Is Young Rock’s Bob Owens Based on a Real Wrestler? Is He Dead or Alive?

NBC’s ‘Young Rock’ introduces a variety of colorful characters that make the journey of the titular future icon an all the more intriguing one. Season 2 finds our young hero arriving in Nashville, where he’s picked up by Bob Owens, a friendly, upbeat associate of Dwayne Johnson’s father. Bob says some pretty interesting things about his career as a wrestler (like being “undefeated at losing”) before dropping off a slightly bewildered Dwayne at a motel. Considering that a significant portion of the show is inspired by real-life, we decided to dig around and see whether Bob Owens might be based on a real wrestler. Here’s what we found.

Is Bob Owens Based on a Real Wrestler?

Yes, Bob Owens AKA Bob Owen, Bobby Owens, Assassin, or just plain “Big,” was a pretty well-known wrestler in his time. Reportedly trained by Saul Weingeroff, Bob fought in a number of wrestling promotions across the United States and Canada like the World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), Global Wrestling Evolution (GWE), Coastal Championship Wrestling (CCW), Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) and many others.

Image Credit: CWA Championship Wrestling

Bob was born was 1951 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Kenneth Hollis and Ethel Iline Williford Owen. His mainstream career as a professional wrestler seemingly peaked around 1979 and continued until 1988. During this time, various databases put his number of matches fought between 117 and 172 (depending on which wrestling promotions are counted). He fought in the United States and Canada, racking up a remarkable number of losses which, according to one estimate, is about 88% of the total matches he fought. Specifically, out of a total of 117 matches, he lost 103 and won 9.

Thus, as his match history shows, it looks like the show is quite accurate in depicting Bob Owens as being “undefeated at losing.” The upbeat wrestler seems to have been well known for being the “fall guy,” which is an essential albeit sometimes underrated position in the world of professional wrestling.

Is Bob Owens Dead or Alive?

Image Credit: Dignity Memorial

Bob Owens seems to have spent a significant part of his life, including his later years, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. After retiring from his professional wrestling journey, he worked as a truck driver for many years, building a career in the profession. Sadly, Bob passed away on February 16, 2013, at the age of 61. At the time, he was survived by his wife Pat Owen and children Robert Dale, Chris, Jimmy, Ricky Owen, Will, Chase, and Jamie Farless.

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