Rocco Rock

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Rocco Rock
Rocco Rock - Mar 01 2002.jpg
Rocco Rock in March 2002
Birth name Theodore James Petty
Born September 1, 1953[1]
Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, United States[1]
Died September 21, 2002(2002-09-21) (aged 49)[2]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) The Cheetah Kid[1][3]
Colonel DeKlerk[1]
The Leopard Mask[3]
Rocco Rock[1]
Flyboy Rocco
The Rock
The Executioner
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[3]
Billed weight 250 lb (110 kg)[3]
Billed from Compton, California
Trained by Afa Anoa'i[1]
Debut 1978[1]

Theodore James Petty (September 1, 1953 – September 21, 2002) was an American professional wrestler better known as "Flyboy" Rocco Rock, one half of The Public Enemy.[2]

Early life[edit]

Petty graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in nutrition.[2]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Following a brief boxing career, Petty started wrestling in 1978 as The Cheetah Kid.[2]

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.[4]

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.[1][2] In ECW, the team feuded with Terry Funk and The Gangstas and won the ECW Tag Team Championship four times.[5] The teams's success in 1995 earned him his highest placement in the annual PWI 500, in which he was ranked #90.[6]

In 1996, The Public Enemy signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where they won the tag team title and feuded with The Nasty Boys.[2] They continued to use some of the hardcore tactics that had made them famous in ECW, including the frequent use of tables in matches.[1] 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.[2] Petty then competed as a singles wrestler on the independent circuit.

Death[edit]

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.[2]

Legacy[edit]

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.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Rock's Hardcore Hall of Fame banner in the former ECW Arena.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Rocco Rock". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Power Slam". What's going down... SW Publishing. October 2002. p. 6. 55. 
  3. ^ a b c d Loverro, Thom (2006). The Rise and Fall of ECW. Pocket Books. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-4165-1058-1. 
  4. ^ "Starrcade 1990". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  5. ^ "History of the ECW Tag Team Championship". WWE. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  6. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 – 1995". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  7. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  8. ^ a b c d Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 

External links[edit]