“Exotic” Adrian Street, legendary Welsh wrestler, passes away at 82

"Exotic" Adrian Street passes away

Adrian Street, the legendary Welsh professional wrestler who performed for seven decades, passed away on July 24 at Grange University Hospital in South Wales.

He was 82 years old.

The cause of death was attributed to sepsis which developed after a bout of colitis. Street had also suffered a stroke earlier this month that resulted in a brain bleed, according to his wife, former wrestling manager Miss Linda, in a statement through the BBC.

In 2001, Street was diagnosed with cancer but survived after his family had been told to prepare for the worst.

Adrian Street was born on December 5, 1940, in Wales. His father, along with many in his family, was part of the great coal mining industry of the United Kingdom. He began bodybuilding in his teenage years and left his home at 16 to begin a career in professional wrestling, a move initially laughed at by his father.

Inspired by Don Leo Jonathan, Street took the name Kid Tarzan Jonathan and had his first professional wrestling match, a victory against Geoff Moran on August 8, 1957.

After performing all over Europe through the 1960s, he would develop the gimmick that would bring him great fame: “Exotic” Adrian Street, a flamboyant, androgynous character that would have bleached hair in pigtails, pastel paints on his face, and he would kiss his opponents to escape pinning situations. His wife, who he met in the late-1960s, would join his act and help him in various situations.

The BBC, in their obituary on Adrian Street, shared a story of how Street demolished Jimmy Savile, who in life was a beloved children’s television personality, only to be revealed as a loathsome pedophile in death:

In 1971 he even beat Jimmy Savile black and blue, the now reviled paedophile DJ and TV presenter having been touted as something of a tough guy during a spell on the wrestling circuit.

“Back in those days the promoters were trying to get proper wrestlers to throw their matches with him – it was all part of some big stupid gimmick,” said Street in 2013.

Having none of it, the Welshman ended up dropping Savile on his head and tearing out a large chunk of his hair.

Street, along with Miss Linda, would arrive in North America in 1981, performing in numerous territories. They would have a long tenure from 1985 to 1989 in Ron Fuller’s Continental Championship Wrestling.

He would open a wrestling school in Florida called Skull Krushers Wrestling School after retiring from full-time performing, though it eventually closed after damage caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Street also designed a lot of wrestling gear, including Mick Foley’s iconic “Dude Love” outfit. After losing his school, he would return to Wales.

Street had his final match on June 14, 2014. By Street’s own estimates, he had between 12,000 to 15,000 professional wrestling matches. WWE produced a documentary about his career called “Adrian Street: Imagine What I Could Do To You” in 2019.

On behalf of the staff of Wrestleview, we send our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and fans of “Exotic” Adrian Street. May he rest in peace.