Rolland “Red” Bastien has certainly enjoyed a long and varied background in his highly successful association with professional wrestling. Raised in Minnesota, Red began his career as a carnival wrestler at the tender age of 16, taking on all comers in both boxing and wrestling and learning the tricks of the trade.
After he joined the Navy, he began his professional ring career, wearing a mask so he couldn’t be discovered by Naval authorities. He had learned the craft of carnival wrestling and pro wrestling well, and became a major attraction all around the country. He met the top names of the game in the 1950s and ’60s and claimed various singles and tag-team championships. His matches with Johnny Valentine for the Florida Championships are among the all-time classics.
Red served as president of the CAC (Cauliflower Alley Club) for over six years and is the brother-in-law of Jim Morgan, another legendary carnival wrestler. Red is also the uncle of the wrestling and boxing Morgan brothers, all of whom have won either national wrestling or boxing titles.
Red Bastien is considered by his peers as one of the true tough guys of the sport…and one of the nice guys, too.