|Birth name||Rolland Bastien|
January 27, 1931|
Bottineau, North Dakota
|Died||August 11, 2012
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Flying Red Bastein
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
Professional wrestling career
He took part in football and swimming in high school and broke in on Midwest carnivals, fighting local toughs and learning wrestling the hard way. Turning professional, he began in Chicago and toured the United States with great success. Bastien was small for a wrestler at 185 pounds, but he was quick, vigorous, fast and employed a wide assortment of aerial moves. His teachers were Henry Kollan, Einar Olsen, Joe Pazandak and Verne Gagne, and his peak years were from 1959 to 1971. His favorite finishing moves were the dropkick, flying head scissors, atomic drop and abdominal stretch.
Bastien teamed up with Lou Klein to form the Bastien Brothers tag team and, in 1960, won the United States Tag Team Championship from Eddie and Jerry Graham in April 1960. They won the title twice more, from the Grahams and then from the Fabulous Kangaroos (Roy Heffernan and Al Costello). Bastien went on to win several more tag team championships.
In 1964, Bastein appeared in the Worldwide Wrestling Federation, and teamed briefly with champion Bruno Sammartino. He returned for one match in Madison Square Garden in June 1970 (his last appearance there), being pinned by Professor Tanaka but, prior to that, putting on an amazing performance, dominating most of the match.
He had a hot main event run in Florida in the late 1960s, including memorable bouts with Johnny Valentine.
In his retirement, Bastien became a trainer and a promoter, and discovered future wrestlers Steve "Sting" Borden and Jim "The Ultimate Warrior" Hellwig at a Gold's Gym and convinced them to become professional wrestlers. Bastien and professional wrestling manager Rick Bassman formed an alliance of wrestlers called Powerteam USA, of which Borden and Hellwig were a part. The team debuted in November 1985, and after the other two members left the group, Borden and Hellwig continued to tag together.
Bastien was good friends with fellow wrestler Roddy Piper and was the best man at his wedding. Bastien served as president of the Cauliflower Alley Club for six years from 2001 to 2007, but was reported in 2010 to be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, his health progressively getting worse. Bastien died on August 11, 2012 at age 81.
Championships and accomplishments
- American Wrestling Alliance
- AWA World Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Lou Bastien
- NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Northeast version) (3 times) - with Lou Bastien
- President (2001-2007)
- IWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Bill Howard
- NWA Canadian Tag Team Championship (Vancouver version) (1 time) - with Jim Hady
- Professional Wrestling Championship
- Lifetime Achievement Award (2006)
- Oliver, Greg (August 11, 2012). "Red Bastien dead at 81". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
- "Red Bastien". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- Watts, Bill (2006). The Cowboy and the Cross: The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion, Wrestling and Redemption. ECW Press. p. 90. ISBN 1-55022-708-4.
- Oliver, Greg (2007). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels. ECW Press. p. 122. ISBN 1-55022-759-9.
- Piper, Roddy (2002). "The Los Angeles Years". In the Pit with Piper. Penguin. ISBN 0-425-18721-7.
- Davies, Ross (2001). Wrestling Greats: Sting. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 8. ISBN 0-8239-3490-X.
- Piper, Roddy (2002). "Preface". In the Pit with Piper. Penguin. ISBN 0-425-18721-7.
- Lateral Press Publishing, Pro Wrestling Books & Publications, April 24, 2010, http://www.lateralpress.com/red-bastien-illness-update/