Johnny Rodz
Rodz in 2008
Birth nameJohn Rodriguez
Born (1941-05-16) May 16, 1941 (age 82)
New York City, U.S.[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Java Ruuk
Johnny Rodz[2]
Super Medico II
El Shafto
Army Medic
Billed height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[1]
Billed weight239 lb (108 kg)[1]
Billed fromThe Bronx, New York

John Rodriguez[3] (born May 16, 1941) is an American former professional wrestler. He has previously worked as a professional wrestler under the ring name Johnny Rodz.

Professional wrestling career

World Wide Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Federation (1965–1985)

He was part of the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) from its early years, appearing on WWWF cards as far back as 1965.[1] He wrestled Bob Backlund in Madison Square Garden while working for the WWWF at the time. Dubbed the "Fire Brand From the Bronx" and the "Unpredictable", he was a proficient worker and a solid heel. Johnny would often tag with Jose Estrada, and Frank "the Gypsy" Rodriguez.[4] For much of the next two decades through mid-1985, Rodz was a mainstay of the federation,[5] though largely used as enhancement talent,[6][7] for which he was praised by some of his peers.[8] At times Rodz worked in Japan, Puerto Rico and other territories. On August 9, 1980, at the Showdown at Shea, he was defeated by "Polish Power" Ivan Putski.[9][10] His last WWF match was a loss to Gama Singh on June 19, 1985.

NWA Hollywood Wrestling (1976-1978)

For a time, he also worked with Mike and Gene LeBell's NWA Hollywood Wrestling. He won a greater share of matches wrestling as "Arabian Wildman" Java Ruuk[11][12] and even won the promotion's battle royal in 1976.[1]


In 1996, Rodz was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame class of 1996[13] by Arnold Skaaland.[1]

On the March 1, 2007 episode of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's Impact showed the Latin American Xchange (LAX) attacking Rodz as part of their feud with Team 3D. Ten days later at Destination X, he accompanied Team 3D to the ring for their Ghettobrawl match with LAX at the pay-per-view.


Johnny Rodz has been training students for over 30 years, out of Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn. Rodz has trained many students who have gone on to have successful careers in and out of the ring for various wrestling promotions, serve as high-level executives at television networks, and some even went on to become high level government officials at agencies such as FDA and FDIC. Wrestlers trained by Rodz include: Tazz, Tommy Dreamer, D-von Dudley, Damien Demento, Prince Nana, Marti Belle, Wendy Choo, Big Vito, Masha Slamovich, William Morrissey, Vince Russo, and many more.[14][15] A few of Rodz' students have gone on to train other future superstars at their own wrestling academies.[16] Rodz founded the independent wrestling promotion known as World of Unpredictable Wrestling.[17][18]

Wrestlers trained

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Hall of Fame: Johnny Rodz".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Steve Urena (January 6, 2006). "Interview with Prince Nana". Wrestling Caricatures. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Corey Kilgannon (October 8, 2000). "Dying to Drop-Kick And Body-Slam, And Make It Pay". NY Times. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
  4. ^ Duggan, Hacksaw Jim; Williams, Scott E. (2012). Hacksaw: The Jim Duggan Story. Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-60078-686-0.
  5. ^ Mazer, Sharon (January 27, 2020). Professional Wrestling: Sport and Spectacle, Second Edition. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-4968-2660-2.
  6. ^ Backlund, Bob; Miller, Robert H. (September 15, 2015). Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling's World Champion. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-61321-696-5.
  7. ^ Benes, Ross (April 13, 2016). "The Profane Teachings Of Johnny Rodz, The Wrestler Who Jobbed His Way Into The Hall Of Fame". Deadspin. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  8. ^ Graham, Billy; Greenberg, Keith Elliot (2006). Superstar Billy Graham: Tangled Ropes. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-0753-6.
  9. ^ Zbyszko, Larry (December 15, 2010). Adventures in Larryland!. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55490-322-1.
  10. ^ Shields, Brian (June 15, 2010). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4516-0467-2.
  11. ^ Piper, Roddy (2002). In the Pit with Piper. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-425-18721-0.
  12. ^ Toombs, Ariel Teal; Toombs, Colt Baird (March 3, 2020). Rowdy: The Roddy Piper Story. Random House of Canada. ISBN 978-0-345-81621-4.
  13. ^ Dixon, James; Maughan, Lee; Richardson, Benjamin; Henry, Justin (July 14, 2015). Titan Shattered. ISBN 978-1-326-35581-4.
  14. ^ Sammond, Nicholas (January 13, 2005). Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-3438-5.
  15. ^ Kanyon, Chris; Clark, Ryan (2011). Wrestling Reality: The Life and Mind of Chris Kanyon Wrestling's Gay Superstar. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-77041-028-2.
  16. ^ DK (September 29, 2020). WWE Encyclopedia of Sports Entertainment New Edition. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-7440-3510-0.
  17. ^ "World of Unpredictable Wrestling". World of Unpredictable Wrestling. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  18. ^ Chow, Broderick; Laine, Eero; Warden, Claire (August 12, 2016). Performance and Professional Wrestling. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-317-38507-3.
  19. ^ Loverro, Thom (May 22, 2007). The Rise & Fall of ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-6156-9.
  20. ^ " Message Board: Elektra Talks about the death of her ex husband Big Dick Dudley on Chairshots radio". Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  21. ^ Russo, Vince (2005). Forgiven: One Man's Journey from Self-Glorification to Sanctification. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-704-8.
  22. ^ Greenberg, Keith Elliot (September 1, 2020). Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-77305-576-3.
  23. ^ Chris Sokol (August 11, 2004). "Little Jeanne's destiny is old-school". SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2008.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  24. ^ Picarello, Robert (2002). Monsters of the Mat. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-425-18594-0.
  25. ^ Shoemaker, David (November 4, 2014). The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-59240-881-8.
  26. ^ "Tales From The Mat Presents: Masha Slamovich's Life Sequestered Abroad In A Joshi Dojo". Wrestling Inc. April 14, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  27. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.