Remembering OutLaw Ron Bass 1948-2017
by Frank Kermit
I have a soft spot in my heart for professional wrestlers, as I have been a long time wrestling fan.
I remember Outlaw Ron Bass from the years I watched wrestling as a kid. He was a menacing Texas cowboy that wasn't above using his spurs and real bull whip on his opponents. He did not care if he won the match or not, as long as he got to inflict pain.
One of the first times I saw blood spill in a wrestling show was when Outlaw Ron Bass attacked another wrestler (named Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake) and used his spurs to cut open the other wrestlers forehead, spilling blood. Most television censors the visuals by turning it black and white or having a censor image covering the scene. Below, I managed to find a youtube video of the scene that is uncensored. I remember the impact it had on me watching that as a kid and quickly hating Outlaw Ron Bass.
Sometime later, the wrestling storyline would have these same two wrestlers travel from city to city and fight (in front of live crowds and packed arena) in revenge matches. None of those matches were ever televised, and people did not get to see what wrestling shows advertised in other cities except for their own (this was way before the Internet existed).
It was through happenstance that I would hear a story about Ron Bass. At these non-televised shows, he would once again wrestle "The Barber", and the barber would get his revenge by knocking out Ron Bass (with a move called "The Sleeper"), and true to his gimmick, The Barber Brutus Beefcake would cut some of Ron Bass's hair. Not all of it, but just enough to send the crowd home happy that the "good guy" got some retribution.
Well, the story goes that Ron Bass would have to stop off occasionally at an airport barber shop or salon on a regular basis during that feud, as Beefcake would leave Bass's hair lopsided at times. That is when Ron Bass ran into the friend of the sister of a buddy of mine (also a wrestling fan). She was the one who cut his cut and styled it for the next wrestling non-televised arena show. She mentions how he was such a nice man, and very polite to her, and was basically, not the mean, nasty, gruff man that appeared on the television set.
Some time after that, Ron Bass would have one of his final matches with Brutus Beefcake where Beefcake, now on Saturday Night's Main Event television program would shave off Ron Bass's entire head, while Bass was supposed knocked out cold (he was faking it, but SHHHH!!!! no one was suppose to know back then). I have included that youtube video below as well.
Outlaw Ron Bass played a great bad guy during his time in WWF (now WWE), and was willing to let the guy good win the war, and only take victory in initial battles.
Many years later, when video rental stores (remember those?) started to carry videos of wrestling shows and promotions I had never heard of (remember, it was waaaaay before the Internet existed), I got my hands are some of them, and was surprised to learn that in different times during his career, he wasn't always the "bad guy" Outlaw. I watched him wrestle as a "good guy" and he wasn't called Outlaw, he was then known as "Cowboy" Rob Bass,
I think be played a better heal (bad guy) than he did a baby-face (good guy). Then again maybe I just did not get to see enough of his performance as a good guy Cowboy.
Regardless, I mourned his death last week, as I always mourn when a professional wrestler dies.
Thank You Outlaw Ron Bass, and Good Bye.