Moondog Rex Death – Undisclosed Causes
1950-2019 (Age 69)
Randy Colley achieved fame as one-half of the WWF Tag Team Championship team the Moondogs, and nearly scored even greater fame as a member of the WWF’s legendary 1980’s team, Demolition.
At 6’2” and weighing nearly 300 pounds, Colley fit the role of a burly brawler to perfection. Whether it was in singles competition or tag team action, Colley was a featured player in the territories, becoming best known as Moondog Rex.
Colley began competing in the WWWF as a Moondog after taking the name “Moondog Hawkins” (having previously competed there as “Ripper Hawkins”).
According to the book, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams, promoter Vince McMahon Sr. felt Colley resembled Moondog Mayne, a WWWF star who had worked years earlier. Colley’s resemblance was no surprise as he’d set out to copy Mayne’s look. McMahon Sr. also noticed a resemblance between Colley and WWF wrestler Edward White (who became Moondog King), and paired them as the rough-and-tumble duo, The Moondogs.
With their bleached hair and unkempt beards, the Moondogs presented an unorthodox look as they wore faded blue jeans into the ring and carried rawhide bones (which also doubled as a convenient foreign object as needed).
The Moondogs tore through the WWF’s tag team division until they defeated champions Rick Martel and Tony Garea.
Interestingly enough, Colley was forced to find a new partner when Moondog King was arrested in Canada and barred from reentering the U.S. due to passport issues. According to Colley, the Moondogs were supposed to embark on a tour of Japan and lost considerable money thanks to King’s travel problems. The WWF replaced King with Moondog Spot, claiming in storyline that Moondog King had been hit by an automobile.
In 2003, Moondog Spot died in the ring.
The team of Rex and Spot held the belts for 4 months before dropping them back to Martel and Garea.
The Moondogs left the WWF but continued working in the territories, including two violent runs—the first in Puerto Rico’s World Wrestling Council (WWC) and the second in Memphis where they feuded with the Fabulous Ones.
The Moondogs captured the WWC North American Tag Team Championship after defeating Invader 1 and Super Gladiator, and later, the WWC World Tag Team Championship.
In Memphis, the Moondogs defeated the Fabulous Ones for the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship. The Moondogs hard-hitting style is just another example of how hardcore wrestling existed long before the 90’s.
A Man of Many Gimmicks
Like many wrestlers of the territory era, Colley worked under a number of identities besides his most famous one. Colley had a successful run in Bill Watts’ Mid-South Wrestling as the Masked Nightmare, winning the promotion’s prestigious North American Championship from popular babyface Terry Taylor.
The Masked Nightmare proved a top heel in the promotion, defending the title against Mid-South grapplers such as Magnum T.A., Wahoo McDaniel, Butch Reed, Dick Murdoch, and Brad Armstrong.
According to his obituary in the December 23, 2019 edition of the Wrestling Observer newsletter, Colley worked as one of “Dalton Brothers, The Medics, The Spoilers and The Shadows”. He also worked as a masked Assassin when original Assassin Jody Hamilton relaunched the team.
Colley worked in WCW as Dr. X, Moondog Rex, and “Deadeye Dick,” a member of the Desperados team (made up of Colley, Dutch Mantel, and Black Bart).
Colley would continue working as Moondog Rex, including singles competition.
In 1987, he became “Smash” one-half of the new WWF tag team Demolition, alongside “Ax” (aka veteran grappler Bill Eadie who worked before as the Masked Superstar). Regrettably for Colley, WWF fans recognized him instantly despite him shaving his beard, cutting his hair, and wearing face paint. With fans chanting his name at house shows, the WWF chose to replace him with Barry Darsow (who had finished working in Jim Crockett Promotions as Krusher Krushchev).
Demolition went on to become 3-time WWF Tag Team Champions and held the belts for a record length that would last for decades until it was ultimately broken by the New Day.
Colley participated in a number of lawsuits against the WWE including one where he and Bill Eadie claimed they created Demolition as well as one of the concussion lawsuits filed against the WWE. Colley also testified against Vince McMahon in 1994 during the federal government’s criminal prosecution of McMahon for steroid distribution.
Recent photo of Randy Colley (Moondog Rex) who passed away today. He had surgery last week to remove his right leg. pic.twitter.com/YKUFioJChi
— HeelByNature.com (@HeelByNatureYT) December 15, 2019
Moondog Rex Death
Randy Colley died on December 14, 2019 following surgery to have his right leg amputated above the knee. He was 69.
Several other notable wrestlers died in 2019 including Harley Race, King Kong Bundy, and Pedro Morales.