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Ray Stevens (1935-1996)

        

Real Name - Carl Raymond Stevens
Lifespan - 9/5/35 - 5/3/96
5'8" 235 lbs. - San Francisco, CA

Athletic Background - Wrestling (High School)

Teacher(s) - Theresa Theis; Buddy Rogers

Professional Background - Midwest(`50-`60), Carolinas, San Francisco[AWA](`60-`68), Hawaii(`68), San Francisco[NWA](`68-`71), AWA(`71-`79), Florida(`72), Amarillo(`75), Florida(`79), Mid-Atlantic(`79-`81), WWF(`79-`82), Florida(`82), AWA(`82-`92)

AliasesRay Shire

Groups - Heenan Family

Peak Years - `58-`72


Finisher(s) - 
Bombs Away (Flying Kneedrop)

Favorites - 
Piledriver 
Boston Crab
Bodyslam 
Chokehold 
Kicking & Stomping


Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set
 Science
 Aerial
 Power
 Strikes



Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment
 Selling
 Bumping 10 
 Carrying
 Heat 10 
 Legacy



  
Place in History - Ray Stevens is known as one of the greatest preformers who ever stepped in a ring. He was able to draw the crowds and entertain them every time out. Stevens started as a teenager and showed a natural aptitude for bumptaking. His teaming with Roy Shire, who Stevens played the brother of in their formative years, ended up starting a promotion in San Francisco and brought Ray in and pushed him hard. Dropping his "Bombs Away" kneedrop off a ladder onto Pepper Gomez's throat to ignited a feud that lit up the area and brought in an amazing 17,000 at the Cow Palace for the grudge match, which still stands as the city's wrestling attendence record. His win over WWWF Champion Bruno Sammartino by countout made him an even bigger star as area fans saw him as the best in the world. He formed the best tag team of the 60s, "the Blonde Bombers" with Pat Patterson, which became a major trendsetter. Then he left San Francisco for the AWA and formed yet another great team, perhaps the best of the 70s with Nick Bockwinkel. He continued to be an exceptional worker up into the 1980s (his feud with Jimmy Snuka was a big deal in `79), finally retiring with 42 years of pro-wrestling behind him. He continued to live hard until the day he died, but was the people and places who were greatly influenced by him were mostly gone. Ray Stevens was amongst the best workers in the world for the better part of thirty years and had the potential to be an NWA Champion, but his fast lifestyle was likely the thing that kept him from gaining that accolade.
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