Old school southern wrestler Burrhead Jones, real name Melvin Nelson, has passed away at age 80. Jones wrestled early in his career for the WWWF, the predecessor to the WWE, before moving South.  He competed in the Memphis, Alabama, and Florida territories. He won the NWA Southern Junior Heavyweight Title from Siki Samara in 1969. The title was later held by Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Ron Garvin, and Daniel Bryan. He also won the Tri-State Wrestling Tag Titles with Jimmy Golden aka Bunkhouse Buck.

Here’s an excerpt from a write-up on Jones from Southern wrestling historian Mike Mooneyham:

The Moncks Corner native became a regional star in several Southeastern territories and is perhaps best remembered for his mid-’70s program with the late Blackjack Mulligan (Bob Windham).

Nelson enjoyed one of his most successful runs in the business teaming with a cousin he met in New York several years before turning pro. He and Carey “Buster” Lloyd, a Dillon native who would later become Rufus R. “Freight Train” Jones, one of wrestling’s most popular performers, worked out at the same 42nd Street gym.

There are a few Burrhead Jones matches on youtube, including this one against The Mongolian Stomper.

Share your Burrhead Jones memories in the comment section below. 

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