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Arthur Leon Barr (October 8, 1966 – November 23, 1994), better known by his ringname Art Barr, was an Americanmarker professional wrestler. He wrestled briefly for World Championship Wrestling, but had his greatest success in Mexicomarker's Asistencia Asesoría y Administración promotion.

Career

Early career

Barr was the son of promoter Sandy Barr and the brother of Jesse Barr, and began his career in the Pacific Northwest Wrestling (PNW) territory on April 2, 1987. About a year and a half later, he began wrestling as "Beetlejuice", based on the title character of the 1988 movie. The character, wearing face paint and flour in his hair, was a cartoonish babyface.

Barr had a sexual encounter with a 19 year old girl after a PNW card on July 16, 1989; the girl later filed rape charges. Barr continued to wrestle as Beetlejuice, despite the charges, and the attention brought to them by the Portland Oregonian. A year later, while admitting in a police interview the girl did not consent, Barr worked a plea-bargain, and was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse. He was fined, placed on probation, and sentenced to community service, but served no jail time.

World Championship Wrestling

After the trial, Barr's license to wrestle in Oregon was not renewed (for unrelated reasons); he joined World Championship Wrestling briefly in 1990 as "The Juicer", still playing the cartoonish babyface. Due to a faxing campaign, his rape conviction followed him; that along with his small stature in a wrestling world then dominated by large wrestlers, he soon found himself unpushed and, eventually, released.

Epressa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre

After leaving WCW, Barr was brought into Mexico's Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre promotion by Konnan. He initially wrestled under a mask as "The American Love Machine", and was very successful. A year after entering EMLL, the American Love Machine faced off against another masked wrestler, Blue Panther, in a mask versus mask match. 18,000 fans sold out the 17,000 seat Arena Méxicomarker in Mexico Citymarker and another 8,000 fans watched on big screen TV in the parking lot to see the card. The match ended when "Love Machine" administered a Piledriver (Martinete in Spanish) against Blue Panther, an illegal move in Mexican wrestling, thus losing his mask.

Asistencia Asesoría y Administración

Soon afterward, Barr left EMLL to join Konnan's Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) promotion. As "Love Machine" Art Barr, he turned heel, and formed the tag team "La Pareja del Terror" (The Pair of Terror) with Eddie Guerrero. The pair were highly successful, becoming arguably the most hated tag team in lucha libre history. Barr and Guerrero also formed a heel stable with Konnan and Madonna's Boyfriend, known as Los Gringos Locos (The Crazy Americans).

Despite both the acclaim and the financial success, Barr's time in Mexico took a toll on him, as he was reportedly homesick (his wife and son remained in Oregon while he was working in Mexico). Eventually, he turned to alcohol and drugs for solace, despite the concern of his friends in the business.

On November 6, 1994, AAA held the When Worlds Collide pay-per-view card (with some help from WCW) at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arenamarker. La Pareja del Terror faced off against El Hijo del Santo and Octagón in a double hair versus mask match, which was acclaimed as one of the greatest PPV matches ever and would receive a 5 star rating from Dave Meltzer. Around this time, Barr and Guerrero were also in talks with Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Extreme Championship Wrestling was very interested in Barr and Guerrero coming into the company to feud with their top tag team Public Enemy. At the same time, the World Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling promotions also showed interest in the tag team of Guerrero and Barr.

Death

On November 23, 1994, Barr was found dead lying with his child at his home in Springfield, Oregonmarker. Preliminary reports said that he died of an aneurysm, but later reports said that he died under unknown circumstances. As mentioned in Eddie Guerrero's book, the cause of his death is still unknown to this day. Barr did not have heart problems, no aneurysm or internal bleeding, and no ring injuries. He had a mixture of alcohol and drugs in his blood stream. Eddie Guerrero was his best friend around this time period.

According to Guerrero, when they began tagging he first used the Frog Splash as the "Jackknife Splash". Barr took a liking to the move, began using it regularly and adopted it as his finisher. 2 Cold Scorpio commented to Barr that he "Looked like a Frog", thus leading Barr to name his move the Frog Splash. As a tribute to his friend, Eddie Guerrero adopted Barr's trademark Frog Splash as his finishing maneuver. It has since become a trademark move of several wrestlers in Mexico and the United States. Chris Jericho, who was also close to Barr at the time of his death, would, when performing in WCW in the late nineties, occasionally accuse performer Lenny Lane of stealing Jericho's Loverboy tapes in reference to a personal joke between himself and Barr.

In wrestling







Championships and accomplishments



  • International Wrestling All-Stars
    • IWAS Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Eddie Guerrero








References

  1. Pacific Northwest
  2. Cheating Death, Stealing Life - The Eddie Guerrero Story (DVD, 2004)


External links




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