By Stephen Baldwin, ReaWV
Last week, we shared the incredible story of the Courtesy Patrol driver who encountered a bridge jumper on the New River Gorge Bridge. Richie Acevedo called 911, and five deputies who responded immediately were able to save the jumper’s life.
“I’m really grateful this guy’s life was saved by the deputies and that I was able to get the call in,” he reflects. “Not bad for a semipro wrestler.”
The Cuban Assassin
That’s right. Richie doesn’t just work to keep the roads safe on the night shift; he also works in wrestling rings across the region as a semiprofessional wrestler called “The Cuban Assassin.”
“I’m a bad guy in the ring,” he confesses, “so it’s nice to be the good guy in real life for once.”
In his father’s footsteps
Richie’s dad wrestled for decades in Canada as “The Cuban Assassin,” a gimmick he developed because he looked like Fidel Castro when he began wrestling around the time of President Kennedy’s assassination.
“I traveled around with my dad as a kid,” Richie remembers. “It was kinda frightening then.”
His father was an effective bad guy in the ring, and he played that role in his real life as well. “If he was hurt in the ring, he was hurt at home,” Richie says. “My dad played the role kayfabe,” a wrestling term meaning he presented his gimmick in the course of everyday life as it was real when interacting with the general public. “He was actually a US military veteran, but he played the role of Cuban military.”
People loved to root against his father in the days of the Cold War, and Richie has continued taking on that mantle.
When asked if his heroics outside the ring will affect his performance inside the ring, Richie says, “I don’t think so. They tried to make me a babyface (good guy) once before, but it didn’t work. I’m the bad guy that makes people cheer for the good guys.”
Whether you want to boo or cheer The Cuban Assassin, you can see him as part of American Pro Wrestling shows this summer. The next show is in Hinton at the old junior high gym on July 29 at 7:30pm.