Real Name: Dale Hey
Hometown: Del City, Oklahoma
Signature Moves: Russian leg sweep, swinging neckbreaker
WCCW Titles Held: NWA Texas Heavyweight title, WCCW TV title, WCCW Six-Man Tag Team titles (five times with Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy, once with Gordy and Iceman King Parsons)
Notable WCCW Feuds: The Von Erichs, Iceman King Parsons, Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy.
Need to Know Facts: Born Dale Hey in 1945, Buddy began his storied wrestling career in 1965 as Dale Valentine, the fictitious brother of the legendary Johnny Valentine.
Changing his name to Buddy Roberts in 1970 (the "Jack" nickname, a reference to his fondness for Jack Daniel's whiskey, came later in his career), Dale formed the original Hollywood Blonds with Jerry Brown, and they won numerous regional tag team titles across the United States throughout the '70s. Toward the end of the decade, Buddy split from Brown, making his first stop in the Dallas-Fort Worth area during 1978. Reverting back to the Dale Valentine gimmick, he was accompanied at ringside by Johnny Valentine, who was by then confined to a wheelchair due to the injuries he had suffered in a career-ending 1975 plane crash (which also sidelined the young Ric Flair for a brief period). Though Dale proved to be a popular babyface during this time, Johnny was obviously able to do very little as his manager and the pairing was short-lived.
By the time the Fabulous Freebirds left the Mid-South promotion for Georgia in 1980, Roberts had joined the team at the suggestion of promoter Bill Watts. Original members Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy immediately won a tournament for the Georgia Tag Team titles upon entering the territory, defeating Mr. Wrestling I & II (Tim Woods and Johnny Walker) and the Assassins (Jody Hamilton and Tom Renesto). Eventually, however, Gordy and Roberts turned on Hayes, making him a fan favorite. While Hayes and Gordy feuded, Roberts soon disappeared from the area.
In spring 1983, World Class fans first got the opportunity to appreciate the singles wrestling talents of Roberts when he clashed with the extremely popular "Iceman" King Parsons. Their feud started when Buddy cut off a few of Iceman's trademarked braids, which naturally incensed Parsons. The dastardly act would ultimately result in a hair vs. hair match at Reunion Arena, in which the loser would have his hair removed with the soon-to-become-infamous Freebird hair cream. Buddy did win the match (albeit in a devious manner), but wound up losing his own hair as Parsons smeared the cream onto Buddy's scalp while his back was turned. What followed was pure hilarity for World Class fans as Roberts would now attempt to deny the obvious and cover his dome with an obvious wig and boxing headgear while claiming that his hair had miraculously "grown back" overnight.
In addition to the Parsons feud, Buddy and his "brothers" Hayes and Gordy would go on to hold the prestigious Six-Man trophy on five separate occasions from 1983-1986, and the team would be a key factor in selling out World Class venues throughout the Southwest area during this time.
After another brief run in World Class during the first half of 1986, the Freebirds -- as did many other WCCW stars during this time -- entered Bill Watts' Universal Wrestling Federation with Sunshine as their manager. During their UWF stint, they feuded with The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers), Ted DiBiase, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Terry Taylor and Watts. On September 28, 1986, Roberts defeated Taylor for the UWF TV title in Oklahoma City. Following the sale of the UWF to Jim Crockett Promotions in mid-1987, Buddy turned up in Ken Mantell's short-lived Wild West Wrestling group based in Fort Worth, ironically teaming with his former bitter enemy, Iceman King Parsons.
The Freebirds' final stint in World Class began in late 1987 as Wild West was absorbed into WCCW. This run was unlike either of their previous WCCW stays, as Roberts and Iceman joined forces with Gordy and the Angel of Death, again feuding violently with Kevin and Kerry Von Erich after Fritz's notorious post-attack "collapse" at Reunion Arena. Michael Hayes also returned early in 1988, but to the fans' surprise and delight, became an ally of the Von Erichs -- and his babyface turn was cemented after Roberts, during a concert performance by Hayes at the Sportatorium, clocked Michael with a solid-body electric guitar!
After Gordy left for Japan in mid-1988, Michael Hayes took on former UWF alumnus Steve Cox as his regular tag team partner, and Roberts became the manager for the vicious Samoan Swat Team. The two teams exchanged the WCCW World Tag titles on two different occasions.
After the World Class promotion dissolved, Roberts would make the occasional managerial appearance (managing Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin in a match against Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers in the NWA), but largely remained retired. In the later 1990's, Buddy discovered he had developed throat cancer, which he attributed to many years of heavy smoking; however, he was treated successfully.
Buddy Roberts passed away on November 29, 2012.