Raymond Leppan (July 20, 1979) is an South African professional wrestler under the ring name Aldo Rose. He is best known for his time with WWE, where he performed under the ring name Adam Rose. He is a former two-time FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion under the ring name Leo Kruger.
Professional wrestling career
South Africa (1995-2010)
Leppan debuted as a professional wrestler at the age of 16. He worked in South Africa with Paul Lloyd Jr., known as the tag team Pure Juice. He also wrestled as "Dameon Duke" in World Wrestling Professionals. While there, Duke won the WWP World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Tornado in 2007 and lost it to Fury the following year.
World Wrestling Entertainment
Developmental Territories (2010-2014)
After Leppan's United States work visa cleared, he was able to debut in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) under his real name on 25 February 2010, in a losing effort against Curt Hawkins. Two weeks later, Leppan was defeated by Eli Cottonwood. The following week, Leppan changed his ring name to "Leo Kruger", chosen as a tribute to his relative and former President of South Africa Paul Kruger, before losing to Johnny Curtis. On 18 March, Kruger picked up his first win since joining FCW by defeating Jacob Novak. At the television tapings on 20 May, Kruger challenged the former Paul Lloyd, Jr. and fellow South African wrestler, Justin Gabriel to a match. At the television tapings on 10 June, Kruger lost to Gabriel, but in a rematch on 1 July, Kruger reversed the result. In mid-2010, Kruger formed a team with Derrick Bateman, known as The Handsome Man Express. The duo challenged Los Aviadores (Hunico and Epico) for the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship on 2 July, but were unsuccessful. On 8 July, Kruger teamed with Tyler Reks to challenge Los Aviadores again for the championship, but was unsuccessful. Kruger then went on a winning streak, defeating Big E. Langston, Bateman, Austin Watson, Husky Harris, and Wes Brisco, before finally losing in a mixed tag team match, when he and Kaitlyn lost to Brad Maddox and Jamie Keyes on 9 September. Kruger's final match in 2010 was at the television tapings on 23 September, when he lost to Bo Rotundo. Following the match, Kruger lost feeling in his arm, and it was discovered that he had broken his neck. While recuperating, Kruger became a commentator for the FCW television program.
After Bo Rotundo was injured in September 2011, his FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship was vacated and a tournament set up to determine the new champion. Kruger defeated Percy Watson to make it to the final, a fatal four-way match against Husky Harris, Damien Sandow, and Dean Ambrose. Kruger won the match and the championship, his first in FCW. Kruger then appeared in dark matches prior to the SmackDown television tapings on 20 and 27 September, losing to Trent Barreta and defeating Johnny Curtis respectively. Kruger successfully defended the championship against Harris on the 24 October episode of FCW television and on the 14 November episode of FCW television, Kruger defeated Harris and Richie Steamboat in a triple threat match to retain the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship. On the 18 December episode of FCW television, Kruger successfully defended the championship against Seth Rollins, after interference from Antonio Cesaro.
In late December 2011, Kruger appeared at several WWE house shows, losing to Alex Riley on 27 and 28 December. On 30 December, he teamed with Riley and Mason Ryan to defeat Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, and JTG in a six-man tag team match at a Raw brand house show. On 2 February 2012, Kruger lost the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship to Mike Dalton. He regained the championship from Dalton three weeks later on 23 February, but lost it that same night to Seth Rollins.
When WWE rebranded its developmental territory, FCW, into NXT Wrestling, Kruger's NXT television debut took place on the second episode of the rebooted WWE NXT taped at Full Sail University, where he defeated Aiden English. On the 1 August episode of NXT, Kruger was inserted into the Gold Rush Tournament to crown the first NXT Champion, where he was defeated by Richie Steamboat in the quarter-finals. In September, Kruger's character was tweaked into that of a deranged hunter and mercenary. In December, Kruger formed an alliance with Kassius Ohno; Kruger and Ohno defeated Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel on the 2 January 2013 episode of NXT. On the 16 January episode of NXT, Kruger defeated Trent Baretta. On the 30 January episode of NXT, Ohno and Kruger entered the NXT Tag Team Championship Tournament to crown the inaugural champions and defeated Alex Riley and Derrick Bateman in the first round. On the 6 February episode of NXT, Kruger and Ohno were defeated by Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey in the semi-finals. Kruger then moved on to feud with Justin Gabriel when he attempted to attack Gabriel's injured partner, Tyson Kidd; Kruger won the series of matches 2-1. Kruger next set his sights on Bo Dallas's NXT Championship. On the 18 July NXT, Kruger won a triple threat match against Sami Zayn and Antonio Cesaro to become number one contender. On 7 August, Kruger fought Dallas for NXT Championship, but lost. Kruger eventually feuded with Zayn with the feud culminated in Zayn winning a two-out-of-three falls match on the 1 January 2014 NXT. Rose's last feud in NXT was with Camacho who was not supportive of Rose or his Exotic Express; going as far as to attack his "Rosebuds" after matches. Though one of his entourage was defeated in action against Camacho; Rose secured the victory and redemption at NXT Takeover with the Party Foul.
The Exotic Express (2014-2015)
From the post-WrestleMania Raw on April 7, WWE aired introductory vignettes for Rose. Rose made his main roster debut on the May 5 episode of Raw, interrupting Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. Rose continued to distract Swagger during his matches, leading to Swagger losing. Rose wrestled his first Raw match on the May 26 episode of Raw in a winning effort against Damien Sandow. During the match Swagger and Colter interfered, holding one of Rose's party members hostage. Rose saved his friend after winning the match despite the distraction. Rose defeated Swagger on the May 30 episode of SmackDown and the June 2 episode of Raw. Rose has gone unbeaten since his first appearance on the main roster. Rose made his first pay-per-view appearance at Money in the Bank where he defeated Damien Sandow. On the Battleground pre-show, Rose defeated Fandango. After over a month of inactivity, Rose returned on the September 1 episode of Raw, where he defeated Titus O'Neil. On the September 4 episode of NXT, Rose's undefeated streak was ended as he was defeated by Tyson Kidd via submission. On the 22 September episode of Raw, Rose teamed with the Bunny (for the Bunny's first match) as they defeated Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil. On the 15th Anniversary episode of SmackDown for October 10, Rose suffered his first main roster loss at the hands of Kane.
On the October 31 episode of SmackDown, WWE teased dissension between Rose and the Bunny when R-Truth hinted that the Bunny was upstaging Rose. After the Bunny cost Rose a match, it was assaulted and abandoned by Rose, but continued supporting Rose for his next match and often started causing Rose to lose some matches after the attempts to help him out backfired. In response, Rose allowed The Bunny to submit to Tyson Kidd rather than saving him.
The Bunny teamed up with Rose at Survivor Series to take on Slater Gator (Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil) in a tag team match. The Bunny won the match but Rose was clearly displeased. The Bunny and Rose then failed to win a tag team turmoil match, which granted the winners a shot at the WWE Tag Team Championship. WWE awarded the Bunny a Slammy Award on 8 December as the year's top animal star. Rose then began feuding with Kane, resulting in Rose losing matches to him and The Bunny gaining a neck injury from a tombstone piledriver. On the December 22 episode of RAW, Rose snapped after a quick loss to R-Truth and viciously attacked the Bunny, ending their partnership and turning heel in the process. In early 2015, Rose aligned with Cesaro and Tyson Kidd after they attacked The New Day, as masked members of the Rosebuds. Now billed as their "ambassador" on commentary, Adam Rose along with Natalya stood ringside as the stable now known as the "Brass Ring Club" defeated The New Day on the Kickoff to the Royal Rumble. As part of his heel turn, Rose started to push around his Rosebuds, behaving like a bully. More recently, he started feuding with the returning Zack Ryder, with the pair exchanging victories and using Twitter to insult one another, with even William Shatner (whom Rose called "Dad") joining in. Rose was one of the participants in the 2nd Annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXXI. Rose however did not win the match.
In late April, Fandango split away from Rosa Mendes and Adam Rose was seen talking to her. A week later, Rosa cost Fandango a match with Rose, and became Rose's valet instead after a kiss. On May 14, Rose informed his Rosebuds that the party was "officially over".
The Party Pooper; Rose Bush (2015–2016)
On the 22 June episode of Raw, Rose's gimmick was slightly tweaked to a pompous artiste, exclaiming that the WWE Universe had no idea of true art or passion, hyping up the reveal of his "masterpiece" in the process. The storyline was never resolved. Rose re-emerged on the 29 August episode of Main Event, sporting generic black boots and tights, a plain gray shirt, glasses, and a tweaked gimmick again. Though he eventually submitted to Jack Swagger, he declared in a pre-match promo his intentions to "poop on everybody's party". On the 5 October episode of Raw, Rose shared a "cryptic message", saying, "All I wanted to do was put smiles on little children's faces. Well, poop." The camera then tilted down onto what seemed to be the Bunny's mascot head. On the 3 November edition of Main Event, during and after defeating Fandango, this mystery bunny person was seen at ringside leaving Rose surprised.
Rose formed a tag team with Brad Maddox. However, the team would be short-lived as Maddox was released from his contract on 25 November.
Following Maddox being released from the company, on the 30 November 2015 edition of Raw, Rose debuted a Hollywood Minute-inspired segment entitled The Rose Bush, in which he start talking about all the "dirt" in WWE.
The Social Outcasts and departure (2016)
On the 4 January Raw, Rose, along with Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, and Heath Slater, debuted as a new stable and went on to assist Slater in defeating Dolph Ziggler, calling themselves "social outcasts". On the January 11 episode of Raw, now billed as The Social Outcasts, the group would face The Wyatt Family to a no contest when Ryback interfered. On the 24 January 2016 SmackDown, the four defeated the team of Goldust, Damien Sandow, Jack Swagger and Zack Ryder in an eight-man tag match. On February 8, 2016 episode of Raw, Rose defeated Titus O'Neil. On 17 March SmackDown, Social Outcasts announced they will be participants in 3rd annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32. Adam Rose competed in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 32 but was eliminated by the eventual winner Baron Corbin. On the 11 April Raw Adam Rose lost to Apollo Crews.
On 16 April, Leppan was suspended for 60 days after his second violation of the company's Wellness Program. On 20 April, Leppan publicly addressed his suspension as "not right", saying "I did not do anything knowingly wrong and was taking prescribed medication that my [doctor] and I followed all the correct protocol on."
On May 23, 2016, Leppan requested, and was granted his release from WWE.
Independent circuit (2016-present)
After his release, Leppan announced his new ring name as Aldo Rose, maintaining the party host gimmick, but as an edgier character. He currently wrestles for various independent promotions. On July 16, Leppan was announced to wrestle a tag team match with Deimos against the team of Ken Canada and Donny Dixon for Fight The World Wrestling's FTW Party On.
When 2K Sports were doing a Q&A with their fans, Adam Rose was confirmed to be a downloadable content for the video game WWE 2K15, as a part of the NXT Arrival pack. This pack was made available in March 2015 before WrestleMania 31. The Bunny character is included in Rose's entrance in WWE 2K15 with other Rosebuds, but is otherwise not playable. Different versions have an alternate look for The Bunny.
For the 2014–15 season, the Ottawa Senators of the NHL along with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League utilized Adam Rose's entrance theme as part of the team's goal horn.
On 5 May 2015, a documentary by E:60 aired on ESPN, showing the development of the Adam Rose character along with other NXT Superstars. Adam Rose is one of the 123 characters in the WWE 2K16 video game.
Leppan is married to an American woman named Cassandra and has two sons named Maverick and Levi.
Leppan has said (in 2016) that his sister died from complications arising from heroin usage.
On May 11, 2016, Leppan was arrested in Lutz, Florida by the Hillsborough County Sherriff's Office for tampering with a witness (domestic) and battery domestic assault. The incident took place at 1:30am ET
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- As Adam Rose
- Back heel kick
- Choo Choo (Running bronco buster, with theatrics)
- E-Lemon-Nator (Arm wrench transitioned into a spinebuster)
- Running back elbow to a cornered opponent
- As Leo Kruger
- Snap suplex, sometimes while applying a hammerlock
- As Dameon Duke
- As Adam Rose
- Tag teams and stables
- "The South African Super Studd"
- "Alpha Male Lion"
- "The Radical Mongoose"
- Entrance themes
- "Hot House" by Extreme Music (FCW; 2010)
- "Excessive Testosterone" by Joseph Saba & Stewart Winter (FCW; 2011)
- "Grand March from Aida" by Harry Edwards (NXT; 2012)
- "Medieval Rock 2" by No Straw Dogs Library (NXT; 2012-2013)
- "Let It Go" by Extreme Music Library (NXT; 2013)
- "World Goes Wild" by Above Envy (NXT; 2014)
- "Break Away" by CFO$ (WWE; 2014–2016)
Championships and accomplishments
- Atomic Wrestling Entertainment
- AWE Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Florida Championship Wrestling
- FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #77 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the year in the PWI 500 in 2012
- World Wrestling Professionals
- WWP World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Worst Gimmick (2014)