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Rip Oliver (1952-2020)

  

Real Name - Lawrence “Larry” Richard Oliver

Lifespan - 10/6/1952 - 3/5/2020

6’ 210 lbs. - Homosassa, FL


Athletic Background - Wrestling [High School]

Teacher(s) - Soldat Gorky

Professional Background - Florida(`76-`80), Tri-State(`76-`77), IWE(`77), Central States(`78-`79), St. Louis(`78-`79), Memphis(`79), Georgia(`79-`80), Dallas(`80), Vancouver(`80-`81), Portland(`80-`91), New Japan(`80), Georgia(`82), Stampede(`84), WCCW(`84-`85), Florida(`84-`85), New Japan(`85,`86), AWA(`87), WWF(`87-`88)

AliasesRick Oliver, The Samurai, Super Ninja, Gestapo

Groups - Buddy Rose’s Army, The Clan, Pringle Dynasty

Peak Years - `81-`86


Finisher(s) - 

- Shoulderbreaker

- Taped Thumb


Favorites

- Outside-In Suplex

- Bodyslam

- Lariat

- Kitchen Sink

- Turnbuckle Smash



Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set7
 Science3
 Aerial1
 Power6
 Strikes6


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment7
 Selling7
 Bumping8
 Carrying7
 Heat7
 Legacy3


Place in History - It is not an unusual story.  Many pro-wrestlers spent their formative years as a nobody, often in their home territory, before eventually seeing everything fall into place in one particular territory, where they build an impressive legacy, yet they can never replicate that success elsewhere.  Rip “The Crippler” Oliver spent ten years as one of the top stars in the Portland territory and is amongst the most memorable in the history of the promotion.  In the years prior to his arrival, he worked primarily around the Southeast as journeyman Rick Oliver, not achieving much of note.  Many promising young wrestlers found their way to the Pacific Northwest and reinvented themselves.  Don Owens turned “Rick” into “Rip” and the blond heel became an enforcer in Buddy Rose’s Army.  In time, however, Rip Oliver took over the organization when Rose went out with an “injury.”  The Clan wreaked havoc with Rip “The Crippler” with his “Carry-Out Service” stretcher leading the way.  In 1982, a new face on the scene, Billy Jack (Haynes), showed up and immediately was placed opposite Rip Oliver.  Their intense in-ring rivalry paralleled their close friendship outside of the ring.  Oliver took Haynes under his wing and whenever the young stud caught a break elsewhere, like in Florida, World Class or even the WWF, he always brought his mentor along to be opposition.  Their feud is perhaps the best that Portland ever saw, but the magic never really translated elsewhere.  Fortunately for Rip Oliver, he always had the Pacific Northwest to return to up until his retirement.  Rip Oliver eventually traded in his Gladstone Rub-a-Dub shirt for a flannel and Peterbilt hat as he enjoyed a run as a babyface trucker and tag team partner of his son Larry.  Rip Oliver’s unique career wound down as the unique territory he made his name in came to an end.

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