William Afflis (1929-1991) was an American football player and Professional Wrestler from Indiana as Dick the Bruiser. He made his name competing primarily in the Midwest, for various National Wrestling Alliance territories, for the AWA and his own World Wrestling Association in Indianapolis from 1954 until he retired in 1985. He is particularly well known for his many years teaming with The Crusher (Reggie Lisowski). He also competed for All Japan Pro Wrestling and made some appearances for Capitol Wrestling, the precursor to WWE. The most infamous was on November 19, 1957, which saw a genuine wooden chair throwing riot break out due to Dr. Jerry Graham bloodying Antonino Rocca following Rocca and Edouard Carpentier's win over Bruiser and Graham. After he retired, he worked for WCW as a talent agent. Among his in-ring achievements, he was a 1x AWA World Heavyweight Champion, a 5x AWA World Tag Team Champion with the Crusher, and a 1x NWA International Tag Team Champion with the Crusher. He was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996.
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.
"The World's Most Dangerous Tropes":
- Arch-Enemy: Bobby "The Brain Heenan, the Sheik, Bruiser Brody, Harley Race.
- Only semi-Kayfabe: The Sheik's Detroit promotion had a serious feud with Bruiser's World Wrestling Association in Indianapolis. Bruiser was a close friend of NWA boss Sam Muchnick and had some ownership points in Muchnick's St. Louis Wrestling Club and never really cared for Sheik. Muchnick actually stopped using DTB in St. Louis after 9/22/72 until 2/15/74. WWA invaded Detroit, which was an NWA member, while the WWA wasn't. Bruiser didn't like the Sheik's wrestling style. Muchnick brought Sheik into St. Louis twice and never used him again. A lot of guys felt that the Sheik shorted them on their payouts and didn't like how Sheik kept himself as the star attraction and would basically squash guys who were getting over.
- As Himself: In the 1974 film The Wrestler.
- Awesome McCool Name/Names to Run Away from Really Fast
- Badass Grandpa/Ring Oldies: He was 56 when he retired.
- Bash Brothers: With the Crusher, of course, Wilbur Snyder, Bruno Sammartino
- Bouncer: Used to be a bouncer in a casino before wrestling. He rarely had to hit anyone, as ripping a large phone book was enough to calm all but the stupidest troublemakers.
- Collegiate American Football: At Purdue University
- Expy/Legacy Character: The Sandman and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin both followed in Bruiser and Crusher's footsteps as badass beer-drinking brawlers.
- Finishing Move: Top rope kneedrop
- Improbable Weapon User: While wrestling in St. Louis, he Squashed a young Ray "Hercules" Hernandez in a match which started with Bruiser knocking him to the floor, against a table and hitting him with a pitcher of water that was on the table.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Appeared as a Heel in the Tiger Mask series.
- The Nicknamer: Dick was the first to call Bobby Heenan "Weasel." The nickname stuck for the rest of Heenan's life.
- No-Sell: One of the earliest examples of someone who regularly did this.
- Popularity Power: Once he and Da Crusher got over, they never lost the crowd's support.
- Rated M for Manly
- Red Baron: "The World's Most Dangerous Wrestler"
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Ran his own promotion, the World Wrestling Association in Indianapolis, and had ownership points with the St. Louis Wrestling Club.
- Tag Team::
- with the Crusher
- Annihilation Inc., with Bruno Sammartino
- Unrelated Cousins: With the Crusher.
- Wrestling Family:
- Spike Huber was married to his daughter and when they divorced, Bruiser blacklisted the poor guy out of the business, though there was later a reconciliation.
- His son Karl, who also wrestled as Leroy Redbone, passed away in 2009.