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Wrestling / Brad Armstrong

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Robert Bradley "Brad" James (June 15, 1962 – November 1, 2012) was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Brad Armstrong. He is best known for his appearances with Jim Crockett Promotions and its successor promotion World Championship Wrestling. He died of an apparent heart attack on November 1, 2012.

Among his in-ring achievements, he was a 1x NWA Global (Florida) Tag Team Champion with Terry Allen (Magnum T.A.), a 2x NWA National Heavyweight Champion, a 2x NWA National Tag Team Champion (1x w/his father "Bullet" Bob Armstrong and 1x w/Tim Horner as The Lightning Express), a 1x Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion, a 1x UWF (Mid-South) World Tag Team Champion (with Tim Horner as The Lightning Express), a 1x USWA Heavyweight Champion, a 2x SMW Heavyweight Champion, the last ever WCW World Light Heavyweight Champion and a 1x WCW World 6-Man Tag Team Champion as Badstreet with Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin as The Fabulous Freebirds. He won Pro Wrestling Illustrated's "Rookie of the Year" Award for 1982 and tied with Brad Rheingans for the same award in The Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Brad Armstrong features examples of:

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Buzzkill was basically WCW's answer to the character Brad's brother Jesse James played in the WWF, Road Dogg. This was lampshaded during the backstage vignette setting up the character, where Brad asked Vince Russo when he'd get a title shot, and Vince replied, "When you get a personality like your brother!"
  • Brown Bag Mask: He wore a brown paper bag over his head as Mr. R.
  • Captain Ersatz: Arachnaman was obviously meant to be Spider-Man, to the point the character was aborted early once Marvel Comics got wind of it and threatened to sue.
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: He was actually involved in a subversion of this. After Tommy Rich lost a Loser Leaves Town match, a wrestler wearing a brown paper bag over his head appeared shortly afterwards, named "Mr. R". Everybody assumed that it was Rich, especially Ted DiBiase, the wrestler Rich was feuding against, until he unmasked Mr. R in a match and revealed him to be Armstrong.
  • Cool Mask: He wore (elaborate) masks as one half of the Dos Hombres, Fantasia/Badstreet, the Freedom Fighter and as Arachnaman.
  • Finishing Move: Russian Legsweep.
  • I Have Many Names: In addition to "Brad Armstrong", there was one of the Dos Hombres, Fantasia, Badstreet, the Freedom Fighter, Arachnaman, B.A. and Buzzkill.
  • Jobber: He spent most of his later career in WCW as enhancement talent.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: The difference between Buzzkill and the character it was ripping off, Brad's brother Road Dogg, was that Buzzkill was basically a hippie: acting constantly baked, wearing tie-dyed t-shirts, carrying signs and so on.
  • Parts Unknown: As Arachnaman, he was billed from "Web City."
  • Power Stable:
    • (in SMW): Armstrong's Army, with his father "Bullet" Bob, his brothers Scott, Steve, Brian (Road Dogg), Tracy Smothers and The Rock N Roll Express
    • (in WCW): The No Limit Soldiers
  • Red Baron: "Candyman".
  • Spider-Man Send-Up: Arachnaman was an obvious send-off to Spider-Man. In fact, the character was aborted early once Marvel Comics got wind of it and threatened to sue.
  • Tag Team:
  • White Gangbangers: As B.A. in the No Limit Soldiers.
  • Wrestling Family: A member of the Armstrong wrestling family.
  • Yellow/Purple Contrast: The costume he wore as Arachnaman used yellow and purple instead of Spider-Man's red and blue.