Rolland "Red" Bastien, one of the best in-ring performers of the 50s, 60s and 70s, passed away today at the age of 81.
Bastien had been battling Alzheimer's for many years. Known as The Flying Redhead, he was the master of aerial moves, most notably his version of a flying head scissors which has never been duplicated.
Bastien was a top of the card performer all over the world, best known for tag teams with the likes of Billy "Red" Lyons, "brother" Lou Bastien (Lou Klein) and The Crusher.
He later was one of the officers in the Cauliflower Alley Club until the affects of the Alzheimer's really took their toll. Until that time, Bastien kept abreast of the pro wrestling scene closely, was a huge proponent of Mexican wrestling, even starting his own promotion in the late 80s in California. He was known for being very open minded compared to most in his generation when it came to changes in the business, new talent, new moves, etc., likely because he himself was on the smaller side and made his name doing acrobatic moves. In Hall of Fame balloting, Bastien has always done well among his contemporaries, far better than wrestlers with bigger reputations and names and he was almost universally regarded as one of the best inside the ring of his era.
I want to send my thoughts and prayers to Carol and the rest of his family.