This is the 101st installment of the ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ series. A group of stories that delves into the darker, underbelly of pro wrestling. Many of the stories involve such subjects as sex, drugs, greed and in some cases even murder! As with every single story in the Sin series, I do not condone or condemn the alleged participants. We simply retell their stories by researching interviews, newspapers, magazines and various other sources of media.
The Loan Ranger
Robert Lee Ross was a former United States Army Ranger turned pro wrestler from the mid-1980’s to early 1990’s. He is best known for his time wrestling for the NWA/WCW known as ‘Ranger Ross.’ After his wrestling career ended, Ross found himself in need of money and on the wrong side of the law.
It was around 1996 when Ross allegedly robbed a bank in Acworth, Georgia. It is also rumored that Ross attempted to burn down the local police precinct to try and destroy evidence against him. Ross was indeed charged and found guilty of armed robbery and spent over 6 years in prison for the crime. Ross has since been released and now does work for a local ministry.
The husband and wife duo of Cody and Brandi Rhodes are currently competing for TNA wrestling. Before that, both were employed by the WWE, Cody as an active wrestler and Brandi was a ring announcer known as ‘Eden Stiles.’ In August of 2014, a huge incident took place with countless celebrities phone pictures were hacked.
One of the victims was indeed Brandi Rhodes who took several nude selfies of herself in the mirror. Since this is a somewhat PG-13 site, I have edited all the nudity..but they are still floating around out there.
John Boy Ruffin was a pro wrestler out of the Ohio area that competed from 1976 to 1982. He wrestled the original Sheik several times in the Detroit territory and also wrestled for the WWA (The World Wrestling Association) based in Indianapolis, Indiana.
On June 19th, 1982 Ruffin was at a bar after hours in the Cincinnati area. He got involved in an altercation with a man named Terry Sweet outside of the bar. Sweet’s friend, a man named Sam McCurry grabbed a rifle out of his vehicle and shot the wrestler in the chest from about 20 yards away. John Ruffin would die just 4 hours later.
Both Terry Sweet and Sam McCurry were arrested with McCurry charged with murder and Sweet charged with obstruction of justice. McCurry would plead guilty to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter and received a judgement of 6 to 25 years in prison. McCurry would be paroled from prison 5 years later. John Ruffin was just 25 years old and left behind a daughter.
Pat Tanaka wrestled all over the world including places like the AWA, WCW, the WWF and Japan. He is a former co-holder of the AWA world tag team titles with Paul Diamond. There have been some within the industry that have accused Pat Tanaka of allegedly conning would be hopeful wrestlers out of money. The accusers have claimed that Tanaka (who worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling) would ask people for a fee with the promise that they would get work for Japan’s biggest wrestling promotion…only to take the money and never be seen again.
It could very well be several cases of “sour grapes” from these alleged victims who perhaps just didn’t make the cut for NJPW or it could be a case that Tanaka is/was a skilled con man. What we do know is Pat Tanaka was labeled a “Deadbeat Dad” by the official website of the state of Massachusetts in 1999. The website listed him as being behind in several child support payments and a warrant was issued for his arrest. No word how that all turned out.
Don’t Be A Dick
Chad Wicks and Tank Tolland formed a short-lived tag team in the WWE known as ‘The Dicks,’ Chad and James Dick respectively. It was reported that the two were being hazed unmercifully by some of the veterans in the locker room including JBL and Chris Benoit because of the young team’s brash behavior behind the scenes.
One-half of the team, Chad Wicks became fed up with the hazing and repeatedly complained to WWE management. That only inflamed the situation and the hazing got worse and worse. That didn’t prevent Wicks from contnuing to go to management with his grievances.
Realizing that his tag team partner was making things worse for the both of them, Tank Tolland confronted his partner. The two began yelling at each other and the yelling soon turned physical when Tolland threw a punch at Wicks leading to a brawl. WWE management made the decision to release both Wicks and Tolland instead of trying to mediate their situation.
You can read all previous ‘Wrestling with Sin’ pieces here.