Johnny Barend

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Johnny Barend
Johnny Barend.jpg
Birth nameJohn R. Barend
Born(1929-03-27)March 27, 1929[1]
Rochester, New York, U.S.[1]
DiedSeptember 20, 2011(2011-09-20) (aged 82)[1]
Avon, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s)
Annie Lum
(m. 1967; his death 2011)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Handsome Johnny
Johnny Barend[1]
Billed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Billed weight230 lb (100 kg)[1]
Trained byEd Don George[1]
DebutNovember 1, 1949[1]
Retired1972

John R. Barend (March 27, 1929 – September 20, 2011),[1] better known as "Handsome" Johnny Barend, was an American professional wrestler.

Early career[edit]

Born in 1929 in Rochester, New York, Barend started wrestling as an amateur at the age of eight.[2] After graduating from Jefferson High School in Rochester in 1944, he served in the United States Navy during World War II and wrestled while in the service.[3]

Career[edit]

He was trained to wrestle professionally by Ed Don George and made his professional debut on November 1, 1949, defeating Faro Rinaldi.[3]

In 1956, he started teaming with Gene Dubuque, who was wrestling under the name, Magnificent Maurice.[4] Barend usually played the part of the "heel" or bad guy. He would enter the ring wearing his customary hat and sunglasses an unlit cigar gracing his lips and would goad fans with his soliloquies. Barend's original manager was Ernie Roth, then using the name Mr. Kleen.[5] Roth would gain fame in the WWWF as the Grand Wizard of Wrestling during the 1970s.[6] Barend and Maurice went on to win many tag-team championships.[3][2] Barend first appeared in Hawaii with 50th State Big Time Wrestling in September 1955.[7]

In 1962–1963, Barend was a regular tag team partner with NWA/WWWF world champion Buddy Rogers. The duo won the Capital Wrestling Corporation's United States Tag Team Championship on July 5, 1962, holding it for 245 days.[8] Barend won a variety of titles in his career spent mostly on the east coast in and around New York or in Hawaii where he enjoyed his greatest success. Barend would hold the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Championship a number of times with a variety of partners as well as the San Francisco version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship.

During his time in Hawaii he came up with the phrase, "Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat" which was later "borrowed" by Jesse Ventura. Barend would hold the NWA United States Tag Team Championship with former foe Buddy Rogers in mid-1962. Barend won a variety of titles in his career spent mostly on the east coast in and around New York or in Hawaii where he enjoyed his greatest success. Barend would hold the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Championship a number of times with a variety of partners as well as the San Francisco version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship. Barend would even hold the NWA United States Tag Team Championship with former foe Buddy Rogers from mid-1962 until Spring 1963. After Rogers lost the WWWF title to Bruno Sammartino, in summer 1963 Rogers and Barend defeated Sammartino and Bobo Brazil in Madison Square Garden, 2 falls to 1. He wrestled Dory Funk, Jr. in 1969 for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. He retired from wrestling in 1972.

Marriage[edit]

Barend married Annie Lum in 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

Barend died on September 20, 2011 in Avon, New York. He reportedly died peacefully in his sleep from natural causes after refusing a visit to the hospital as suggested by his doctor.[citation needed]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Johnny Barend Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
  2. ^ a b Schadler, Kyle (2012-02-28). "Abandoned: The History of the WWWF USA Heavyweight Championship". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  3. ^ a b c Oliver, Greg (2008-08-04). "A visit with 'Handsome' Johnny Barend". Slam! Sports Wrestling. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  4. ^ Schire. George. Minnesota's Golden Age of Wrestling: From Verne Gagne to the Road Warriors. Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2010. 18. Google books. Accessed 2019-08-02.
  5. ^ Hornbaker, Tim. Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams and Piledrivers. New York: Sports Publishing, 2017. Google books. 2019-08-02.
  6. ^ wwe.com. "The Grand Wizard". wwe.com. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  7. ^ 50thstatebigtimewrestling.com. "Wrestlers". 50thstatebigtimewrestling.com. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  8. ^ Schadler, Kyle (2012-02-05). "Abandoned: The History of WWE's World Tag Team Championship, Part 1". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2019-08-02.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hornbaker, Tim. Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams, and Piledrivers. New York: Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2012. ISBN 978-1-61321-075-8

External links[edit]