Wrestling legend Red Bastien passes away
According to WrestlingObserver.com's Dave Meltzer, wrestling legend Rolland "Red" Bastien, who was one of the best in-ring performers of the 50s, 60s and 70s, passed away Saturday at the age of 81.
Meltzer, who knew Bastien for 30 years, describes him as a wrestler before his time, who popularized his variation of the head scissors. He was one of the first wrestlers to subscribe to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and is said to have embraced the younger generation of wrestlers, rather than not watch the current product and claim athletes of his time were better workers.
Via Dave Meltzer:
Bastien had been battling Alzheimer's for many years. Known as The Flying Redhead, he was the master of aerial moves, most notably his version of a flying head scissors which has never been duplicated.
Bastien was a top of the card performer all over the world, best known for tag teams with the likes of Billy "Red" Lyons, "brother" Lou Bastien (Lou Klein) and The Crusher.
He later was one of the officers in the Cauliflower Alley Club until the affects of the Alzheimer's really took their toll. Until that time, Bastien kept abreast of the pro wrestling scene closely, was a huge proponent of Mexican wrestling, even starting his own promotion in the late 80s in California.
He was known for being very open minded compared to most in his generation when it came to changes in the business, new talent, new moves, etc., likely because he himself was on the smaller side and made his name doing acrobatic moves. In Hall of Fame balloting, Bastien has always done well among his contemporaries, far better than wrestlers with bigger reputations and names and he was almost universally regarded as one of the best inside the ring of his era.
The Sports Courier sends its condolences to Bastien's loved ones during this tough time. R.I.P.
Fast Facts about Red Bastien:
- Former two-time AWA World Tag Team Champion (w/ Lou Bastien)
- Discovered Sting and The Ultimate Warrior
- Former NWA Florida and Southern Heavyweight Champion
- Cauliflower Alley Club President (2001-2007)
Wrestling personalities pay their respects via Twitter: