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Long before guys like the Undertaker and Triple H were main eventing shows in their 50s, Bob Armstrong was doing so regularly – and believably.
“Bullet” Bob, the patriarch of one of pro wrestling’s most beloved families, passed away on August 27 at the age of 80.
Armstrong’s career spanned more than five decades. To modern day fans, Armstrong is probably best remembered as the commissioner of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, who battled the devious Jim Cornette seemingly all throughout that promotion’s history. Armstrong is also well known from his mid-2000s stint with TNA, where he was an authority figure, manager and sometimes wrestler. In 2008, he teamed with son BG James (aka the Road Dogg) for a shot at the TNA tag titles.
For a wrestler with such a long and influential career, there isn’t a lot of Bob Armstrong memorabilia out there. He never appeared on a trading card or had an action figure made in his likeness.
For collectors looking for a memento of “the Bullet,” your best bet would be to find an old wrestling program or vintage color photograph. A quick search of eBay revealed programs such as Ringsider Atlanta and NWA Slam-O-Gram with Armstrong’s picture on the cover. Recent sales for these types of programs have ranged from $10 to $25 depending on the program and the condition.
Vintage photographs of Armstrong and family can be found on sites like HighSpots.com and eBay. In July, one eBay seller sold an 8×10 of Bob, Brad and Scott Armstrong from Wrestle Reunion that had been signed bob Bob and Brad for $26.
Longtime wrestling photographer Pete Lederberg has more than 100 original photographs of Armstrong and family from throughout the years. Prints are available at Pete Lederbeg’s Wrestling Photos on Facebook, or by contacting him at email@example.com.
Several of Armstrong’s sons have appeared on trading cards throughout the years. Brad Armstrong appears on card #42 from the 1985 Wrestling All Stars set, which can be found for as low as $5, depending on the condition. Brad was also featured in several sets over the years, including 1988 Wonderama NWA, 1995 Cardz WCW and a 2000 Wizards of the Coast WCW trading card game. The crown jewel of any Brad Armstrong collection is his certified autograph from the 1998 Topps WCW/NWO set. Autographs from this landmark set are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and the only recent eBay sale in the last 90 days was $199.99 on August 16.
Of all the Armstrong kids, Road Dogg easily has the most amount of memorabilia out there. He has appeared in numerous WCW and TNA trading card sets. His first trading card – as the Roadie – is a 1995 WWF Magazine card. Certified autographs of Road Dogg have been included in the 1998 Comic Images WWF Superstarz and 2014 Topps WWE sets, along with the 2008 TNA Impact and Cross the Line sets from Tristar. Jakks-Pacific made plenty of Road Dogg action figures from 1997 to about 2001, and Toy Biz made a TNA Lockdown two-pack of the James Gang, aka the New Age Outlaws. Mattel has made a few Road Dogg figures as well; his best selling figure is an Elite-style Hall of Champions figure that was a Target exclusive that usually sells in the $50-$75 range new in package.
Steve Armstrong, a member of the Wild-Eyed Southern Boys and later the Young Pistols, appears on a few different cards in the 1991 Impel WCW set, along with card #106 in the 1991 Championship Marketing WCW set. Scott Armstrong, despite a decade as a top referee with WWE, has never appeared on a trading card.
Do you have Armstrong merchandise you’d like to share with other collectors? Contact Michael Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or @MMooreWriter on Twitter.
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