Gene Petit better known as “Cousin Luke” member of the W.W.F. “Hillbilly” stable that featured the likes of “Hillbilly Jim”. “Cousin Junior” and “Uncle Elmer” passed away Sunday. During his career Petit held singles titles (the N.W.A. Central States and the W.C.C.W. T.V. titles) He has been suffering from the effects of M.S. for the past ten years along with accumulation of injuries suffered from wrestling for the past 27 years. During the final years of his life, Petit was a member of the board of directors for the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Born in New Jersey, Petit became interested in pro wrestling whilst attending University of Tampa. He was a member of their football team and was team mates with future wrestling stars Paul Orndorff and Dick Slater. During this time, Petit befriended wrestler Dale Lewis and soon started to work with the veteran by doing odd jobs like driving him to matches and assisting him on trips. Not to long afterwords Lewis began to teach and mentor Petit. He adopted the name “Gene Lewis” and was wrestling part time whilst finishing college earning a business degree.
Petit wrestling in the N.W.A. (National Wrestling Alliance) south eastern affiliated promotions for several years until he moved to the mid-west and worked in the Kansas City area for a year until moving on to Puerto Rico (wrestling as a member of The Assassins) a worked in a series of hardcore matches before heading of to Texas and joining the W.C.C.W. (World Class Championship Wrestling) as a member of The Mongols. The Mongols were part of Skandor Akbar’s stable “Devastation Inc. After leaving Texas Petit headed to Florida and worked as a wrestler under different masks and guises (i.e. The Midnight Rider, Molaki, Kharma).
Petit left the promotion and worked with the W.W.F. as a member of Hillbilly Jim’s “family” Cousin Luke. Hillbilly Jim was injured and they need another wrestler to take his spot whilst he acted as the group’s manager. Petit’s job as Cousin Luke was to perform most of the team’s in-ring action which he did until he broke his ankle during a west coast tour. The injury cost him a match against Adrian Adonis at Wrestlemania 2 and soon after the “Hillbillies”were phased out. After leaving the W.W.F., Petit worked the independents (as Bloody Ox Brody) and had a stint in the A.W.A. (American Wrestling Association) as Cousin Luke.
Gene Petit wasn’t a superstar wrestler but one of the grunts who’s position as a mid-card performer was to put on an excellent show and make the upper card stars look good and that’s what he did. He will be missed.