Larry "Rocky" Hamilton (April 1, 1931 – July 20, 1996), better known by his ring name 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. A notorious racist, Hamilton was reportedly a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan.
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.
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 York where he and his brother began teaming together as the Hamilton Brothers in 1957 headlining an event at Madison Square Garden 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 Francisco while Larry Hamilton began working for promoter Jim Crockett, Sr. in the Carolinas.
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 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 Carolina.
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.
Following his retirement in 1981, Hamilton entered the bail bonding and was involved in the St. James Catholic Church in his hometown St. Joseph, 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.
- Finishing moves
Championships and accomplishments
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.
- Larry Hamilton: The Missouri Mauler by Mike Mooneyham
- In Australia with the Missouri Mauler and Terry Garvin by Scott Teal
- The Official Ox Baker Web Site: My Toughest Opponents
- Championship Wrestling from Florida: Missouri Hamilton
- GeorgiaWrestlingHistory.com - Larry Hamilton
- Deceased Superstars: Missouri Mauler
- Profile at Online World of Wrestling