Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Playboy" Buddy Rose, 1952-2009. R.I.P.

Former professional wrestler "Playboy" Buddy Rose died yesterday. He was 56 years old. His cause of death is unknown at present but he had been battling diabetes.

Rose, whose given name was Paul Perschmann, wrestled mostly in the 1970s and 1980s with the World Wrestling Federation, the American Wrestling Association and in his home territory in the Pacific Northwest.

He generally wrestled as a heel. Later in his career his weight ballooned significantly but he turned it to his advantage. When the ring announcer would state Rose weighed in at 271 pounds, he would grab the microphone and tell the fans he weighed 217 pounds much to their jeers. But notwithstanding his girth he moved around exceptionally well and not unlike Adrian Adonis (another wrestler who died too soon.)

His old matches are sometimes shown on Classic AWA Wrestling which airs on ESPN Classic. In the mid to late 1980s, Rose held the AWA World Tag Team Championship with Doug Somers and was managed by Sherri Martel (who also died too young.) Rose and Somers feuded with the Midnight Rockers - Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels. Yup, the same Shawn Michaels who is still going strong in the WWE in 2009. Boy, did Shawn Michaels look young back then.

Rose also wrestled in the very first match held at the original Wrestlemania at Madison Square Garden in 1985. Wrestling as The Masked Executioner he was defeated by Tito Santana.

A memorial service has not been announced.

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