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Len Rossi

  

Real NameLeonard Rositano

Lifespan - 9/24/29

??? - Brentwood, TN


Athletic BackgroundWrestling

Teacher(s) - n/a

AliasesLen Rositano, Crusader #1

Peak Years1960s

Place in HistoryA straightlaced Italian from Upstate New York seemed like an unlikely hero in the South, especially in the 1960s.  However, Len Rossi became one of most popular stars for Roy Welch and Nick Gulas.  Rossi was a solid amateur out of Utica, New York, who went pro under Ed Don George.  Working around the country turned Len Rossi into a solid talent during pro-wrestling’s golden age.  In 1958, Rossi was looking for a place to centrally locate himself and he settled on Nashville.  Pairing up with veteran Tex Riley, Rossi was able to establish himself in feuds with the Fargos, the Greenes as well as Mephisto & Dante.  He was a great face, whether he was working tags or fighting over the Southern Junior Heavyweight title.  Rossi was loyal to Nick Gulas and often found himself at odds with the likes of Jackie Fargo, Jerry Jarrett and Tojo Yamamoto.  Despite the tension with top stars, Len Rossi was able to cement his place in Southern wrestling history by forming the “first” integrated tag team.  He and Bearcat Brown began pairing up and got over huge in Birmingham.  It was the age of desegregation and their partnership was symbolic for that time.  They battled with the Interns, the Von Brauners and the Greenes and are still remembered as one of the great babyface teams of that era.  Rossi also teamed with his son Joey who was breaking in at the time.  In 1972, Rossi’s career ended following a terrible car accident.  His body was wrecked and it was alternative medicines that helped him recuperate.  The following year, “Len Rossi Health Food and Care Center” opened in Brentwood, Tennessee.  It was a largely unknown industry, but Rossi built his business through personal connections.  The store lasted until a widening of the street it was on, forced its closure.  Len Rossi is one of the many legendary names of Southern rasslin’ and it is no wonder that the folks of Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky accepted him as one of their own.  It is also no wonder that he made his home there and lives there to this day.

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