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Hans Schmidt (1925 - 2012)

Real NameGuy Larose
Lifespan2/7/1925 -  5/26/2012
6'4" 240 lbs. - Joliette, QUE

Athletic Background - Wrestling

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional Background - n/a

AliasesGuy Ross, Guy Rose, Roy Asselin

Peak Years`52-`63

Place in HistoryThe German heel is one of the most famous and enduring characters in pro-wrestling history.  A cold-blooded menace whose viciousness was matched only by their allegiance to the Motherland.  While Karl Von Poppenheim actually began a similar act in the Pacific Northwest a year before Guy Larose adopted the Hans Schmidt character, it was Schmidt’s national exposure that unquestionable led to a multitude of German super-heels from Fritz Von Erich and the Von Brauners to Karl Von Hess and the Von Steigers.  Guy Larose was a large man who was well-conditioned and worked very solid in the ring.  Premature balding led him to shave his head and on the encouragement of promoter Paul Bowser (who was of authentic German descent), Hans Schmidt was born.  Although his whole act was fairly toned down compared to most others, Schmidt’s originality so shortly after the conclusion of World War II that he was unarguably a top heel in pro-wrestling for a number of years in the 1950s.  When the Dumont Network took off and created a generation of superstar pro-wrestlers, the “Teuton Terror” built his name by feuding with US Champion and All-American hero Verne Gagne.  During that time period, Schmidt was very likely one of the highest paid athletes in North America.  Following the Dumont period, Schmidt toured widely, regularly challenging for the NWA World title and was a significant drawing card for many years and name talent into the 1970s.  Schmidt’s rivalries with Whipper Watson, Pat O’Connor, Wilbur Snyder and Edouard Carpentier were classic pro-wrestling, while his heel vs. heel battles with Killer Kowalski, Dick the Bruiser and Buddy Rogers always saw his heel supremacy shine through.  Among his peers, Hans Schmidt had a unique reputation.  He was notorious for being a tireless and stiff opponent, but a class act outside the ring who got along with most everyone from the boys to the promoters.  By the mid-70s, pro-wrestling had changed greatly from the sport he came up in.  Schmidt spent his final years in business working around Montreal, where he lived, often as a babyface.  He became something of a mythical character after that, disappearing into the mountains where he spent his final years of life broken down physically and angry at what pro-wrestling had become.  Hans Schmidt is one of the most legendary characters in pro-wrestling history.  Although he was not the most over-the-top, best working or most charismatic German heel, he was the first to become a top act and he rode that success for the rest of his impressive career.