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Ray Stevens (Wrestler)
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Wrestler
    (September 5, 1935-May 3, 1995)
    Birth name is Carl Raymond Stevens
    Wrestled for the AWA, WWE and several California territories
    Known as 'The Crippler'
    He had a feud with Pepper Gomez that broke the attendance record at the Cow Palace. A promoter had hoped to book a rematch at Candlestick Park, but before the match could even be booked, Stevens broke his ankle in a go-cart race and the match never happened.
    To those involved in the wrestling business, he was as well known for his drinking and carousing as he was for his wrestling.
    He remained drinking and smoking even after suffering a heart attack and undergoing quadruple-bypass surgery.
    The cause of his death is believed to be of a heart attack possibly caused by a bad reaction to booze and pills. The night he died he'd been out drinking heavily and took pills before going to bed.
    He once said, 'God takes care of those who don't take care of themselves: little children, small animals and Ray Stevens.'
    Many claim him to be the best worker of the 60's and as the best all-around wrestler in the business at the time.
    His wrestling career lasted 45 years and was consistently a huge money draw.
    He was in the main event by the age of 17 working a feud with Gorgeous George, the biggest name in the business at the time.
    He's probably California's all-time most famous wrestler and even Hulk Hogan couldn't match Stevens drawing power in that area.
    His promos in the ring, where he would trash the city he was in and the people in it, would result in sold-out arenas.
    He was great as both a singles and tag team competitor.
    He and Nick Bockwinkel were named Tag Team of the Year in PWI in 1973 and he won the award again with Jimmy Snuka in 1980.
    He's in the Wrestling-Observer Hall of Fame.

Credit: Reo Rogerz


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