Not only did Scott Teal and Tim Hornbaker just announce their first ever joint book project, but it is indeed the book that “everybody has been waiting for!”
Master of the Ring: The Biography of “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers is scheduled to be released at the end of November 2020, from Crowbar Press. Prior to this biography, the most written words on Rogers that readers were able to get their eyes on came from The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels by Greg Oliver (full disclosure: Oliver is also the producer of SlamWrestling.net) and Steven Johnson. In the book, Oliver and Johnson gave Rogers the distinction of being the number one all-time heel.
“The ‘Nature Boy’ Buddy Rogers was one of the most charismatic and awe-inspiring professional wrestlers in history,” explained Hornbaker, who is the author of the book, in an email to SlamWrestling.net. “He had a natural gift for showmanship and the ability to tell extraordinary stories in the ring. His career, which included reigns with the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) and WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation) championships, always fascinated me, and I felt that it was a biography that needed to be written. In addition, as successful as Buddy was, he was equally controversial, and I felt it was important to tell his story thoroughly and accurately. It was a labor of love, and altogether, I spent two years on this project, but it was incredibly worthwhile on a personal level.”
Added Teal, “Buddy single-handedly transformed wrestling and introduced an entirely new type of ‘heel’ wrestler. He pioneered many of the heel moves used by heels in the years that followed.”
Hornbaker’s previous pro wrestling books include: Death of the Territories: Expansion, Betrayal and the war that Changed Pro Wrestling Forever, Capitol Revolution: The Rise of the McMahon Wrestling Empire, National Wrestling Alliance: The Untold Story of the Monopoly that Strangled Pro Wrestling and Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams and Piledrivers. Teal has been writing about pro wrestling since 1968. He has worked with Ole Anderson, Ivan Koloff, Tony Atlas, Stan Hansen and a plethora of other figures in pro wrestling on their autobiographies and the series The Great Pro Wrestling Venues and The Wrestling Archive Project: Classic 20th Century Mat Memories. In addition to being an author and historian, Teal is the owner of Crowbar Press.
“I absolutely loved working with Tim,” shared Teal, who edited and published the book. “In my opinion, Tim is one of the top five when it comes to wrestling research. He leaves no stone unturned and ferrets out the tiniest of details. I know for some, it’s too much, but for those who love an honest in-depth look at what went on in pro wrestling, Tim is the guy to do that. And for me to have the privilege of working with him — finally! — is such an honor. He’s a great writer, but he doesn’t have thin skin and took most of my suggestions and either approved or ‘improved’ on them. We worked like a well-oiled team. I’m proud to call him my tag-team partner.”
Pointed out Hornbaker, “He (Teal) embraced the Buddy Rogers project from day one and worked tirelessly to make it a better book. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with him.”
Both Hornbaker and Teal are anxious for readers to finally get their hands at long last on a Rogers’ biography.
“I’d like readers of all ages, even younger fans who maybe never heard of the original ‘Nature Boy’ to understand his important role in the history of the business,” reflected Hornbaker. “Buddy Rogers was an icon on so many levels, and not only influenced a generation of wrestling fans, but a number of future wrestlers as well. And he did it as a heel. His arrogance, snarl, and, of course, his strut, infuriated fans from coast-to-coast, and his legacy will live forever.”
Concluded Teal, “We hope readers will get the big picture regarding Buddy’s importance to the wrestling business, and more importantly, we hope we clear up some of the misconceptions about Buddy that are constantly repeated by those who think they’re in the know.”
PREVIOUS BUDDY ROGERS STORY