|Copyright Â© Georgia Wrestling History, Inc.
All rights reserved.
The first Rocket Monroe was Sailor Bill Fletcher, a wrestler Sputnik had met early in his career. After several matches against each other,
they became friends. People noticed their resemblance and began asking Fletcher if he and Sputnik were brothers. The blond streak
was added and he began wrestling as Bill Fletcher Monroe in 1960.
Together they started working for Johnny Doyle in Las Vegas as Sputnik and Rocket, the Brothers Monroe. Things were different in an
entertainment town. They would have one match, then some celebrity like Donald Oâ€™Connor or Sophie Tucker would come out to
entertain, followed by another wrestling match. Together they toured Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. Fletcher went through a
nasty divorce and left while Sputnik went to Houston.
Bill later called Sputnik in Houston, who called Lester Welch, then the booker for Nashville. Welch first brought Fletcher into Tennessee,
then Sputnik, who had to finish commitments in Texas. Sputnik said of Fletcher, â€œHe was a babyface for several years, but made an
excellent heel. He knew what a heel needed to do.â€� When it was interview time, Sputnik did all the talking, but that was okay with
Fletcher because Bill never had anything to say. The Monroe Brothers went to New York to work for Vince McMahon, an endeavor that
only lasted about six months.
Gary Brumbaugh, Sputnikâ€™s real brother, was added to the team as their brother-manager, Jet Monroe, a move Sputnik looked at as â
€œicing on the cake.â€� Bill struggled through a lot of personal problems that included his divorce, his children, and his alcohol.
Sputnik and Jet soon left for Atlanta and Bill â€œRocket Monroeâ€� Fletcher headed for Phoenix. Sputnik and Rocket Monroe had held
the Texas Tag Team Championship in 1961.