Rocco Rock in March 2002
|Birth name||Theodore James Petty|
|Born||September 1, 1953|
Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, United States
|Died||September 21, 2002 (aged 49)|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||The Cheetah Kid|
The Leopard Mask
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||250 lb (110 kg)|
|Billed from||Compton, California|
|Trained by||Afa Anoa'i|
Professional wrestling career
Following a brief boxing career, Petty started wrestling in 1978 as The Cheetah Kid.
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.
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. In ECW, the team feuded with Terry Funk and The Gangstas and won the ECW Tag Team Championship four times. The teams's success in 1995 earned him his highest placement in the annual PWI 500, in which he was ranked #90.
In 1996, The Public Enemy signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where they won the tag team title and feuded with The Nasty Boys. They continued to use some of the hardcore tactics that had made them famous in ECW, including the frequent use of tables in matches. 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. Petty then competed as a singles wrestler on the independent circuit.
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.
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.
Championships and accomplishments
- Cauliflower Alley Club
- Other honoree (1995)
- Eastern Championship Wrestling / Extreme Championship Wrestling
- Hardcore Hall of Fame
- Class of 2002
- i-Generation Superstars of Wrestling
- i-Generation Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Johnny Grunge
- Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South
- Main Event Championship Wrestling
- MECW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Johnny Grunge
- National Wrestling Alliance
- NWA New Jersey
- New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2010
- New-Wave Championship Wrestling
- NWCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Johnny Grunge
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #457 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003
- Superstars of Wrestling
- SOW Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Johnny Grunge
- Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling
- TCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Johnny Grunge
- Tri-State Wrestling Alliance
- TWA Brass Knuckles Championship (1 time)
- Universal Wrestling Alliance
- Universal Wrestling Association
- UWA Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- World Championship Wrestling
- Other Accomplishments
- IPW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Johnny Grunge
- MCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Johnny Grunge
- WCCA Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- WWWC Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- "Rocco Rock". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
- "Power Slam". What's going down... SW Publishing. October 2002. p. 6. 55.
- Loverro, Thom (2006). The Rise and Fall of ECW. Pocket Books. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-4165-1058-1.
- "Starrcade 1990". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
- "History of the ECW Tag Team Championship". WWE. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 – 1995". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
- "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.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.