Rocco Rock

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Rocco Rock
Rocco Rock - Mar 01 2002.jpg
Rocco Rock in March 2002
Birth name Theodore James Petty
Born September 1, 1953[1]
Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, United States[1]
Died September 21, 2002(2002-09-21) (aged 49)[2]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) The Cheetah Kid[1][3]
Colonel DeKlerk[1]
The Leopard Mask[3]
Rocco Rock[1]
Flyboy Rocco
The Rock
The Executioner
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[3]
Billed weight 250 lb (110 kg)[3]
Billed from Compton, California
Trained by Afa Anoa'i[1]
Debut 1978[1]

Theodore "Ted" James Petty (September 1, 1953 – September 21, 2002) was an American professional wrestler better known as "Flyboy" Rocco Rock, one half of The Public Enemy.[2]

Early life

Petty graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in nutrition.[2]

Professional wrestling career

Following a brief boxing career, Petty started wrestling in 1978 as The Cheetah Kid.[2]

Petty wrestled in the National Wrestling Alliance in 1990, appearing at Starrcade as Colonel DeKlerk. Along with Sergeant Krueger, he represented South Africa in a tag team match, but the team lost to The Steiner Brothers.[4]

In 1993, under the name Rocco Rock and formed a tag team named The Public Enemy with Johnny Grunge, with a gimmick of inner city criminals. The team first wrestled in the Universal Wrestling Federation and Extreme Championship Wrestling.[1][2] In ECW, the team feuded with Terry Funk and The Gangstas and won the ECW Tag Team Championship four times.[5] The teams's success in 1995 earned him his highest placement in the annual PWI 500, in which he was ranked #90.[6]

In 1996, The Public Enemy signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where they won the tag team title and feuded with The Nasty Boys.[2] They continued to use some of the hardcore tactics that had made them famous in ECW, including the frequent use of tables in matches.[1] He also made a few single-competition appearances as The Cheetah Kid during that time.

They were briefly in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1999 and competed in the short-lived Xtreme Wrestling Federation as the "South Philly Posse" with Jasmin St. Claire as their manager.[2] Petty then competed as a singles wrestler on the independent circuit.

Death

Petty died of a heart attack on September 21, 2002, at the age of 49, while en route to a Pro-Pain Pro Wrestling show where he was scheduled to wrestle against Gary Wolfe in a match for the promotion's heavyweight title.[2]

Legacy

Every year the IWA-Mid South professional wrestling promotion memorializes him by holding the Ted Petty Invitational tournament. Previous winners include A. J. Styles, Matt Sydal, Low Ki, and Mike Quackenbush.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

Rock's Hardcore Hall of Fame banner in the former ECW Arena.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Rocco Rock". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Power Slam". What's going down... SW Publishing. October 2002. p. 6. 55. 
  3. ^ a b c d Loverro, Thom (2006). The Rise and Fall of ECW. Pocket Books. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-4165-1058-1. 
  4. ^ "Starrcade 1990". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  5. ^ "History of the ECW Tag Team Championship". WWE. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  6. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 – 1995". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  7. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-05-15. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  8. ^ a b c d Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 

External links

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