moondogs gimmick.[1] For most of his career, he stayed in Memphis working for the United States Wrestling Association from 1991 to 1996,[1] where he won the USWA Southern Tag Team titles with Spike, Cujo and Splat.[4] He also worked in Smoky Mountain Wrestling from 1993 to 1994.[1] He would stick around Tennessee for the independent circuit mainly working for Power Pro Wrestling.[1] Latham later operated a wrestling school in Osceola, Arkansas.[2] During his few appearances in the independent circuit, he would usually team up with Moondog Puppy Love, working in Memphis Wrestling,[3] with April Pennington acting as their manager.[6] In March 2003, he made an appearance as Moondog Spot in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he teamed with Jim Duggan to defeat Mike Sanders and Disco Inferno.[1]

Death

On November 29, 2003, Booker suffered a heart attack in the ring during Jerry Lawler's "birthday bash" show in Memphis, Tennessee.[6] He was rushed to Methodist Central Hospital where he was pronounced dead at the age of 51.[1] A coroner attributed his death to complications from diabetes and other medical ailments.[2] Following the show, the crowd was informed of his death, a ten-bell salute was performed, and Brian Christopher asked the fans to pray for Booker’s family, who had been in attendance.[3] Booker was buried at the Zion Hill Church Cemetery in Friendship, Tennessee; Lawler attended his funeral.[3]

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Moondog Spot profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved September 5, 2009.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Marvez, Alex (December 5, 2003). "REPRISAL OF MOONDOG'S GREATEST MOMENT ENDS SADLY". Sun Suntinel. Archived from the original on 2021-07-01. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Mooneyham, Mike (December 7, 2003). "Moondog Spot, Joey Rossi Remembered". The Wrestling Gospel. Retrieved November 19, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b c d e Coker, Kenneth (December 3, 2003). "A Tribute To Moondog Spot". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved August 23, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b c Mooneyham, Mike (December 28, 2019). "No matter the character, Randy Colley loved pro wrestling". The Post and Courier. Retrieved November 19, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b c d Oliver, Greg. "Moondog Spot dies during match". SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2012-07-20.
  7. ^ a b c Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 1: WWF 1963 - 1989. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1492825975.
  8. ^ "The Wrestling Classic results". Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  9. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "Boston: International Championship Wrestling Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  10. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  11. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: Southern Tag Team Title [Roy Welsch & Nick Gulas, Jerry Jarrett from 1977]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 185–189. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  12. ^ "Southern Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  13. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Tennessee: NWA Mid-America Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 194–195. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  14. ^ "CWA Heavyweight Championship history". Wrestling-Titles.com.
  15. ^ Duncan, Royal; Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Memphis: USWA Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 200–202. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  16. ^ "History of the World Tag Team Championship". WWE. Retrieved 2007-05-11.