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Red Bastien


Name: - Red Bastien

Height: - 6'1” (185cm)

Born: - 27 January, 1931

From: - Bittineau, North Dakota

Trained by: - Henry Kollan, Einar Olsen, Joe Pazandak, Verne Gagne

Debut: - 1947

Retired: - c.1979

Died: - 11 August, 2012 (complications from Alzheimer's )

Finishers: - Dropkick, Abdominal stretch

Also known as: - Texas Red


Toured Australia: - 1965, 1967, 1969, 1978


Known as “Red” because of his red hair, was regarded as an 'aerial' wrestler for the time, specialising in dropkicks, flying head scissors etc. Began in Chicago, but toured all over. Formed a successful team with his 'half-brother' Lou Bastien (Klein) in New York, trading titles with the Grahams and the Kangaroos. Continued to wrestle around the US and Canada through the 60s, interspersing this with visits to Australia.

Was a very popular addition to the local scene, often teaming with Mario Milano. Won the IWA World Tag titles from Karl and Kurt von Stroheim in mid-1967, then swapping them with Skull Murphy and Killer Kowalski, before being stripped of the titles at the end of 67 because of Bastien's return to US. Milano and Bastien were the main participants in a photo book called “World Championship Wrestling Holds”, where they are shown demonstrating various holds used in wrestling. The magazine-style collection is a collectors' item.

Formed a successful team with Billy “Red” Lyons in AWA and Texas. On the AWA World Tag titles in 1971 with Hercules Cortez, defeating Mad Dog and Butcher Vachon. Cortez was killed in a car accident in 1972, and was replaced by Crusher Lisowski. Had a successful run in Texas in 1972 and 73. Appeared in Los Angeles in the mid-70s as the masked “Texas Red”. Was initially a heel, but quickly became cheered. Returned to Australia in 1978 as part of an independent promotion, and retired shortly after. Trained several wrestlers, including Sting and the Ultimate Warrior.


Titles held: - NWA Southern Hwt, Americas Hwt (2, as Texas Red), Florida Hwt, Texas Hwt (2), Texas Jr. Hwt, IWA World Tag (3, w/ Mario Milano), AWA World Tag (w/ Hercules Cortez, w/ Crusher), (Indiana) AWA World Tag (w/ Lou Bastien), (New York) NWA US Tag (3, w/ Lou Bastien), NWA Canadian Tag (w/ Jim Hady), (Japan) IWA World Tag (w/ Bill Howard), Texas Tag (2, w/ Billy Lyons, w/ Tex McKenzie), Pacific Northwest Tag (2, w/ Andre Drapp, w/ Roy Heffernan)

Red Bastien v Verne Gagne, Chicago 1950s

Credit: Mark Dalgleish, Wikipedia, Libnan Ayoub's 100 Years of Australian Professional Wrestling, Gary Will & Royal Duncan's Wrestling Title Histories
Photo credit: