One of the greatest wrestlers to come out of Wales, “Exotic” Adrian Street”, has died, the BBC reports.
Adrian Street died on Monday at Cwmbran’s Grange University Hospital, aged 82, have recently undergone brain surgery.
The son of a miner, he came from the Welsh valleys to blaze a trail in the wrestling world, becoming one of the first Welsh wrestlers to make a name for himself in the United States.
He grew up in Brynmawr in the 1940s, but refused to follow in his fathers footsteps and work down the pit (mining coal was Wales biggest industry for decades).
Instead, he became a professional wrestler, becoming one of the first to embody a “flambuyont” gimmick. He ran away to London as a boy to learn his craft, becoming a big star.
With his blonde wig, flamboyant costume and daring make-up, he suffered vast amounts of abuse from fans and wrestlers alike, which forced him to toughen up.
He become one of the toughest “shooters” in the ring (real fighters), taking down anybody who dare degrade him for his choice of costume or life style.
Adrian Street is most famous for his 1971 fight against infamous DJ Jimmy Saville. He beat Saville up in the ring for real, something which he is very proud of (especially given Saville’s crimes that were later discovered).
Adrian Street died of sepsis, following a a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that came at the end of a spate of illnesses.
His incredible career influenced many top stars in the business. William Regal has cited him as a huge influence in his career, and along with Orig Williams, Street helped put Wales on the map in pro-wrestling.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.