Paul Roma (born Paul Centopani April 29, 1960) is an American professional wrestler who is most known for his work in the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling primarily as a tag-team wrestler alongside such partners as Jim Powers, Hercules, Arn Anderson and Paul Orndorff.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Federation (1985-1991)
Roma made his pro wrestling debut in 1985 and soon signed contracts with the WWF. His first big break came in 1987 when he was paired up with Jim Powers in a tag team called The Young Stallions. The team seemingly received their name by accident when play-by-play commentator Vince McMahon referred to them once as "a couple of young stallions", thus naming the team. "The Young Stallions", Paul Roma & Jimmy Powers, during the August 8, 1987 episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling (taped July 15), scored an upset disqualification victory over WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation. The victory launched the team into a brief run as featured performers in the WWF. They were even one of only two surviving teams alongside The Killer Bees in the elimination tag team match at the first annual Survivor Series pay-per-view on November 26, 1987. Another notable feud Paul Roma & Jimmy Powers had was against The Conquistadors (1 & 2), with many of matches taking place in the original Boston Garden.
It was not too long before WWF owner Vince McMahon seemed to lose interest in the idea of pushing the Young Stallions. This may have been due, in part, to the fact that Powers and Roma did not get along with each other. The team was placed in featured matches on television and at house shows. Following a loss, to Demolition on the March 19, 1989 episode of WWF Wrestling Challenge, the team began arguing after the match. Soon, they were split up off camera without an official announcement. The Young Stallions reunited briefly from June 1989 to August 1989. After that, Roma and Powers went their separate ways, competing in the singles division.
Paul Roma defeated Boris Zukhov in a dark match at the 1989 Survivor Series, and also pinned Steve Lombardi in dark matches at both 1990 Royal Rumble and WrestleMania VI. Televised victories over Buddy Rose and Boris Zukhov followed in the spring of 1990, although he sustained defeats to Rick Martel, Bad News Brown and Ted Dibiase. However it was in tag-team action once more that Roma's career would see a resurgence. In May on Prime Time wrestling Roma teamed with Hercules Hernandez for the first time, defeating Ken Johnson and Buddy Rose. At first this seemed like a one-time pairing, but played into a major storyline the following month.
In June 1990 Roma's career shot up to the top level of WWE once again, as he turned heel alongside Hercules. After losing a WWF Superstars match to Dino Bravo, the Rockers came out to help Roma but ended up getting into a shoving match with him instead. Hercules came to ringside and then proceeded to attack Michaels and Jannetty. Roma & Hercules then became an official team, Power and Glory, managed by Slick. Paul Roma & Hercules, Power & Glory, had a high-profile feud with The Rockers. Power and Glory clashed with the Rockers at Summer Slam 1990 with Marty Jannetty being forced to wrestle the match on his own after Power and Glory injured Shawn Michaels before the match (this was a storyline excuse to give Shawn some time off to heal a previously suffered injury). Once Shawn returned, the feud continued, with the two teams being on opposite sides at Survivor Series, with Power and Glory once again coming out as the victors.
Power & Glory challenged WWF Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation but never won the gold. They also challenged The Rockers during the latter's brief run as champions (which was erased from record books when the Rockers' title win was reversed) Power & Glory's misfortune continued at WrestleMania VII where they lost to The Legion of Doom in under a minute.
Roma was featured in numerous televised singles matches in the summer of 1991, including against Davey Boy Smith, Virgil, Bret Hart, and Ricky Steamboat. Power and Glory teamed up with Slick's other charge, The Warlord, for a series of 6 man tag-team matches. Their last pay per view outing came when they teamed with The Warlord to face Ricky Steamboat, Kerry Von Erich and Davey Boy Smith at SummerSlam 1991 in a losing effort. In one of their last recorded matches together as a team, they lost to the Legion of Doom at the Royal Albert Hall in England. Roma left the Federation soon after and later appeared as one of the Four Horsemen in World Championship Wrestling, while Hercules would remain with the company for a few months before departing as well.
World Championship Wrestling (1993-1995)
In 1993, Paul Roma signed a contract with World Championship Wrestling and became part of the Four Horsemen alongside Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. Ric Flair had returned from the WCW in early 1993 to rejoin Arn and they promised a Horsemen reunion at Slamboree. The original plan was to have former horseman Tully Blanchard return, but the negotiations between WCW and Blanchard hit a snag when Tully failed a drug test, which Tully himself explains on the Four hoursemen DVD Paul Roma and Arn Anderson teamed up and won the WCW World Tag Team Championship from "Stunning" Steve Austin and "Lord" Steven Regal (who was substituting for an injured Brian Pillman). Paul Roma and Arn Anderson held on to the gold for a little over a month before losing it to The Nasty Boys.
After the 1993 WCW PPV Battlebowl the Horsemen Paul Roma and Arn Anderson faced the semi-regular team of Paul Orndorff and "Stunning" Steve Austin on WCW Saturday Night. During the match Roma acted very indifferent to his tag-team partner sowing the seeds for his heel turn. Next Roma teamed with Erik Watts to take on the team of Orndorff and Austin once again, this time Roma took it a step further and attacked Erik Watts before announcing that he was now teaming with Paul Orndorff. Under the tutelage of manager Masked Assassin the team quickly began to work well together in a feud with Marcus Alexander Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio. After a few months as a team they targeted the then WCW World Tag Team Champions Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan. Going into Bash at the Beach 1994 Pretty Wonderful had the advantage as both champions were suffering from injuries inflicted by the challengers on previous occasions (or so the storyline went). Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan were unable to hold off Roma and Orndorff as Pretty Wonderful left the ring with the gold. After winning the titles Pretty Wonderful was immediately challenged by the Nasty Boys but the Nasty Boys were never able to take the gold from the champions. Next Pretty Wonderful were challenged by the duo of Stars’N’Stripes (Marcus Alexander Bagwell & The Patriot) at Fall Brawl. The champions retained but a week later the championship changed hands when Stars’N’Stripes got the 1-2-3. Pretty Wonderful was granted a rematch against the new champions with a match booked for Halloween Havoc, Pretty Wonderful regained the titles when Roma dropped an elbow from the top rope on Bagwell, who had Orndorff trapped in a fisherman's suplex, but the referee's back was turned.
At Clash of the Champions XXIX Stars’N’Stripes were granted a final shot at the tag-team titles, but the challengers also had to put up he Patriot's mask on the line, if they lost he would unmask. After a controversial double pin finish Stars’N’Stripes were declared the winners and thus the champions putting the end to Pretty Wonderful's second and final run with the gold. After the loss Roma and Orndorff went their separate ways, wresting in singles matches. Paul Roma was asked to help make WCW newcomer "Das Wunderkind" Alex Wright look good at SuperBrawl V, a WCW Pay-Per-View event. Roma dominated Wright for most of the match, yet Wright was able to score the upset win via pinfall at the end of the match. Roma was fired from WCW shortly afterwards, and there have been various rumors circulating around the internet as to the cause of the termination. One rumor suggests that Roma was fired for being too rough on Alex; a rumor that Wright himself has denied in an interview.
He attempted to make a WWF comeback in late 1997 alongside a student of Mr. Fuji called Alex Roma, calling themselves the Pretty Primos. However, they only made one appearance together at a WWF house show and no contract was ever offered to the two. After failing to make it into the WWF again Roma decided to retire in 1998 and focus on other business ventures in relation to bodybuilding and wrestling.
In 2006 Roma resurfaced on the wrestling scene as he was named the commissioner of the independent promotion, Connecticut Championship Wrestling, a federation which is currently closed down. He also had a "Pretty Wonderful" reunion with Paul Orndorff in Connecticut Championship Wrestling. Roma has since been competing in the IAW (Independent Association of Wrestling) wrestling promotion. Roma won the IAW Heavyweight Championship, after beating Brian Costello (aka The Crippler), on July 8, 2006 at IAW Clash at the Cove VIII, in South Bend, IN. He eventually lost the title to The Crippler on March 24, 2007 at IAW Clash at the CAVE II (held in the gym of Mishawaka High School in Mishawaka, IN) after receiving a piledriver onto a chair, behind the back of special referee Brandon Trtan, who was attacked and knocked out of the ring by Roma.
Roma got married in September 2006, and he is running a wrestling training school in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In the early 1990s Roma appeared on the Australian television game show Perfect Match, a show based on the format of The Dating Game.
- Finishing moves
Championships and accomplishments
- CWA World Middleweight Championship (1 time)
- PWI # 434 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.
- PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year award in 1990