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Apache Bull Ramos (1937-2006)

  

Real NameManuel Ramos

Lifespan - 8/3/1937 - 5/29/2006

6’ 300 lbs. - Houston, TX


Athletic BackgroundBoxing

Teacher(s)David Weinstein, Danny McShain, Cyclone Ayala

Professional BackgroundHouston(`64-`67), Dallas(`66), WWWF(`67-`70), Mid-Atlantic(`67), Georgia(`67), Los Angeles(`69), JWA(`69), Amarillo(`70-`74), Los Angeles(`71), Portland(`71-`73), Hawaii(`71), Vancouver(`72-`73), All Japan(`73), New Mexico(`74), Tri-State(`74), Portland(`75-`76), Dallas(`77-`80), Amarillo(`77), Los Angeles(`77), All Japan(`77-`78), Portland(`78-`79), Los Angeles(`79), Mid-South(`79-`81)

AliasesManuel Ramos, Duke Ramos

Peak Years - `68-`74

Place in HistoryPro-wrestling has always featured Indians, whether they were authentic or not, and they were always popular babyfaces, which is one of many interesting cultural curiosities within the world of pro-wrestling.  There is one, however, that stands out from all of the others.  Manual Ramos knew his strengths and yet promoters always wanted to make him a babyface in the Indian role, one tried to make him an Italian and another tried to make him a lumberjack, but he was destined to be Apache Bull Ramos.  A tough amateur boxer, Ramos caught the eye of promoter Morris Sigel and before long was working for the Houston office.  Amazingly, after only a few years into the business, Bull Ramos was heading to the Northeast to battle Bruno Sammartino and then to Los Angeles to face Mil Mascaras.  His quick success was two-fold - his innovative character and his excellent work in the ring.  Although the fans loved to get behind an stereotypical “Indian Chief on the warpath,” a big, fat Indian that was mean and nasty in the ring was deeply despised.  It was a card that few wanted to play, but Bull Ramos did and he made money with it.  The second element to his success was his in-ring style.  Ramos was a big man who was light on his feet and moved fast around the ring and took big bumps, he also was a ring general who could guide anyone through a great match no matter the style or nationality.  One could argue that this was detrimental to Bull Ramos as he was frequently used to establish a top babyface.  There was success in Amarillo and Dallas as well as Australia and Japan, but Bull Ramos is most often associated with wrestling in the Pacific Northwest.  There he feuded with Lonnie Mayne, Jimmy Snuka and Dutch Savage in all sorts of violent and bloody matches, including his speciality - the Indian strap match.  In addition to helping top babyfaces get over, Bull Ramos could be depended on to help young talent.  He helped develop talent like the Iron Sheik and Jesse Ventura who went on to bigger things and talent like Al Madril and Steven Little Bear who enjoyed success on a lower level.  By the late 1970s, Bull Ramos was physical beaten up and had slowed down dramatically, but he continued to on working underneath and managing.  After wrapping up his career, he went to work for an old rival, Nick Kozak, who owned a wrecker service before going into business himself.  A severe infection in his shoulder led to his death in 2006.  To those that faced off with him, Apache Bull Ramos was one of the very best heels of all-time whose convincing and captivating style and character generated some genuine heat anywhere he went.  He came about in a time when Native Americans were revered as peaceful and simple by many and yet events like members of AIM taking over Wounded Knee or the shootout at Pine Ridge were flying in the face of that reality.  Bull Ramos was the living embodiment of the underlying distrust and racial superiority that many felt toward these groups.  His ability to exploit that is something that few were able to and even less had the nerve to try.


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