Dewey Robertson /
Real name: Byron Robertson
The Missing Link
From Hamilton. Began wrestling in Pittsburgh and on the Hamilton TV show in the mid-60s and made his Maple Leaf Gardens debut in 1967. Had an excellent physique and good mat skills, although he was never particularly charismatic.
Left Toronto to wrestle in the U.S. and internationally in 1973, and came back the next year as the masked Crusader (with manager John St. John). His gimmick was that he was on a crusade for clean, "scientific" wrestling. Wore an all-white costume. Was soon unmasked after losing a match by countout to The Sheik. Joined later in the year by Billy "Red" Lyons, as the tag team The Crusaders (often wrestling under masks). They worked as a team in Toronto for four years.
Owned a gym in Burlington for a few years in the 1970s. He once appeared on a TV commercial tearing up a phone book.
Dewey briefly wrestled as a heel in the Mid-Atlantic area around 1979, managed by former world champion Buddy Rogers. During his association with Rogers, Robertson established the Nature Boy's trademark figure-four leglock as his finisher.
Robertson received a huge push in Toronto in 1979-80, winning the Canadian title tournament (defeating Ken Patera, Gene Kiniski, and Greg Valentine), defeating AWA World champion Nick Bockwinkel cleanly (in a match where only Dewey's Canadian title was at stake), and then going to a curfew draw with him in an AWA title match, defeating NWA U.S. champ Jimmy Snuka, and wrestling to a draw with NWA World champion Harley Race. He left Toronto in 1981 when Frank Tunney decided to push Angelo Mosca as the local hero.
Late in 1983, after two years in Kansas City, Dewey shaved most of his head, painted his face green, acted nuts, and became a big name in the U.S. as the Missing Link in one of wrestling's most stunning transformations. Became the Link in Mid-South before joining World Class in Texas. Briefly wrestled in the WWF in 1985, and got a full-page photo in Sports Illustrated. Faded into retirement from the wrestling mainstream in the late 1980s.
Dewey has battled drug addiction since the late 1970s, and for three years in the 1990s served on the board of directors of the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA).
His son Jason Sterling has wrestled on independent shows in Ontario, and briefly wrestled in the UWF and in Florida in 1987 along with brother Mark Sterling.
"Talking about his use of steroids, amphetamines, alcohol, marijuana and cocaine has helped him on the road to recovery. In July 1993, surgeons in Burlington removed one of his kidneys, destroyed, he says, by his prolonged use of marijuana. That, along with the tales of losing fame, fortune and self-respect, helps Mr. Robertson deliver a powerful message to his young audiences, one he hopes will lead them to making the right choices as they go through life."
(Eleanor Tait, Hamilton Spectator, March 18, 1995)
- U.S. tag champion (Oklahoma), 1973
- 3-time International tag champion (Toronto), 1974-78
- NWA Canadian champion (Toronto), 1979-80
- 2-time NWA Mid-Atlantic tag champion, 1980-81
- NWA Central States TV champion, 1981
- 4-time NWA Central States tag champion, 1981-83
- 2-time NWA Central States champion, 1983