Ron Starr
Birth nameBobby Eugene Nutt[1]
Born(1951-04-03)April 3, 1951[2]
Atlanta, Georgia, United States[3]
DiedJune 8, 2017(2017-06-08) (aged 66)
Cause of deathCollapsed lung[4]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Bobby Starr
Mr. Wrestling
Ron Starr
Spoiler #2[5]
Billed height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)[5]
Billed weight240 lb (109 kg)
Trained byBuddy Colt[5]
Al Velasco

Bobby Eugene Nutt [1] (April 3, 1951 – June 8, 2017), better known by his ring name Ron Starr, was an American professional wrestler. Starr was a mainstay for numerous wrestling territories throughout the 1970s and 80s, capturing almost three dozen championships throughout his career[4] including two reigns as NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion and several reigns as NWA World Tag Team Champion. He was also notable for his involvement with Stampede Wrestling in Canada and his tenure with the World Wrestling Council (WWC) in Puerto Rico. Starr has been called "one of the unsung heroes of the territory days of professional wrestling" and "one of the most effective heels that territorial professional wrestling had ever seen.[4]

Early life

Bobby Nutt was born to parents Oscar and Betty Nutt. His love of professional wrestling came from his mother, who was a wrestling fan and would attend shows on Friday nights.[6] In 1970 at the age of 18, Bobby enlisted in the United States Army, serving eighteen months in Vietnam. Nutt had difficulty becoming re-accustomed to American life[1] but soon found work in the construction industry where he worked alongside his father. He was noticed at a local YMCA gym by wrestlers Buddy Colt and Billy Spears, who introduced him to the possibility of a career in professional wrestling[1]

Professional wrestling career

Starr debuted in 1972 and soon made a name for himself working for Jim Crockett Promotions in the National Wrestling Alliance, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic and Championship Wrestling From Florida territories.[7] He travelled extensively throughout his career, making his New Japan Pro-Wrestling debut in 1976 and accumulating championships in various territories throughout the Gulf Coast, Central States, San Francisco, Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, Los Angeles, Tri-States Stampede, Atlantic Grand Prix and Puerto Rico. During his tenures in Japan, China and South Africa, he primarily wrestled under the ring name "Ron Starr."[1]

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Starr was a prolific traveler throughout the territory system. He captured singles and tag team championships in Central States, Gulf Coast, Pacific Northwest, Texas and Southeastern territories and won several NWA world championships, including two reigns as NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion, beating Pat Barrett in 1976, and then Les Thornton in a tournament in 1980.[4]

Starr had perhaps one of his best-remembered runs during his tenure with Stampede Wrestling in Calgary, where he was a two-time Stampede Tag Team Championship as one-half of the tag-team “Memphis Mafia.” alongside Wayne Farris (aka the Honky Tonk Man).[8][9]

Having wrestled several tours for New Japan between 1976 and 1980, Starr spent the later part of the wrestling career from 1987 wrestling overseas for New Japan and the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico until 1997. In the WWC, he captured 12 titles including being a two-time Junior Heavyweight Champion, four time World Tag Team Champion, three time North American Tag Team Champion and two time Television Champion[3]

In 1997, Starr retired from wrestling.

Later life and death

In his later life, Starr published his autobiography, titled "Bad to the Bone: 25 Years of Riots and Wrestling". The book was reviewed by Marty Goldstein of SLAM! Sports, who called it "an essential volume for any true fan of the business" due to its concise detailing of the territory system.[6] The book was forwarded by Mick Foley, who credits Starr with teaching him the art of "brawling" in wrestling, during their 1989 feud.[6]

According to Rock Rims (who worked with Starr on his autobiography) Starr had suffered four heart attacks and four strokes in the last two decades of his life. He lived with his sister in Opp, Alabama and was married in 2016. Starr died on June 8, 2017, and was found by his wife that morning at 6:20 am,[4] having died in his sleep, reportedly of a collapsed lung.[4]

Championships and accomplishments

Luchas de Apuestas record

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Bob Sweetan Ron Starr, as Mr. Wrestling
Kansas City, Kansas Heart of America Sports Attractions September 22, 1977 [13]


  1. ^ a b c d e "'Rotten' Ron Starr passes away". Archived from the original on June 17, 2017.
  2. ^ Saalbach, Axel. " - The World's Largest Wrestling Database".
  3. ^ a b c "Ron Starr".
  4. ^ a b c d e f "WWE News: "Rotten" Ron Starr passes away". 10 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Ron Starr « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  6. ^ a b c "Ron Starr's autobiography an eyeopening look at territory era". Archived from the original on November 12, 2017.
  7. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Career « Ron Starr « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  8. ^ "Ron Starr's autobiography an eyeopening look at territory era". Archived from the original on July 24, 2017.
  9. ^ Stomper Gouldie (29 July 2014). "Memphis Mafia Stampede Wrestling interview" – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "ASWA Georgia Tag Team Title".
  11. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Titles « Ron Starr « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  12. ^ Hoops, Brian (March 7, 2020). "Daily Pro Wrestling history (03/07): Bruno Sammartino vs. Giant Baba". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  13. ^ " - The World's Largest Wrestling Database". Retrieved 2018-12-31.