Where Are They Now? Buddy Roberts
Buddy Roberts' accomplishments in the ring hold great meaning to him. What he is most proud of today, however, is the fact that he is still alive.
Our fans may remember Roberts as the former World Class Championship Wrestling star who wowed crowds throughout the ‘80s as a member of The Fabulous Freebirds, a legendary tag team that is widely associated among the greatest.
"Working for the WCCW was absolutely fabulous," he recalled, with a semi-intended pun. "I had a great run with The Freebirds, and we especially had that great rivalry with The Von Erichs."
The rivalry between The Von Erichs and Roberts and his teammates -- Michael "P.S." Hayes & Terry Gordy -- featured what many regard as some of the most physical and brutal matches ever fought. In fact, the immense popularity of their rivalry earned Roberts, Hayes and Gordy "Fabulous" cameos in the 1986 cult-classic film, Highlander.
Almost tragically, Buddy Roberts would confront his most powerful opponent after retiring from the squared circle — throat cancer. Successful surgery spared him from a long and tough battle with the disease, though he now speaks with the assistance of a voice transmitter. Roberts has a very simple, yet stern message to our fans: "Don't smoke. I think the reason this happened to me is because I was smoking too much. I recommend to anyone who smokes to quit now. It is hard, but it is worth it."
And where has his battle with cancer brought the former Freebird?
"Today, I am not sure where I am; I had a hard night last night," he quipped. "I live in Chicago now. My wife works because I cannot. After the cancer, it is hard to breathe, so it is hard to work. On the positive side of that is, I am still alive. If it were 50 years ago, I might not be, but modern medicine saved my life."
Much has changed in the world of wrestling since Roberts retired, and he finds the comparisons are too hard to make. "It is totally different now," he said. "It is two different worlds from when I started in the ‘60s and ‘70s…like apples and pears."
Despite such vast differences, Roberts feels he could make an impact if he were competing in today's WWE. "I would definitely fit in the tag team divisions," he said. "Wherever I was as a tag competitor, I was a tag champion. Hollywood Blondes, Freebirds -- so I imagine if I were in WWE today, I would have tag team championship gold around my waist."
Buddy Roberts' passion for the business is second only to his passion for life -- a life he is grateful to have. Though his life has had its fair share of difficulties, the one constant has been the unending support of his fans.
"If it wasn't for the fans, there would be no WWE," he insisted. "I am sure it is the same crowd as when WWE started. To release their emotions, fans go to wrestling so they can scream -- it's good therapy."
For Buddy Roberts, wrestling has been the best therapy for a life he feels blessed to be living.