Fallen Soldiers Gone But Not Forgotten Full List Of Deceased Wrestlers 04

List of Deceased Wrestlers with Photos

This List of Deceased Wrestlers & includes Photos & Some History about the Wrestler, his or her Family & Friends Comments & their Impact on the Wrestling World.

Dino Bravo Death – Murder

Full List of Deceased Wrestlers Part 04
An Unsolved Crime 1948-1993 (age 44)
The Dino Bravo death story is one of the more bizarre stories to involve the death of a wrestler. Adolfo Bresciano or Dino Bravo as he was commonly known by fans was a well-known WWF personality in the 1970s and 1980s. Nicknamed the Italian Strong Man and Canada’s Strongest Man, Bravo won the WWF World Tag Team Championship with Dominic DeNucci, but in 1991, he was forced to part ways with the federation. Not even 2 years later, Dino would be dead at the hands of a still unknown gunman.
February 16, 1987. Photo: wwe.com Involvement in the World of Smuggling
After retiring from the WWF, Dino reportedly struggled to make ends meet. Related by marriage to Montreal mobster Vic Cotroni, Dino became involved with crime. Using his status as a wrestling celebrity, he smuggled and sold illegal cigarettes in Canada, mainly to Aboriginals. After a deal went bad, it is believed that Dino angered the mafia, and that his death was the price paid. 5 years before his death: Dino Bravo holds a Bench Press Challenge at the 1988 Royal Rumble
The Events Surrounding the Dino Bravo Death
Dino Bravo was killed on Wednesday, March 10, 1993. The story goes that while his wife was taking his daughter to ballet class, he sat down to watch a hockey game on television and ended up shot 17 times with seven hits to the head and 10 to his torso.
Dino Bravo with his manager, Frenchy Martin (WWF, 1989). Photo: wwe.com
The crime remains an unsolved murder to this day; however, it is widely accepted that Dino’s involvement in smuggling was the reason for his death. As there were no signs of a break-in and no footprints outside the window of the home, there is speculation that Dino knew his killer, that the person was watching hockey with him when the assassination happened. While this cannot be known for sure, what is certain is that Dino’s wife found him later that evening when she returned home with their daughter. 4 years before his death: Dino Bravo makes short work of a jobber on a 1989 episode of WWF Superstars
Reactions to the Dino Bravo Death Story
The Dino Bravo death story shocked fans. Even though many famous wrestlers had died unexpectedly, the Dino Bravo death story was one of the few where a beloved wrestling personality was murdered. Friends of the Italian strong man were equally saddened by his murder, but not all of them were as shocked as the fans. In his autobiography, Bret Hart said that Dino had confided in him that he thought his life was in danger, and his close friend wrestler Rick Martel shared that Dino had told him about his connections.
Beyond the Dino Bravo Death Story: Remembering the Man
While news about the Dino Bravo death story is still a source of intrigue to this very day, the world of wrestling prefers to remember him as the man he was, not just as he was in life, not as the victim of a crime. Immediately after his death and over the years that followed, many wrestlers and fans shared stories about the impact that the Italian Strongman had on their lives. Rick Martel has been one of the most vocal members of the pro wrestling community to speak about the slain wrestling star, and you can find hundreds of tributes from devoted fans saying how much they loved watching him in the ring posted online.
Beyond the Dino Bravo Death Story: Remembering the Man
Dino Bravo’s grave is located at the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery in Montreal, Quebec. The plot is located at lot MO1153W, Section M5.
Dino Bravo’s grave at the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery in Montreal, Quebec. Photo: G. Photographer

Doug Furnas Death – Hypertensive Heart Disease / Atherosclerotic

Doug Furnas – Dead at 52. Photo: wwe.com 1959-2012 (age 52)
Doug Furnas, best known for his tag team work with Phil Lafon, died on March 2, 2012 from hypertensive heart disease. Furnas was 52 years old at the time of his death. Doug Furnas spent a considerable amount of his career working in Japan, and also competed briefly in Mexico, as well as runs with the WWE, WCW, and ECW. Please check back soon as we’ll be expanding on the career and death of Doug Furnas.
ECW: Doug Furnas squares off against Rob Van Dam. Photo: wwe.com
The Events Surrounding the Dino Bravo Death

Dusty Rhodes Death – Stomach Cancer

“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes – dead at 69. Photo: wwe.com 1945-2015 (age 69)
One of wrestling’s greats passed away in June of 2015. He was “The American Dream.” Below is the Dusty Rhodes death story.
The Son of a Plumber
Virgil Runnels or “Dusty Rhodes,” as he was better known, was born in Austin, TX. The son of a plumber, his story was an amazing one as he rose to the wrestling limelight with jiggles and jabs. Rhodes had charisma for miles in the squared circle. Outside of the ring, he was a powerful mind that encouraged and created as a trainer, booker, and commentator. He was also a producer for WWE’s NXT. He died on the morning of June 11, 2015 at the age of 69. Rhodes was captivating. In the 1980s, he was a top draw for the NWA. He was popular for his charm and stood out from other wrestlers because of his “common man” physique (rather than having the typical wrestler’s toned, muscular body). He was also different from other wrestlers for his outfits, which included a polka dot ensemble that fans will likely never forget.
The American Dream
He was given his wrestling name of “Dusty Rhodes” by Gary Hart, who was behind the scenes with him in Dallas. Hart changed the wrestler’s real name as it wasn’t well suited for the sports arena, in Hart’s opinion. Rhodes’ career spanned close to five decades, and he was known as a hero to the everyday man. As Rhodes was born a plumber’s son and had an average body, he appealed to the working class. His career was proof that you could accomplish anything in this life. So, that is why he was nicknamed “The American Dream.”
What Caused the Dusty Rhodes Death?
The former wrestler was suffering from many health conditions before his death. One such issue was stomach cancer. He did lose weight before his death but, unfortunately, was still taken too soon. His last billed weight was 275 pounds. On Wednesday morning, the day before the Dusty Rhodes death occurred, emergency personnel were called to his home located in Orlando, FL. The call reported that a 69-year-old man had taken a fall. He was rushed to a hospital close by and that was where he passed away on Thursday morning. As soon as his immediate family learned of him being in the hospital, they went to his bedside. Between Wednesday night and Thursday morning there were several complications that Rhodes suffered from and ultimately led to the announcement of Dusty Rhodes death. 9-1-1 Call Discussion of the Dusty Rhodes death story would not be complete without mention of the 9-1-1 call that Rhodes’ wife placed on June 10, 2015, to say he had fallen at home. Just days after his passing, TMZ released a recording of the emergency call to the public. The recording included a dispatcher being rude to his wife, causing her to hang up. Fans largely criticized the 9-1-1 dispatcher for not remaining calm and helpful during the call. Other people voiced the opinion that TMZ should not have released the tape as doing so was in bad taste.
Ric Flair Reacts to Dusty Rhodes Death
WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair recently talked on Busted Open about the Dusty Rhodes death story. “He was a genius,” said Flair, who also said that Rhodes was great in the ring and on the mic. “He loved sports, and he loved life.” Flair explained in the same interview how Rhodes came up with the War Games, putting the Horseman against him, and more. Nobody else had those ideas then, according to Flair, who also explained that working with Rhodes was so much fun that it didn’t seem like work at all. Ric Flair also said that his daughter, WWE diva Charlotte, was “crushed” by the Dusty Rhodes death announcement. She had known Dusty since she was born.
After His Passing
“The American Dream” is remembered fondly by many fans for his strong work ethic, unshakeable spirit, and passionate interviews. He is survived by four children, including his two sons who are wrestling stars, and his wife, Michelle. At the 2015 Money in the Bank event, a ten-bell salute was given in tribute to Dusty Rhodes. During the salute, the McMahon family and WWE members stood on the entrance ramp to show their respect. The following evening, Raw aired a video special devoted to the wrestler. A special with Dusty Rhodes career achievements later aired on the WWE Network. Tributes also poured in on Twitter for Dusty Rhodes, following his death. His career was not typical, and Dusty had a huge influence on several notable wrestlers. Kevin Owens wrote on Twitter, “There are no words that can express the sadness in our hearts. RIP Dusty Rhodes… You will be missed, Dream… We love you.” As for Triple H, he wrote, “Saddened to hear the passing of Dusty Rhodes. Legend, teacher, mentor, friend… Love you Dream.” The American Dream was a hero to many fans, showing them what they could aspire to be. He was proof too that being different is something to celebrate and to embrace rather than be ashamed of being unique. Dusty Rhodes death shook up the wrestling world, and he is missed. Dusty Rhodes was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007. His sons Dustin Runnels (Goldust) and Cody Runnels (Stardust) are both active with the WWE.

Dynamite Kid Death – Unknown Causes

Thomas Billington aka Dynamite Kid – Dead at 60. 1958-2018 (Age 60)
Born in Golborne, Lancashire (United Kingdom) on December 5, 1958, Thomas Billington would defy the odds, becoming an innovator in professional wrestling despite his height of 5’8”. Working as the Dynamite Kid, Billington became the toast of Japan where he worked legendary bouts in singles competition. However, Dynamite’s greatest fame came when he teamed with real-life cousin Davey Boy Smith to form the British Bulldogs, the hottest tag team in the WWF in the 1980s. Unfortunately, as bright as Billington’s legacy was in the ring, his out-of-ring reputation was as dark. Sadly, Billington’s high-impact style shortened his career and he spent years confined to a wheelchair.
Escaping the Coal Mines
Tom Billington’s father Bill worked as a coal miner, with Tom looking to escape the same path via wrestling. Billington trained in England with Ted Betley, beginning his wrestling career in 1975 as the Dynamite Kid. In 1977, the Dynamite Kid traveled across the Atlantic to work in Stu Hart’s Calgary Stampede Wrestling. The fans were astonished by the Kid’s dynamic, high-flying style, a style that helped him overcome a small stature for a wrestler. Before long, Dynamite was working against Stampede’s babyfaces including his cousin, Davey Boy Smith.
A Junior Heavyweight Sensation
The Dynamite Kid’s work caught the attention of Japanese promoters and he was brought into New Japan Pro Wrestling where he quickly established himself as one of the best junior heavyweights in the world. Whether he worked against the WWWF Junior Heavyweight Champion Tatsumi Fujinami or the first Tiger Mask (Satoru Sayama), Billington kept fans on the edge of their seats as they wondered what move he would pull off next. Dynamite’s two-year program with Tiger Mask captivated the fans, leading to an award in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter for Match of the Year in 1983. In 1984, the Observer honored Dynamite with its awards for “Best Flying Wrestler,” “Best Technical Wrestler” (tied with Masa Saito), and the “Best Wrestling Maneuver” (his power clean dropkick).
A bulked up Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith on December 12th, 1985. Finding National Fame
In 1984, the Dynamite Kid was paired with Davey Boy Smith in the WWF where they formed the British Bulldogs. As good as both men were in the ring, they used steroids in order to put on muscle mass so as to look good alongside the WWF’s larger-than-life size wrestlers. Smith’s 160-pound body soon swelled to between 195 and 205 pounds, making him look impressive, but taking a toll on his body. Both wrestlers’ steroid use would take a heavy toll on their health.
Dynamite Kid with tag partner Davey Boy Smith, in the ring for WrestleFest 88 – July 31, 1988.
Working a style that was new to WWF fans, the Bulldogs got over quickly in the promotion. The 1980s is seen by fans and historians as the sport’s “Second Golden Age of Tag Teams” with pairs such as the Road Warriors, the Hart Foundation, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, the Rock-n-Roll Express, and the Midnight Express exemplifying the best of the best when it came to tag teams. As highly regarded as all those teams were, the case can be made that the British Bulldogs were the absolute best. They did not draw as much as the Road Warriors, but their work in their heyday was second to none. The Wrestling Observer honored the Bulldogs as its “Tag Team of the Year” in 1985. The British Bulldogs would hold the WWF Tag Team Championship just once before dropping the titles to the Hart Foundation in 1987. A 1986 back injury sidelined Billington but he had Smith carry him to the ring in order to drop the titles. Things deteriorated from there with the Bulldogs working their last WWF match in 1988. Unbeknownst to Billington, Smith trademarked “The British Bulldogs” name, preventing Billington from using it after the two split.
Mounting Injuries and Retirement
Plagued by back and leg ailments, Dynamite hung up his boots in 1991. Although he returned to the ring for a match for Japan’s Michinoku Pro in 1996, he was a shell of himself. Billington’s hard-hitting style (including his use of the diving headbutt) devastated his body, and his use of illegal drugs and anabolic steroids undoubtedly worsened things. Billington suffered seizures, heart problems, and the aftereffects of concussions. One of Billington’s legs was amputated and the man who had once defied gravity was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Embittered by an industry which had seemingly turned its back on him and living a hand-to-mouth existence, Billington lashed out at the WWF and joined many of his fellow wrestlers in the class-action lawsuit filed for concussion-related injuries (that lawsuit was eventually dismissed).
Tommy Billington aka Dynamite Kid in 2012. A Personal Heat Magnet  
While Billington’s work as a wrestler was ahead of its time, his personal life was tarnished by bullying in and out of the ring. Billington was well-known for taking liberties with opponents in the ring, intentionally hurting them. He was also known for his cruel pranks out of the ring that some saw as sadistic. Billington’s behavior led to an incident where a furious Jacques Rougeau, Jr. slugged Billington in the mouth with a roll full of quarters. Nonetheless, Billington was not without friends in the industry and his legacy in the ring will undoubtedly continue to impress new generations of fans.
Dynamite Kid Death
Tommy Billington died on December 5, 2018, his 60th birthday. Although a cause of death was not made public, his health had been deteriorating in recent years.

Earthquake Death – Bladder Cancer

John “Earthquake” Tenta – Dead at 42. Photo: wwe.com 1963-2006 (age 42)
Some wrestlers love being adored by fans; others seem to thrive on their hate. Such was the case with Earthquake, a former sumo wrestler who earned the distinction of being awarded the title of “Most Hated Wrestler of the Year” by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 1990. During his career, Earthquake, known to family and friends as John Tenta, also won the Rookie of the Year Award from Tokyo Sports and the World Wrestling Federation’s Tag Team Championship with Typhoon. Easily spotted by his blue, yellow and black singlet and his massive 6-foot, 7-inch, 468-pound frame, Earthquake never failed to bring action to the ring. Sadly, the Earthquake death story started in his prime and took his life much too soon.
The Natural Disasters: Earthquake with his tag team partner Typhoon during their run as the tag team champions. Photo: wwe.com A Cancer Diagnosis Begins the Earthquake Death Story  
In 2004, the Canadian professional wrestler shared with fans that he was suffering from bladder cancer. This form of cancer is rarer than other forms and most often develops in the elderly, making John Tenta a very rare case. Obesity has been established as a risk factor for bladder cancer, so it’s possible that John Tenta’s size contributed to the development of the disease. When he was diagnosed, Earthquake was only given a 20 percent chance of survival. Still, he decided to pursue treatment and retired from professional wrestling in order to focus on battling the disease.
Details of the Earthquake Death Story  
John Tenta underwent rounds of both radiation and chemotherapy in attempts to treat the bladder cancer. Sadly, during an interview conducted by WrestleCrap Radio on November 18, 2005, he shared with fans that the treatments had so far been unsuccessful. The cancer in his bladder had not been reduced by the treatments, and tumors had developed in his lungs. Although he was facing death, John Tenta continued to interact with fans, giving interviews and posting messages online. His strength and courage were truly inspiring. On June 7, 2006, the Earthquake death story reached its final chapter. The former pro wrestler passed away in Sanford, Florida. He was 42 years old and would have turned 43 on June 22nd.
Earthquake hits his finisher, “The Earthquake Splash” Photo: wwe.com Remembering the Big Man  
As soon as news about John Tenta’s death was released, tributes began flooding in. The WWE posted a goodbye to Earthquake on their website on the day of his death. During the June 9, 2006 episode of SmackDown and during the course of the June 12, 2006, edition of Raw, the WWE paid tribute to Earthquake.
John Tenta Grave
John Tenta’s grave is located at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Dickinson, TX. The plot is located at in Section A – St Anthony.
The Grave of John “Earthquake” Tenta at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Dickinson, TX. Photo: Patrick Deatherage A Lasting Legacy  
In April 2009, downloadable content for the video game WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 was introduced with Earthquake as a character. You’ll still find tributes and social media groups in his honor on the web with fans sharing Photos, videos and stories about the big man. We’ll give Tenta a pass for his WWF role as “Golga” with The Oddities in the late 90s. To us, Tenta will always be remembered as Earthquake – a major player in the early 90s WWF.

Eddie Gilbert Death – Heart Attack

Eddie Gilbert, Dead at 33 from a heart attack believed to be related to cocaine use   1961-1995 (Age 33)
“Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert lived up to his nickname, seemingly doing what he wanted, when he wanted, and where he wanted. Although he was considered too small to be a top star, he found consistent work in the wrestling industry whether it was as a manager, booker, or wrestler. This second-generation star burnt bridges as quickly as he could build them, yet he never lacked for work, up until his death. Sadly, Gilbert’s personal excesses would end his life at the young age of 33.
Eddie Gilbert and Sean Waltman. Destination: Wrestling
Eddie Gilbert was born on August 14, 1961. The son of wrestler Tommy Gilbert; Eddie had a younger brother Doug, who would also become a wrestler. Surrounded by wrestling, Eddie aspired to become “The King of Wrestling,” just as Jerry Lawler had become and Jackie Fargo before him. Eddie trained to be a wrestler and debuted in Memphis in 1979. He first wrestled as enhancement talent under his real name, Tommy Gilbert, Jr. Eddie wrestled in Memphis, eventually making his way to the WWF where he worked as an undercard performer: Gilbert’s career nearly ended when he broke his neck in an auto accident. Eddie recovered from the accident, but some believe it led to his lifelong battle with painkillers. Gilbert was then set up as WWF champion Bob Backlund’s protégé in order to build up an angle between the WWF champion and rival, the Masked Superstar. Gilbert wrestled the Masked Superstar, only to sustain a post-match neckbreaker on the concrete, resulting in a kayfabe broken neck: In Backlund’s memoir, Bob discusses how he saw Gilbert battling drug abuse in the WWF.
Memphis Heat and More
Eddie Gilbert got his first major push when he returned to Memphis in 1984. Gilbert teamed with Tommy “Wildfire” Rich to form “Fargo’s New Fabulous Ones” after the original Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane and Steve Keirn) left the area.
Gilbert and Rich split, with Gilbert turning heel and feuding with Rich, and later, Jerry “The King” Lawler. Gilbert became a big draw in Memphis during this time. After his run in Memphis, “Hot Stuff” went to Mid-South Wrestling where he managed a number of heels. Despite his small size, Gilbert was a heat magnet so when he did wrestle, it was a big event where fans longed to see him get his comeuppance. Gilbert allied (and eventually married) wrestling sexpot Missy Hyatt around this time, leading to the WWF wanting to bring them into the company. When Gilbert threatened to leave Mid-South, Watts gave him the job of head booker. One of his biggest booking angles occurred when he and his henchmen the Russians, beat up Mid-South owner and wrestling legend, Bill Watts; draping the Russian flag over him.
Over the next few years, Gilbert participated in some of wrestling’s hottest angles.  
Gilbert went to work in Jim Crockett Promotions where he feuded with Ric Flair and Barry Windham, bringing in Ricky Steamboat as his surprise partner (this led to the famous program between Flair and Steamboat). Gilbert also returned to Memphis where he ran Jerry Lawler over with a car after promoter Eddie Marlin kayfabe fired Gilbert: Unfortunately, Gilbert hit Lawler harder than he thought and Lawler was injured. Several fans called the police and an injured Lawler had to explain the incident was a work.
Always in Demand
“Hot Stuff” had a well-earned reputation for flaking out on promoters. He might be in a promotion one day and gone the next, yet he never had trouble finding work because of his talent.
Eddie Gilbert and the late Nancy Benoit in an undated Photo.
Gilbert found his talents as a booker in steady demand. He worked in the Global Wrestling Federation, Eastern Championship Wrestling (the precursor to Extreme Championship Wrestling), and Japanese promotion W*NG. Gilbert burned bridges in all three, walking out on them. He returned to Memphis (now known as the USWA) where he stayed there until he walked out on them when someone else got the booking job he wanted.
Wrestling a Bear Before He Died  
Although Gilbert’s talents had made up for his shortcomings, he was beginning to reach the end of his rope. He went to work in Puerto Rico’s WWC, finding success as a main event heel. However, Gilbert wanted something else and left.
Universal Wrestling Federation 1986: “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert and Terry Taylor
He appeared in the NWA World Heavyweight Championship tournament before surfacing in Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Once again, Gilbert stepped away, returning to Puerto Rico. “Hot Stuff” worked as a booker in Puerto Rico, bringing in his childhood friend Ken Wayne as his assistant. Gilbert’s last match would be against a wrestling bear. On February 18, 1995, Ken Wayne discovered Gilbert’s body in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. The cause of death was listed as a heart attack, but Gilbert’s cocaine use may have played a contributing factor.
Eddie Gilbert is buried at Lexington Cemetery in Lexington, Tennessee.
Eddie Gilbert’s grave in Lexington, Tennessee. Photo: eddiegilbert.com
He was 33 years old and survived by his brother Doug and father Tommy. Eddie Gilbert was married to Missy Hyatt for roughly two years and to Debrah Ann Miceli (aka Madusa and Alundra Blayze) for a short time in 1990. Several other notable wrestlers passed in the 90s including Brian Pillman, Art Barr, Kerry Von Erich, David Von Erich, Louie Spicolli, and many more.

Eddie Graham Death – Suicide

Eddie Graham, Dead at 55 after committing suicide   1930-1985 (Age 55)
Eddie Graham broke into fame when he became the storyline brother of wrestler Dr. Jerry Graham. From there, Eddie saved his money until he was able to buy into Championship Wrestling from Florida, one of the National Wrestling Alliance’s premier territories. Eddie became known as a shrewd businessman and clever booker, with a much-admired mind for the business. However, personal demons took down what could have been an even greater career. After a sudden business misfortune, Graham took his own life on January 21, 1985 at the age of 55.
Eddie Graham alongside Jack Brisco. How the YMCA Led to Graham’s Career  
Edward Gossett was born on January 15, 1930 in Dayton, Tennessee. Gossett was born blind in one eye, but that would hardly slow down his career. Eddie came from a troubled home and sold newspapers while living in Chattanooga. The newspaper provided YMCA gym memberships to newsboys, allowing Gossett to get the physical training which led to his career as a professional wrestler. Later in life, Gossett would remember the benefits of the YMCA and help set up something similar for disadvantaged youth.
Gossett wrestled as Rip Rogers, the storyline brother of Buddy Rogers. But it wasn’t “Rip Rogers” who would get himself over the most. Gossett’s career took off when he began working as “Eddie Graham”, the kayfabe baby brother of Dr. Jerry Graham and “Crazy” Luke Graham (later “Superstar” Billy Graham would be added to the fictional band of brothers). Eddie and Jerry teamed up, winning the United States Tag Team Championship in Vince McMahon Sr.’s Capitol Wrestling – the precursor to the WWWF. With Capitol Wrestling, Eddie learned the importance of showmanship and working big venues. These lessons would help him when he became a promoter himself.
Eddie Graham and Haystacks Calhoun. Photo: Lloyd Sandgren
In 1968, Graham was seriously injured when a metal window fell on his head at the Fort Hesterly Armory. Graham’s retinas were detached from his eyes and he required 300 stitches to his head and face. Graham received $23,399 from Florida for the injury, but it may have contributed to depression he suffered later in life. Eddie Graham became a recognized figure in and out of the ring. He was a popular star wherever he worked, eventually forming a tag team with his son Mike. The team were involved in one of wrestling’s most famous face turns when Mike and Eddie faced off against Dusty Rhodes and Pak Song. Dusty’s face turn would lead to enormous business for Championship Wrestling from Florida and launch Dusty’s rise to the top. Outside the ring, Eddie’s talents as a booker were highly regarded and he formed a close friendship with promoter Vince McMahon Sr., exchanging talent between CWF and the WWWF. This led to the first-ever NWA World Champion vs. WWWF Champion bout with NWA champ Harley Race meeting WWWF champ “Superstar” Billy Graham in a unification bout.
In 1976, Eddie was elected president of the NWA, serving for nearly two years until health issues led to him vacating the presidency. Eddie Graham was a civic-minded individual, with contributions made to a number of charitable causes, chief of them the Florida Boys and Girls Ranch Villa. In 1957, Graham, C.P. “Cowboy” Luttrall, and Hillsborough Sheriff Ed Blackburn began efforts to establish the organization. Graham donated funds from every Championship Wrestling from Florida show to the Villa, bringing in a reported $100,000. Graham also donated to amateur wrestling events at the high school and college levels.
Eddie Graham Death
On January 21, 1985, Eddie Graham ended his life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In a bizarre twist akin to only the Von Erich tragedies, Eddie’s son Mike and grandson Stephen would end their lives the same way. While the reasons for Eddie Graham’s suicide remain unknown, it is believed Eddie’s participation in a land deal gone wrong led to him needing to raise $500,000 immediately. His alcohol abuse and depression may have contributed to his suicide as well. Several other notable wrestlers have committed suicide including Chris Benoit, Chris Kanyon, Ludvig Borga, Mike Awesome, Sean O’Haire, and three of the Von Erich brothers: Mike Von Erich, Chris Von Erich, and Kerry Von Erich. Eddie Graham was cremated. He shares a memorial with his wife Lucielle at Garden of Memories in Tampa, Florida.
Eddie Graham shares a memorial with his wife Lucielle at Garden of Memories in Tampa, Florida.

Eddie Guerrero Death – Heart Failure / Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease

Eddie Guerrero dies from heart failure (due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease). He was only 38. Photo: wwe.com   1967-2005 (age 38)
The Eddie Guerrero death story was a tragic one that happened on the morning of Sunday, November 13th, 2005. In his early life, Guerrero graduated from El Paso’s Jefferson High School in 1985. He was quick to follow in the footsteps of his family by entering the world of wrestling. His father, Gory Guerrero, had been a well-known wrestler in Mexico, and his three older brothers, Chavo, Hector, and Mando, were all wrestlers as well. Eduardo “Eddie” Guerrero first gained momentum in the early 90s while wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Prior to this he had some brief stints with WCW – initially debuting as a jobber in 1989. His move back to WCW in 1995 would prove more successful, with Guerrero taking part in memorable storylines with DDP, Chris Jericho, and Chavo.
10 years before his death: Eddie Guerrero takes on Dean Malenko. Monday Nitro, October 2, 1995
Still, Eddie never truly broke out of midcard status with WCW, which prompted his move to the WWF in 2000. Guerrero debuted in the WWF as part of “The Radicalz”, alongside former WCW cohorts, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn.
Eddie moves from WCW to the WWF  
Eddie’s early career with the WWF did not go off without a hitch. He injured his elbow in his very first match. His return saw him in a memorable storyline with Chyna, where he was infamously given the “Latino Heat” moniker. Sadly, his momentum would come to a halt. In May of 2001, Eddie was sent to rehab after he became addicted to pain medication. Supposedly the addiction stemmed from a car accident he suffered in the late 90s. By the end of 2001, Eddie was arrested for driving under the influence, and was subsequently released from the WWF. His release would be short lived. By April of 2002, Guerrero was back with the WWF. It seemed the tide had turned, and he quickly rose to main event status. Most notably, Eddie won the WWE Championship – defeating Brock Lesnar at No Way Out 2004. Moving up the Ranks: Eddie Guerrero defeats Brock Lesnar and wins the WWE Championship at No Way Out (February 15, 2004). Less than 2 years later he would be found dead
The Day of the Eddie Guerrero Death
Eddie Guerrero died in his Marriott City Center hotel room in Minneapolis, MN on November 13th, 2005. He was found lying on the bathroom floor unconscious with a toothbrush in his mouth. While attempts were made to revive him, they were unsuccessful. Eddie’s passing came as a shock to everyone, from his family to his fans. It happened only hours before he was scheduled to tape WWE Raw and SmackDown. It was rumored that Eddie was scripted to soon be taking the title from Batista (who was preparing to take leave from wrestling to undergo back surgery). Guerrero was found on the floor by his nephew Chavo Guerrero Jr., another WWE wrestler, whom he was supposed to meet for breakfast that day. When Eddie Guerrero did not respond to his 7am wakeup call, hotel security had notified Chavo, who then went with security to Eddie’s hotel room. They found him unresponsive on the floor and called 9-1-1 around 7:30 am.
Shocking Details  
One of the most shocking aspects of the Eddie Guerrero death was that he was so young. Although many wrestlers have died before age 50, Eddie was only 38 years old at the time of his death. Also shocking was that back in 1999, Guerrero had nearly died from a serious car accident. He was said to have cheated death yet again when he had overcome his drug and alcohol addictions – the addictions that lead to his original release from the WWF in 2001. Unfortunately, Eddie did not escape death in 2005. At the time of the Eddie Guerrero death, he was at his peak for physical fitness. Even after death, Eddie’s story continues to inspire people to fight their own demons with drug and alcohol addiction.
Photo: wwe.com What Caused the Eddie Guerrero Death?
Upon first hearing of the wrestling superstar’s passing, some speculated that it was due to an overdose. After all, Guerrero had become addicted to pain medication after his 1999 car accident. Others speculated that Eddie may have drank himself to death given his struggles with alcoholism. In reality, the reason for the Eddie Guerrero death was a combination of his past drug abuse and drinking. While the wrestler had cleaned himself up of his demons since he hit rock bottom in 2001, he was unfortunately not able to escape the damage that had already been done to his body. On that evening in November, he suffered heart failure. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner released the official report of the Eddie Guerrero death on December 8, 2005. As per the medical report, he died of acute heart failure related to arteriosclerotic heart disease. Guerrero’s blood vessels were confined, which restricted the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.
Eddie Guerrero’s Funeral  
Eddie’s funeral was held on November 18, 2005 in Scottsdale, AZ. WWE Hall of Famer Billy Graham presided over the service, which was attended by many WWE Superstars, including Steve Austin, Chris Benoit, Edge, Michael Hayes, Rey Mysterio, and the McMahon family. Eddie left behind his wife Vickie and three daughters. At the time of his passing, Shaul was 14, Sherilyn was 9, and Kaylie Marie was 3.
Following the Eddie Guerrero Death
Tributes to Guerrero aired on Raw and SmackDown after his death. The format was similar to when Owen Hart died in 1999. Following Guerrero’s death, no one on the roster was pressured to perform, and all storylines were put on hold. On April 1, 2006, Eddie Guerrero was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame – the night before WrestleMania 22. He was inducted by Chris Benoit, Chavo Jr., and Rey Mysterio. The following night at ‘Mania, Rey Mysterio won the World Heavyweight Championship title and dedicated it to Guerrero.
Eddie Guerrero Grave  
Eddie Guerrero’s grave is located at Green Acres Memorial Park in Scottsdale, AZ.
Eddie Guerrero’s grave at Green Acres Memorial Park in Scottsdale, AZ. Photo: unknown

Fabulous Moolah Death – Unknown Causes

Ernie Ladd – Dead at 68 from colon cancer   1938-2007 (Age 68)
Believe it or not, Ernie Ladd could nearly stand toe to toe with Andre the Giant. At 6’9” and 300-plus pounds, Ladd cast a fearsome path wherever he walked. A gifted football player, Ladd easily transitioned into becoming a wrestler. Ladd portrayed a heel at a time when African-Americans faced prejudices for the color of their skin, let alone for whether they played a hero or villain. Outside the ring, Ladd served the community by reaching out to disadvantaged kids, warning them of the dangers of the streets, but also sharing them the possibility of success through perseverance and hard work.
Ernie Ladd with the San Diego chargers in the early 60s From Gridiron to Grappling  
Born in Louisiana and raised in Texas, Ernie Ladd attended Grambling State University on a basketball scholarship after excelling in high school at both football and basketball. Ernie Ladd enjoyed spectacular success in the American Football League (AFL), playing 112 consecutive games in a row. Ladd played for the AFL team the San Diego Chargers, and later, the Houston Oilers and Kansas City Chiefs. Ladd made life miserable for opponents as a defensive tackle, earning honors such as an AFL Championship, three All-Pro awards, and four appearances in the AFL All-Star Game. His surprising quickness earned him the nickname “The Big Cat.” The feared and respected football star entered wrestling after some local wrestlers challenged Ladd to a private workout session. Before long, Ladd was wrestling during football’s off-season.
Ernie Ladd with manager, The Grand Wizard. Photo: wwe.com
As successful as he was in football, Ladd could not resist the paychecks of the squared circle. Bear in mind that back in the 60’s, football players made a fraction of what they make today, even adjusted for inflation. “After a few years, I was making so much money wrestling in the off-season that I figured I could make a lot more by giving up football and wrestling full time,” Ladd told The Times. “I quit football at 28 and still had several good years left. That first year wrestling, I made $98,000, and after that never made less than a hundred grand a year. That was big money back in the ’60s.”
A Successful Wrestler and Booker  
Ladd’s success as a football player led to amazing success in the ring.
Ernie Ladd punishes Magnum T.A.
“The Big Cat’s” size and fearsome reputation made him a natural heel. While promoters were leery to cast an African-American as a heel because of racial prejudices, Ladd’s box office success overruled any hesitations on promoters’ parts. Ladd occasionally worked babyface, but usually did so when he entered a promotion, only to turn heel on the area’s top babyface. Ladd became notorious for using his taped thumb to cheat his way to victory. Given his size and power, he didn’t have to cheat, but he was Ernie Ladd so who was going to tell him otherwise? “The Big Cat” worked a number of territories in the National Wrestling Alliance and worked memorable feuds in the World-Wide Wrestling Federation, including runs with WWWF champions Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales and Bob Backlund, as well as rival big men such as Haystacks Calhoun, and Andre the Giant. As his career began to slow down, Ladd became a booker in Bill Watts’ Mid-South Wrestling. While fellow promoters questioned Watts’ decision to put an African-American in a position of power, Watts ignored them. Ladd became a respected and successful booker, helping to establish the Junkyard Dog as one of wrestling’s greatest stars.
A Civil Rights Champion
Ernie Ladd never shied from using his clout to fight for civil rights.
Outside the ring: Ernie Ladd was an important figure in the civil rights movement of the 60s.  
In 1965, Ladd participated in the civil rights boycott of New Orleans, the city selected for the AFL All-Star Game. When African-American players arrived in New Orleans, they were discriminated against including cab drivers refusing to take them and bars denying them entry. This resulted in white and black players standing together and refusing to play the game, which in turn resulted in the AFL hastily moving the game to Houston. Ladd continued fighting for civil rights. Behind the scenes, he shared his life experiences and wisdom with those around him.
WWWF, January 7, 1976: Ernie Ladd interviewed by a young Vince McMahon (Hamburg, PA) In a 2014 article with Fox Sports, Jim Ross recalled his friendship with “The Big Cat”:
“Those nights in Shreveport, where my room would fill with smoke and the smacking of dominoes on a table, were some of the best days of my life. Not only did I learn invaluable life lessons that I still use, but I also was educated on the fine art of pro wrestling psychology by a master strategist.” Ernie Ladd also reached out through a Christian ministry, including outreach efforts to prison inmates.
Ernie Ladd took part in various community services in his later years  
Ladd tirelessly gave back to the community, including his work as a youth basketball coach. Ladd became involved in politics as well, throwing his support behind whomever he felt deserving of the rub that came with his reputation.
A Fighter Until the End – Ernie Ladd’s Death

In 2003, Ernie Ladd was diagnosed with colon cancer.
Ladd endured the disease for three years, ignoring the doctor’s diagnosis that he only had months to live. “The doctor told me I had three to six months to live…I told the doctor that he’s a liar and that Dr. Jesus has got the verdict on me! I also told him, ‘You’re working with a miracle when you work with me.”

Ernie “The Cat” Ladd in his later years  
By 2007, the cancer had spread to his stomach and bones. Ladd passed away on March 10, 2007 at the age of 68. Ernie Ladd is survived by his wife, Roslyn; his three sons, Ernie, Rodney, and Reginald; his daughter, Erika Peters; 16 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; two sisters, Jamesetta and Louella, and his brother, James. Ladd was honored numerous times for his achievements in life, including induction into the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame, the NWA Hall of Fame, the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, and the WWE Hall of Fame.
Ernie Ladd’s Grave
Ernie Ladd is buried at Franklin Cemetery in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana.
Ernie Ladd’s grave, Franklin Cemetery – St. Mary Parish, Louisana. Photo: Pegster Davis  

Ernie Ladd Death – Colon Cancer

Infamous female wrestling legend, The Fabulous Moolah – Dead at 84. Photo: wwe.com   1923-2007 (age 84)
Holding a championship title in professional wrestling is never easy, but one professional wrestler managed to do so for more than 30 years. Her name was Fabulous Moolah, and she had the distinction of being the longest championship title holder in the history of wrestling. Moolah also stands out as one of the wrestlers to lead a long life. The Fabulous Moolah death story didn’t reach its final chapter until 2007 when she was 84 years old.
Stepping Back into the Ring  
If fate had taken a different twist, the Fabulous Moolah death story might have taken place in 1999. In 1999, Fabulous Moolah decided to try her hand at professional wrestling again and stepped back into the ring. She began to experience dizziness when she was training. She was instructed to use a heart monitor to see what the problem was. It turned out that she was suffering from clogged arteries and had a severe case of viral pneumonia.
Her condition declined.
Moolah spent the next 24 days in intensive care. She would be released from the hospital only to fall in the bathroom and injure her back. In late December 1999, she underwent back surgery. While she ended up surviving the ordeal, The Fabulous Moolah would never be able to wrestle again.
No Mercy 1999: At the ripe age of 76, Moolah rolls up Ivory and wins the WWF Women’s Championship. Moolah would be dead within 8 years. Photo: wwe.com The Facts about the Fabulous Moolah Death
In 2007, Fabulous Moolah once again found herself in need of medical care. The 84-year-old former wrestler was told that she needed to have shoulder replacement surgery. She underwent the treatment sometime during the second half of 2007. On November 2, 2007, Moolah passed away in Lexington, South Carolina. It’s not known whether she was in the hospital at the time, but reportedly, she was not in her home in Columbia, South Carolina. Because of Fabulous Moolah’s age, her daughter, Mary, opted not to have an autopsy performed. In an interview at the time of her mother’s death, her daughter stated that her mother died either from a blood clot due to the surgery or due to a heart attack.
Tributes Roll in After the Fabulous Moolah Death News  
Following the death of Fabulous Moolah, many sports reporters penned tributes to her. Notably many professional wrestlers spoke about how inspiring and tough she was.
The Fabulous Moolah being interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund at WrestleMania I, 1985. Photo: wwe.com  
A tribute was posted on WWE.com, noting that Fabulous Moolah paved the way for women to wrestle and that she started a legacy that would never be forgotten. The statement rings true as Fabulous Moolah will forever be remembered for her long reign as a champion. She was also the first woman to ever be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame when she was given the honor in 1995. In 2003, Moolah was added to the ranks of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Texas. Even though she has passed, many young wrestling fans continue to discover the Fabulous Moolah today, as her career is discussed at length in the well known documentary Lipstick and Dynamite.
Fabulous Moolah Grave
The Fabulous Moolah’s grave is located at the Greenlawn Memorial Park in Columbia, SC.
Fabulous Moolah’s grave at the Greenlawn Memorial Park in Columbia, SC. Photo: Charlotte Foster
Moolah’s grave and memorial at the Greenlawn Memorial Park in Columbia, SC. Photo: Charlotte Foster

Freddie Blassie Death – Heart and Kidney Failure

“Classy” Freddie Blassie dies at age 85 of heart and kidney failure. Photo: wwe.com   1918-2003 (age 85)
Few wrestling personalities can boast so long of a career as Frederick Blassman who was known to the world as “Classy” Freddie Blassie. An active wrestler from 1935 to 1986, Freddie Blassie had the distinction of working under the McMahon family through four generations and remaining on the WWE’s roster up until the Freddie Blassie death news was released to the world. Today, the former NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion and NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion is still well remembered by fans and beloved by the wrestling community.
Classy Freddie Blassie on an episode of WWF’s “Tuesday Night Titans” – 1985. Photo: wwe.com Failed Attempts on Freddie Blassie’s Life
In a time when it was not publicly known that professional wrestling was scripted, Blassie took a lot of heat from fans. In fact, if some fans had their way, Freddie Blassie’s death may have occurred decades earlier. The wrestler’s outspoken words and antics in the ring made him a perfect heel, and in some cases, disgruntled fans reacted violently.
As a manager, Blassie sells half-interests in his talent to new manager, Slick  
Over the course of his career, Freddie Blassie was attacked with acid, stabbed over 20 times, had his car set on fire, and was even blinded on one side when someone hit him in the eye with a hard-boiled egg. Throughout all of the attacks on him by angry fans, Freddie Blassie was actually read his last rites twice by priests.
Plagued by Health Problems and Injuries
Classy Freddie Blassie (center) with The Iron and Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff at WrestleMania I (1985). Photo: wwe.com  
There are mixed reports about what exactly motivated Freddie Blassie to retire in 1986. Some stories have it that Freddie was physically unable to continue in the ring because of a serious knee injury. He was also 68 at the time, which is obviously much older than the majority of the roster. Others say that he would have kept on wrestling but was made to retire because of legal limits on the maximum age of professional wrestlers due to safety concerns. Even after retirement, Freddie continued to appear at wrestling events. But his health was deteriorating. He was forced to be in a wheelchair when he would be shown on screen.
The Details of the Freddie Blassie Death Story
The Freddie Blassie death story really began during the early 2000s. The former wrestler’s health started to rapidly recline. As previously mentioned, Freddie was unable to walk without a wheelchair. Blassie appeared increasingly frailer and weaker. In May 2003, he was taken to the hospital because of problems with his heart and kidneys. He would never leave the hospital again, passing away on June 2, 2003, in Hartsdale, New York. Freddie Blassie was 85 years old at the time of his death. He had been involved with wrestling for 67 years.
Friends and the Community React to the Freddie Blassie Death News  
Following the Freddie Blassie death arrangements, which included a funeral in Scarsdale, New York, many friends spoke about how much they loved Freddie. Shortly after his death, Bradshaw wrote a touching tribute to the deceased wrestler on the WWE website.
Classy Freddie Blassie in 1985. Photo: wwe.com
The following year, Freddie Blassie was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in Texas as one of the year’s Television Era Award recipients. In 2011, he was also inducted into the National Wrestling Alliance for his tag team championships with the NWA in Georgia.
Freddie Blassie Grave  
Freddie Blassie was cremated and buried at the Resurrection Cemetery in Affton, MO. The plot is located at Section 11, Lot 538-A. The plot is shared with Anna Miletich, though we could find no information on her relationship with Blassie.
Freddie Blassie’s grave is located at the Resurrection Cemetery in Affton, MO. Photo: Connie Nisinger  

Frenchy Martin Death – Bladder Cancer

Frenchy Martin – Dead at 69 from bladder cancer. Photo: wwe.com   1947-2016 (age 69)
Jean Gagné, best known to WWE wrestling fans as “Frenchy Martin” has passed away. Rick Martel, close friend of Jean Gagné, broke the news this morning, October 21st, 2016. It was learned back in September that the Quebec-native was on hospice care after being diagnosed with bladder cancer a year prior. According to Slam, Gagné, who was quickly approaching his 70s, chose not to aggressively fight his bout with cancer.
Frenchy Martin Wrestling Career  
Frenchy Martin was a fixture in WWE programming throughout the late 80s, most notably managing Canadian strongman, Dino Bravo. Frenchy Martin would occasionally carry a sign to the ring that said “USA is Not Ok” – effectively getting over his heel status as the villainous foreigner.
Frenchy Martin competed in Stampede Wrestling, but was perhaps best known as the manager of the late Dino Bravo. Photo: wwe.com  
Prior to his run as a manager with the WWE, Jean Gagné spent time in Puerto Rico, and also saw success as a wrestler with Stampede out of Calgary. In Stampede, Jean Gagné worked under the moniker “Don Gagné” and claimed Tag Team Championship gold in 1986, followed by the North American Heavyweight Championship in 1977. Before transitioning to his most recognized role as a manager for Dino Bravo, Gagné was used as enhancement talent by the WWE.
Frenchy Martin takes on Koko B. Ware. April, 1990
While his run with the WWE may be considered brief, it should be noted that Gagné made appearances at all of the “big 4” pay per views throughout the late 80s, including WrestleMania IV, SummerSlam ’88, the ’88 Survivor Series, and the 1989 Royal Rumble.

Remembering Frenchy Martin

On Episode 94 (March 30, 2018) of Bruce Prichard’s Something to Wrestle podcast, Prichard spoke highly of Frenchy Martin, noting “he drew some money in Puerto Rico and was a hell of a hand.” Chuckling, Prichard also credits Frenchy with teaching him how to smoke weed on a commercial airplane. “Great guy, a lot of fun.”
WWE Comments on Frenchy Martin Death
Evil Foreigner Gimmick 101: A Quebec native, Frenchy played the heel manager role to perfection. Photo: wwe.com WWE has put forth the following statement on Jean Gagné’s passing:
WWE is saddened to learn that Jean Gagné, known to WWE fans as Frenchy Martin, has passed away. Though he began his WWE career as a competitor, Martin is best remembered for his time as the manager of the mighty Dino Bravo. Donning a brash monocle and a sequined beret, Martin helped his fellow French Canadian find success in 1987, while enraging American fans by carrying around a sign that read “USA Is Not OK.” Martin’s ringside antics made him a memorable face of WWE in the late ’80s despite a relatively brief run. WWE extends its condolences to Gagné’s family, friends and fans.

Fritz Von Erich Death – Brain and Lung Cancer

Fritz Von Erich – Dead at 68. Photo: youtube.com   1929-1997 (age 68)
Jack Adkisson, best known under his ring name of Fritz Von Erich, was a pioneer in the Texas territory of professional wrestling. Fritz was trained by the late Stu Hart in the 1950s. Throughout the 80s, Fritz was president of WCCW – a promotion in which his wrestling sons were the faces of the company. Crowds would pack the Dallas Sportatorium to see the Von Erichs square off against the rival Freebirds.
Wrestling’s Cursed Family
In one of the most talked about series of events in wrestling history, Fritz Von Erich would end up seeing five of his six sons buried. Fritz’ first son, Jack, died in 1959 from an accidental electrocution. Jack was only 7 years old. In 1984, David Von Erich, the star of WCCW died under speculated circumstances during a trip to Japan. He was 25. Three years later, Mike Von Erich died from an intentional drug overdose at age 23. Chris Von Erich shot himself in 1991 at the age of 21. Following the same path as Chris before him, Kerry Von Erich shot himself in 1993.
Fritz Von Erich Death  
On September 10, 1997, Fritz Von Erich died from brain and lung cancer.
Kevin Von Erich remains Fritz’ only surviving son.
Fritz’ services were held in Dallas, the same city in which he passed. His grave is located at Grove Hill Memorial Park in Dallas, TX. The plot is located at Hilltop Section, Lot 530.
The grave of Frtiz Von Erich in Dallas, shared by his fourth son, Kerry Von Erich. Photo: David N. Lotz  

Gary Hart Death – Heart Disease

Legendary Wrestling Manager Gary Hart – Dead at 66. Photo: youtube.com   1942-2008 (age 66)
Gary Williams, best known to wrestling fans as Gary Hart, was a notable heel wrestling manager throughout the 80s. Gary Hart’s managing run with WCCW included main event clientele such as Gino Hernandez, “Gentleman” Chris Adams, Abdullah the Butcher among many more. Gary Hart died on March 16, 2008 from heart disease. He was 66 years old. Hart was cremated, his ashes scattered in a pond at Chisholm Park in Hurst, Texas.

George “The Animal” Steele Death – Kidney Failure

George “The Animal” Steele – Dead at 79   1937-2017 (age 79)
Jim Myers, better known to wrestling fans as George “The Animal” Steele, has died at age 79. George was a WWE Hall of Famer with a storied career – not only in the wrestling ring, but also as a coach, teacher, and even an appearance alongside Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s 1994 classic, Ed Wood. But Myers’ accomplishments never came easy. He battled health issues his entire life.
A Wrestling Legend  
Best known as a charismatic figure in the 80s, George “The Animal” Steele will forever be remembered for his wild antics in the ring – and that signature green tongue, which Steele admitted was a simple matter of eating green breath mints prior to entering the ring. In a 2008 interview, he joked “I had the best breath in wrestling.” 1983: Heel 101. George “The Animal” Steele makes short work of Pete Sanchez… Stuffing his face with the turnbuckle Early in his WWF career, George “The Animal” Steele was managed by fellow legend, Freddie Blassie. By 1986, fans warmed up to The Animal, and he found himself in a memorable feud with Randy Savage, particularly showing a love interest in Savage’s valet, Miss Elizabeth.
Winner gets Elizabeth!
Steele would go on to make sporadic returns to the WWE, including a run in the late 90s during the Attitude era as part of The Oddities.
Remembering George “The Animal” Steele  
According to his wife, Myers died from kidney failure.
Eating turnbuckles – just another day in the office for the Animal. Photo: wwe.com He was in and out of hospice care throughout 2016.
Prior to recent health issues, Myers was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in the late 80s, although it was said to have gone into remission with Myers no longer suffering from Crohn’s symptoms. Looking back, it’s easy to assume that George “The Animal” Steele would be another goofy 80s wrestler who would fade into obscurity. The truth is, the guy with the green tongue who ate turnbuckles had earned his masters degree from Central Michigan University and was a teacher – which explains why The Animal only wrestled during the summer time early in his wrestling career. Knowing that the end was coming soon, the late Jim Myers recorded a video just prior to his death. If you have an hour, it’s a pretty fascinating account of his life and career:
R.I.P. big guy!