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by Georgiann Makropoulos

Updated: 9/22/2002 11:35:02 AM 




World X-Treme Wrestling was shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Ted Petty, better known as Rocco Rock from Public Enemy. Before joining ECW, WWF, or WCW, he started his career as the Cheetah Kid, competing in many regional independent promotions, including the Trans World Wrestling Federation, one of the predecessors to WXW.

Ted's last WXW appearance was at the 2001 Awards Banquet where he was recognized for his longtime friendship with Afa the Wild Samoan, and achievements in the ring. Afa explained that Ted was one of his former students and trainers, then the two shared a few brief but fond memories. Afa joked about something that happened during a trip to Pittsburgh, while Petty said that Afa almost got him killed three times, including being held hostage in Beirut for three days while on tour overseas. The two laughed about the memories and shared an emotional hug. It was very clear to all of us at WXW that Afa (Pops) thought of Teddy as a son, as Teddy so lovingly referred to Afa as Pops.

When Pops was notified late last night of the passing of Teddy, he was in total shock. Pops said "here is a guy that never drank, smoked, or did drugs, and was taken away at the best time of his life. I will miss Teddy very much. We shared a 20 plus year friendship and I'm very sad to not have Teddy as part of my life any longer.

One thing for sure, I know Teddy is in a much better place and I guess our dear Lord needed a new star for the Federation that he is building in heaven. My heart goes out to Teddy's family.

WXW would like to send their sincerest of condolences to the Petty family.

I hope no one minds that I feel the need to add this brief recap of memories that I will honor for the rest of my life.

When I first received the news last night that we lost yet another great superstar, I was heartbroken. Teddy was like a son to me, I trained him and he worked as one of my trainers some years ago. He was one of the most respectful men that I have ever met, if you were lucky enough to become friends with him, you were considered a friend FOR LIFE.

Teddy was loyal, hard working, honest, reliable, trustworthy, and a downright great person.

There are so many stories that I could share, but I know that I must limit my space. So just a few memories I thought I would mention.
There was a time when I got a call from Teddy to replace my good friend Kamala on a tour in Germany. On the first day of the tour, during Teddy's match, he dove off the top rope and landed on his opponent who was outside the ring. As Teddy hit the floor, on top of the opponent, his ankle hit the steel rail, and he screamed out in pain. As everyone ran to ringside to bring Teddy back to the dressing room, he was obviously unable to walk on his leg. I grabbed him by the arm and laid him on the ground, and had another wrestler sit and hold his body. Before Teddy knew what was happening, I had his boot off and I was giving him a Samoan Rubdown. Teddy was screaming in agony as tears were coming down his face. Although I knew I was hurting him, I did not stop because his ankle was so swollen. He had a fracture, and I could feel it as I was massaging it. When I finally finished torturing him, I taped up his ankle, had him ice it, and got him back to his room. The next morning, he came into my room, walking with pressure on both legs, thanking me for fixing his ankle.

Another story that I know Teddy loved to tell was of a trip that I took to Beirut, Lebanon back in the early 90's. My WXW group was held hostage for three days by machine gun at the airport. Teddy often said that on this trip, I almost got him killed, but the truth of the matter was, that he trusted me so much that although former President Bush Senior warned us not to go on this tour, Teddy was one of the first to volunteer his services.

Teddy was also with me when we made a trip to my Island Samoa . We didn't have a wrestling ring in Samoa so Teddy, Ray Licamelli (Doink) and I built a ring for us to use for our tour. As you can see Teddy was indeed close and was like a son to me.

A few years back, I got a call from Teddy telling me that he was ready to retire his ring truck business, and wanted to turn it over to me because he knew that I would treasure his truck, ring, and steel cage. I was so honored to know that he could have given it to anyone, but he chose me. Although I had the truck painted black, and put my WXW logo on it, I still referred to it as Teddy's Truck. Having the truck makes me feel like I still have a part of Teddy that I will cherish because he was such a great person.

Thank you for allowing me to share these few memories with you, as I'm sure there will be many posts, because Teddy had many friends.

God Bless, and stay healthy - Afa the Wild Samoan