Renaissance Man Ric Drasin

Renaissance Man Ric Drasin

2020 remains a devastating year losing so many CAC(and wrestling-overall), brothers and sisters.

We lost Ric on Aug. 30 (far too young like Bob Armstrong), still a feisty 76. Like Chadwick Boseman, none of us knew he was ailing. Just learned he quietly but valiantly fought kidney failure in a Southern California hospital (with his family present) and which eventually took him.

Richard Alan Drasin was a bodybuilder, weightlifter, stuntman/actor, wrestling school instructor/show promoter and had a wresting gear line to rival those of CAC's Adrian Street's and Bill Ash. His first film was "Ben" in 1972, as the gym manager attacked by rats. Later he was demi-Hulk in Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno's Incredible Hulk tv show. Ric trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger and as a graphic artist, designed the world-famous Gold's Gym and World Gym Logos and is still the only recipient of the Joe Gold Lifetime Bodybuilding Achievement Award he was given in 2012.

Mae Young trained him over six months in 1965 according to SoCalUncensored, at of all places, The Olympic Auditorium! He debuted against "Killer" Buddy Austin who was an in-house WWA World Champion, back when the then formidable WWA encompassed the West Coast, Hawaii and in particular Japan. Ric also worked for San Francisco's Roy Shire, Ed Francis' Hawaii territory and all over the Pacific Northwest. Today's fans can thank him for helping train AEW's Jungle Boy(actor Luke Perry's talented son Jack) and tag partner Luchasaurus.

Ric debuted his 2004 So You Want To Be A Wrestling Promoter book right in our vendor booth area along with his follow-up The Time Of My Life autobio and they are the best places to learn about him. Those of us in the Los Angeles Mike Lebell territory(I started as one of our ringside program photographers)remember his colorful years of work at all our house show venues beyond the crown jewel of the Olympic Auditorium. Ric wrestled several times for the Beat The Champ tv title, and for the America's Tag straps often partnered with names like Jose Lothario's younger brother Sal, La Pantera Negra, Mando Lopez, Billy Rogers and John Burch(Gene Lebell gave the latter his work name). He worked out with CAC honorees Mil Mascaras and Earl Maynard plus Dory Dixon in a series we shot for the magazines. On L.A. tv, he worked with everyone from John Tolos, Fred Blassie, Don "Arson" Carson, Ernie Ladd, Billy Graham, Gordman and Goliath, Shibuya and Saito, Gordon Nelson, Ripper Collins, Destroyer Dick Beyer, Kim Duc, Pak Song and countless others. After leaving Lebell, he briefly went "AWOL" with his own West Coast Wrestling promotion in 1975 which didn't last long. Later he said he would've joined Billy Graham and Ivan Koloff's planned outlaw group that never really got going. Ric was unique for a super-muscular guy, flying around the ring and delivering multiple-series-dropkicks Jim Brunzell would be proud of.

His kids Sami, Adam and Shane made the announcement on Facebook: "He was everything to us. A father, role model and friend. Not only was he an inspiration for countless people, but he truly cared for those around him. His life was steered by the desire to uplight and share his positivity. Ric's immeasurable presence will be with us all forever." For any of us lucky enough to have been in his presence from the early 70's on, he really was fun-loving and a gentle rib-artist along the lines of double CAC-honoree Vic Christie. Christie's wrestling nephews via their dad Ted, the Peace Brothers Jerome and Joseph(who doubled as The Masked Vigilantes)Ric also helped break in. What a life he crammed into those years!

Rest In Power Ric. We'll never forgave you for shaving your head without doing it in a stips match.