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Thomas Russell Haas, Jr. (March 27, 1974December 15, 2001), better known as Russ Haas was a professional wrestler. He is best known for his work alongside his brother, Charlie, in Memphis Championship Wrestling and Jersey All Pro Wrestling.

Haas died of a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 27. He had a heart ailment that prohibited him from wrestling, and was given clearance to resume training for wrestling shortly before his death.

Career

Haas is a former collegiate wrestler at Seton Hall Universitymarker. Haas worked together with his brother Charlie for nearly three years as the Haas Brothers tag team. They won their first championships in Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW), where they won the JAPW Tag Team Championship on July 22, 1998. They defeated the "Skin Head Express" and "Nation of Immigration" in a three way dance to win the vacant titles. They defeated the Big Unit on May 21, 1999, to re-capture those same titles. They later moved to East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA), where they won the ECWA Tag Team Championship in 2000. They then moved to Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), and, again, won the tag titles, defeating the Kasmireno Brothers, the Thrill Kill Kult and the Hit Squad on February 12, 2000 in a four-way match. They also competed in Maryland Championship Wrestling and the Pennsylvania-based World Xtreme Wrestling.

The Haas Brothers signed World Wrestling Federation (WWF) developmental contracts on August 8, 2000. They were sent to WWF's then-developmental territory Memphis Championship Wrestling (MCW). In MCW, the Haas Brothers won the MCW tag team titles on February 21, 2001 defeating The Dupps. They went on to win the titles twice more, before being transferred to Heartland Wrestling Association in June 2001, due to the WWF dropping MCW as a developmental territory.

Death

On December 15, 2001, Haas died of a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 27. He had a heart ailment that prohibited him from wrestling, and had suffered a heart attack on September 24, 2001. He was given clearance to resume training for wrestling shortly before his death. He was found dead by his wife, Deedra, shortly after his brother Charlie had left for the night.

Tributes

Since his death, Charlie has often wrestled with "RUSS" written on his wrist tape to pay tribute to his brother.

On December 15, 2001, Combat Zone Wrestling's Cage of Death 3 had a ten bell salute for Haas, with some wrestlers wearing black armbands, and others taping "RH" on their wrestling boots. On December 17, 2001, on Raw, both Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler paid a small tribute to Haas in the middle of the show.

Both William Moody (Paul Bearer) and Kevin Kelly paid tribute to Haas on their websites.

On February 2, 2002, Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) held the Russ Haas Memorial Show, with the JAPW roster donating their services for the event.

In his honor, Mike Bucci and Charlie had the idea to have local indy talent and talent from Ohio Valley Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment, who were touched by Haas' death, put on a special tag-team tournament. The Russ Haas Memorial Tag-Team Tournament was held by the small New Jersey based promotion Phoenix Championship Wrestling on August 31, 2002. There were eight teams in all, but in the end the team of Bucci and Charlie won the tournament.

In wrestling





Championships and accomplishments

*CZW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Charlie Haas
*ECWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Charlie Haas
*ECWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2004)
*JAPW Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Charlie Haas
*MCW Southern Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Charlie Haas




References



External links




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