Aldo Rose

May 9, 2014 - by Jamie Cruickshank


Real name: Ray Leppan
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 220 lbs.
Date of birth: July 20, 1979
Born: Johannesburg, South Africa
Pro debut: 1995
Trained by: Paul Lloyd Sr.
Finishing move: Party Foul


– Leppan competed under several names in his early career, but it was as Dameon Duke that he found most success
– He also regularly teamed with Paul Lloyd Jr (better known as Justin Gabriel) as ‘Pure Juice’
– In April 2007, Duke defeated Tornado to win the WWP Heavyweight Title
– Leppan signed a WWE development deal in 2009, but due to visa delays, was unable to report to FCW until early 2010
– Leppan made his FCW debut on February 25, 2010, in a losing effort against Curt Hawkins
– In early March, Leppan was repackaged as ‘Leo Kruger’, named as tribute to former South African president and military leader, Paul Kruger
– On September 23, 2010, Kruger suffered a broken neck in a match against Bo Rotundo. During his recovery, he worked as an announcer on FCW TV
– On February 10, 2011, Kruger made his return to the ring, defeating Monty Lynch
– On September 1, 2011, Kruger defeated Dean Ambrose, Husky Harris & Damien Sandow in a 4-Way to win the vacant FCW Heavyweight Title
– In late September, Kruger began making dark match appearances on both Raw and Smackdown
– On September 30, 2011, Kruger defeated Damien Sandow, Husky Harris & Seth Rollins in a 4-Way Falls Count Anywhere Match to retain the FCW Heavyweight Title
– On October 13, 2011, Kruger defeated Husky Harris & Richie Steamboat in a Triple Threat Match to retain the FCW Heavyweight Title
– On November 3, 2011, Kruger defeated Abraham Washington to retain the FCW Heavyweight Title
– On November 17, 2011, Kruger defeated Seth Rollins to retain the FCW Heavyweight Title
– On December 15, 2011, Kruger defeated Mike Dalton to retain the FCW Heavyweight Title
– In January 2012, Kruger retained the FCW Heavyweight Title against Husky Harris, Leakee and Bo Rotundo
– On February 23, 2012, Kruger defeated Mike Dalton to win the FCW Heavyweight Title. He lost the title to Seth Rollins later that same day
– Kruger continued in WWE developmental when FCW was rebranded to NXT
– On July 12, 2012, Kruger entered the NXT Gold Rush Tournament, but was defeated in the first round by Richie Steamboat
– In September 2012, Kruger’s character was changed to that of a mercenary
– On January 10, 2013, Kruger teamed with Kassius Ohno to enter the NXT Tag Team Title Tournament. They defeated Alex Riley & Derrick Bateman, before losing to Adrian Neville & Oliver Grey
– On January 26, 2013, Kruger entered the NXT Royal Rumble Qualifying Tournament. He made the final, but was defeated by Bo Dallas
– On June 20, 2013, Kruger defeated Antonio Cesaro & Sami Zayn to become number one contender to the NXT Title, but was unsuccessful in his title match
– In November 2013, Kruger abruptly disappeared from NXT TV tapings (though tape delays saw him appear on TV through January)
– In February 2013, Leppan debuted a new character ‘Adam Rose’, a party animal who draws comparison to British actor/comedian Russell Brand
– Following WrestleMania XXX, vignettes began to appear on WWE TV for Rose’s imminent debut
– Rose made his main roster debut on May 5, interrupting Zeb Colter and triggering a feud with Jack Swagger
– On April 16, 2016, Leppan was suspended for 60 days after his second violation of the company’s Wellness Program
– On May 11, 2016, Leppan was arrested in Lutz, Florida by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for tampering with a witness (domestic) and battery domestic assault. The charges were eventually dropped
– WWE released Rose on May 23, 2016
– On September 11, 2016, Rose defeated FTW Gen-X Champion Grim Reefer by DQ
– On March 25, 2017, Rose defeated Aaron Orion to win the CIW Heavyweight Title, but would lose it back again the next day
– On April 21, Rose defeated CJ O’Doyle & Axx Clover to win the AWE Heavyweight Title
– On October 28, Rose defeated Cody Hawk to win the vacant BWCW Heavyweight Title
– In March 2019, Rose announced his impending retirement from wrestling, stating that he would see out his remaining bookings, but would not be accepting any more
– On May 10, 2019, Rose defeated Chico Adams to win the ARW Next Level Title

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