Paul Perschman aka “Playboy” Buddy Rose, was found dead at his home in Vancouver, WA Tuesday. A longtime fixture on the Pacific Northwest wrestling scene, Rose was 56 years old. From the Baltimore Sun’s Kevin Eck :
During his heyday in the 1970s and ™80s, the rotund Rose was the ultimate example of not judging a book by its cover. Despite his flabby physique, Rose was actually a gifted worker. He could deliver a nice dropkick, was a proficient bump-taker and cut good promos.
Rose was the top heel for a number of years in the Portland territory, where he had legendary feuds with Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka. I first saw Rose wrestle in person in the early ™80s during his stint in the WWF. He and champion Bob Backlund had some entertaining matches together. I remember how surprised I was that Rose could keep up in the ring with Backlund, who was in incredible shape.
In 1985, Rose became the answer to a trivia question. Wearing a mask and billed as The Executioner, he wrestled in the very first WrestleMania match, losing to Tito Santana.
Rose came back to the WWF later in his career and worked as an enhancement guy. Severely overweight at that point, his gimmick was that he demanded to be announced as weighing 217 pounds. Fans from that era probably recall the campy œBlow Away Diet infomercial spoof that Rose did.