"Matt Bourne - when I get done with you - you're gonna be so down under they're gonna have to air mail in light." - "Playboy" Buddy Rose.
Above image from Punk Business Manager (whadda weird blog name but if Barry Darsow can be a Russian, a member of Demolition and the Repo Man, why not?). This is a 7" single from Portland punkers The Cleavers (not sure if they're name after Beaver & Wally's family or the actual kitchen instrument/horror movie prop). The above link delves into a lot of Portland punk history and a bit about this 7"'s b-side - "Commie Symp". Former Cleavers member Jeff Warner said their overtly-right wing attitude was exaggerated for reaction (hmm....like an angle?) and "was done 100% to irritate the humorlessly earnest knee-jerk leftists of the early punk scene... 'We were in actuality no more right wing than we were the than we were the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but it was a lot more fun to go against the grain than join the chorus."
I first heard of Buddy Rose when he was in the AWA which was first broadcast early Saturday AM on S.F.'s KTZO TV-20 under the banner "All Star Wrestling" and about a year later in Pro Wrestling Illustrated where he was in Pro Wrestling Illustrated complaining the fans in his then-current territory in Florida who " are all a bunch of geriatrics who eat cube steak!" At the time I had no idea what a geriatric or cube steak was but either way I was sold on Buddy Rose's versatile ways of insulting the fans. I thought "wow, this guy seems like a first-class jerk but he sure is funny!"
I saw Playboy Buddy Rose in Oakland when he ballooned up to over 350 lbs (though he insisted on being billed at 217! He was known for doing behind the back pushups.and sit up aerobics in...Afrikaans?!?). However this didn't deter his ability in the ring - he would often refer to his He was part of a mostly solid card at the legendary (a term I DON'T use lightly) Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium. That night, Rose with his tag partner "Pretty Boy" Doug Summers, special 3-man tag partner Alexis Smirnoff (a bog standard Russian gimmick) vs. The Midnight Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) and Curt Hennig. The Rose/Summers/Smirnoff team was managed by "Sensational" Sherri Martel on this very card. Wrestle-nerd note: they don't include the dark match or untelevised match between Brad Rhenginas and the Russian Boris Zhukov. It was in this match my friend Steve & I threw ice at Zhukov but also manage to hit Rhiengians. It was a dull match and we preferred our Russians to sing the national anthem or have crazy American defectors as their friends.
What were you expecting, the John Cena & Baptista?
True to his name, The Playboy came out to the ring with women dressed as Playboy Bunnies (and his "Lefties are Better Lovers" tee). There's a great obit on Rose over at Can't Stop the Bleeding which has the first comment by "Leaping" Lanny "The Genius" Poffo (yeah, that's right in wrestling you can have more than 1 gimmick). It also has a great video from the early 80's Portland wrestling which is one of my favorite "read about it in the 80s but never saw it 'til YouTube" territories. Finally, here's the lo-down of all various places he wrestled and held belts in, an impressive list for sure.