Adrian Street

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Adrian Street
Smmartino, Street, and Watts.jpg
Street (center) with Bruno Sammartino and Bill Watts in 2005.
Born (1940-12-05) 5 December 1940 (age 73)[1]
Brynmawr, South Wales[2]
Resides Gulf Breeze, Florida[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Adrian Street[3]
Kid Tarzan Jonathan[3]
The Nature Boy[1]
Hell's Angel #1[1]
Billed height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)[1]
Billed weight 235 lb (107 kg; 16.8 st)[1]
Trained by Chic Osmond[4]
Mike Dimitre[4]
Debut 8 August 1957
Retired 19 November 2010

Adrian Street (born 5 December 1940) is a retired Welsh professional wrestler and author known for his flamboyant, androgynous wrestling persona, brought to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s. Street was often accompanied to the ring by his long-time manager Miss Linda, and the two worked primarily as villains.

Early life[edit]

Born in Brynmawr in Brecknockshire, Street's family was in the coal mining business[3] – his father was a miner for 51 years.[5] In his teenage years, he began bodybuilding.[3] He left home at age 16 and began his professional wrestling career in 1957.[3][2] His early inspirations were American wrestlers Lou Thesz, Buddy Rogers and Don Leo Jonathan (from whom Street adopted his first moniker, Kid Tarzan Jonathan).[5]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Street was trained as a professional wrestler by Chic Osmond.[4] His first professional wrestling match was on 8 August 1957.[4] Using the name Kid Tarzan Jonathan, Street defeated Geoff Moran.[4]

Later in his career, he developed his "Exotic" Adrian Street image, an outrageously-attired, effeminate character who was hinted but never outright-stated to be gay.[5][6] Street has explained that this gimmick was born by accident as a result of him playing up to taunting from an audience one evening,[6] commenting "I was getting far more reaction than I'd ever got just playing this poof. My costumes started getting wilder".[5] His wrestling attire evolved to including pastels and glitter make up and clipping his bleached hair into mini-pigtails.[5] As "The Exotic One" his signature move in the ring was to kiss opponents to escape being pinned down and to put make up on his opponents when they were disabled.

Working primarily as a heel, Street traveled all over the world including wrestling in Germany,[7] Canada and Mexico.[8] In the UK, he formed a tag partnership with fellow heel Bobby Barnes named the Hells Angels.[5] In 1969 Street met his future manager/valet and real-life wife Miss Linda (Linda Gunthorpe Hawker).[8] The two formed a double-act, Miss Linda becoming one of professional wrestling's first female valets[5] and frequently participating as an accomplice to Street's in-ring shenanigans.[8]

Street and Linda appeared in various areas in the independent wrestling circuit in North America, and finally settled in Ron Fuller's Continental Championship Wrestling in Birmingham, Alabama in 1985. He worked early on as a heel against Austin Idol, Wendall Cooley and Norvell Austin before turning face in 1986. Street was so convincing as a heel that fans stood in shock as Street savied Bob Armstrong, under a mask as the Bullet, from an attack by Robert Fuller, Jimmy Golden, and Tom Prichard. Street had a long feud there with "The Hustler," Rip Rogers. He returned to the area shortly before it closed in summer, 1989, teaming with Bill Dundee and Todd Morton against "RPM" Mike Davis and a young Masahiro Chono, as well as a feud against Terry Garvin (Terry Sims) and his partner, Marc Gullen, known as Beauty and the Beast.

After retiring from full-time in-ring work, Street ran the Skull Krushers Wrestling School in Gulf Breeze, Florida, until being forced to close doors following severe damage from Hurricane Ivan.[9] Street and Linda also went into business designing and selling professional wrestling gear and other sundries via their website.[10] He created the ring gear worn by Mick Foley as Dude Love during his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin.[citation needed]

In 2005, Street appeared at WrestleReunion in a battle royal for the IWA Heavyweight Championship, which was won by Greg Valentine. That same year, he began wrestling for NWA Wrestle Birmingham, where he actively wrestled until the promotion ceased operations in 2010.

After his last match to date in November 2010, Street estimated that during his career he had wrestled between 12,000 and 15,000 matches.[11]

Books[edit]

Adrian has released five books through createspace.

Other media[edit]

Street starred alongside Ron Perlman in the film Quest for Fire.[12] He also appeared in Grunt: The Wrestling Movie,[13] as well as appearing in the opening scenes of Pasolini's 1972 film The Canterbury Tales as a wrestler.[14]

A photo of Street in full regalia posing at the mine his father worked at features as the front cover of Black Box Recorder's debut album England Made Me.[15]

Street is the subject of a documentary by visual artist Jeremy Deller, entitled The Life and Times of Adrian Street.

Personal life[edit]

In 2005, Street proposed to long-time manager Miss Linda at a reunion of the Cauliflower Alley Club.[3] Don Leo Jonathan was his best man at the wedding.[3]

Street has survived a bout with cancer.[3]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Adrian Street Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  2. ^ a b Street, Adrian (11 September 2005). "Adrian Street pays tribute to The Gladiators". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Oliver, Greg (16 April 2005). "Adrian Street proposes to Miss Linda". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Plunkett, Ray. "Interview with Adrian Street". British Wrestling Archive. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Garfield, Simon (1997). The Wrestling. London: Faber and Faber. pp. 71–74. ISBN 0-571-19066-9. 
  6. ^ a b Hunt, Leon (1998). British Low Culture: From Safari Suits to Sexploitation (1. publ. ed.). London: Routledge. pp. 90–91. ISBN 0-415-15182-1. 
  7. ^ Hart, Bret (2009). Hitman : My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. London: Ebury. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-09-193285-5. 
  8. ^ a b c Oliver, Greg; Johnson, Steven (2007). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 214. ISBN 1-55022-759-9. 
  9. ^ "Skull Krushers". Adrian & Linda Street. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Bizare Bazzar". Adrian & Linda Street. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Street, Adrian (15 April 2010). "Pedigree of Champions". Adrian & Linda Street. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Full cast and crew for Guerre du feu, La". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  13. ^ "Grunt! The Wrestling Movie". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  14. ^ "Full cast and crew for Racconti di Canterbury, I". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  15. ^ Haines, Luke (2011). Post Everything: Outsider Rock and Roll. London: William Heinemann. p. 15. ISBN 0-434-02009-5. 
  16. ^ "World Middleweight Title (Europe)". Wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  17. ^ "Florida Heavyweight Title". wrestling-titles.com. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  18. ^ "N.W.A. Americas Heavyweight Title". wrestling-titles.com. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  19. ^ "N.W.A. Americas Tag Team Title". wrestling-titles.com. Archived from the original on 8 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  20. ^ "Pro-Wrestling Illustrated 500 – 1992". wwe-zone.com. Archived from the original on 12 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  21. ^ "Southwest Championship Wrestling Southwest Junior Heavyweight Title". wrestling-titles.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 

External links[edit]