Earl Patrick Freeman
Ryan as Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion in 1978.
|Ring name(s)||Paddy Ryan
The Zebra Kid
|Billed height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Billed weight||305 lb (138 kg)|
August 23, 1932|
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
|Died||December 28, 1989
Port Moody, British Columbia
Earl Patrick Freeman (August 23, 1932 – December 28, 1989) was a Canadian professional wrestler, best known by his ring name Paddy Ryan, who competed in North American and international promotions during the 1950s and 60s.
While competing in western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, Freeman was involved in memorable feuds with Lumberjack Luke, Ripper Collins and "Crippler" Ray Stevens as a mainstay of NWA All-Star Wrestling, Pacific Northwest Wrestling and Stampede Wrestling during the late 1970s.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Freeman began wrestling professionally during the 1950s finding success in Germany as Bud Freeman. Competing in European and Japanese promotions during the 1970s as both Bud Freeman and The Zebra Kid, Freeman returned to North America in 1970s. While wrestling for Buffalo promoter Pedro Martinez, he teamed with The Assassin against Johnny Fargo & Chief White Owl at the War Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, New York on March 22, 1972. Losing to Pampero Firpo on March 29, he would team with Luis Martinez against the Fargo Brothers (Don & Johnny Fargo) on April 29. After losing to Chief White Owl on May 24, he would leave for Canada later that year facing The Beast at the Ontario Place Forum in Toronto, Ontario on June 15, 1972.
As Paddy Ryan, Freeman would find great success in Superstar Championship Wrestling teaming with John Quinn to defeat Ray Steele & Luke Brown for the SCW Western States Tag Team Championship in Seattle, Washington on November 20, 1973. Defeating Eddie Sullivan for the SCW Western States Heavyweight Championship in 1975. In addition, he had a longstanding hot feud with Lumberjack Luke. (He later lost the title to Ripper Sawyer).
After the close of SCW in 1976, Freeman appeared in Stampede Wrestling teaming with Bret Hart in his debut match against Mr. Hito & Mr. Sakurada in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 1978, he would hold the Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship defeating Mr. Sakurada in Calgary, Alberta on September 1, 1978. He eventually lost the title to Kasavubu.
During the early 1980s, Ryan wrestled for Al Tomko's All-Star Wrestling based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Teaming with Chief Jay Strongbow and Goldie Rodgers, he also served as a mentor to younger wrestlers such as Greg Lake. After his retirement in 1982, he lived in Port Moody, British Columbia and because of difficult living and ring injuries, he remained in poor health before his death on December 28, 1989 following a massive heart attack.
Championships and accomplishments
- Diamond Belt Championship Wrestling
- DBCW Western States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Superstar Championship Wrestling
- "Steel Belt Wrestling: Buffalo - 1972". SteelBeltWrestling.com. 2006-04-30.
- Will, Gary (February 2004). "1972 Results: Hottest feud of the year -- Sheik vs Rocha". Gary Will's Toronto Wrestling History.
- Hart, Bret (2007). "A trip down memory lane (Saskatoon & Regina)". BretHart.com.
- Strother, Miguel (November 2003). "The Earl of Death". Forget Magazine.
- Baldwin, Lance; Jeff Freeman (June 2002). "SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Paddy Ryan". SLAM! Sports.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "North American Heavyweight Title (Calgary Stampede)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "S.C.W. Western States Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "S.C.W. Western States Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.