Monday, January 15, 2018

Roy's Review: IWE 10th Anniversary 1/13/2018 Brewer, Maine

Here is my review of IWE's 10 Year Anniversary Tour Night 2 in Brewer, Maine on January 13, 2018

Match 1: John Steele defeated Blockkishi

This was awful. Roadblock did give Gleitz a stinkface which was pretty funny.

In Ring:
The Era of Violence come out with Chad Epic and Steven Lust. Bill Vaux says that he has post concussion syndrome and can't wrestle but IWE did allow for a replacement. Out comes Adam Ricker carrying a beaten up Elite Terrell.

Match 2: Tag Team Champions: Rob Marsh and Adam Ricker w/Bill Vaux, Steven Lust & Chad Epic defeated Angel Cross to retain

Marsh and Ricker dominated most of the match. Chad Epic did get himself thrown out but it didn't matter because his team won after a World's Strongest Slam then a Frog Splash from Marsh.

Match 3: Ricky Williams defeated Malik Logan

Ricky Williams looked good in this match. Decent match that saw Williams get the win after a triple german suplex then a flying headbutt.

In Ring: Sonny Roselli and John Bryer come out for the Circle of Champions presentations. First up was Alexander Lee. He said that he has done a lot of stupid things in his 14 year wrestling career but he still enjoys doing it. Next was Johnny Primer. He talked about all of his different gimmicks then called in Mikey Primer and they hugged. Last was Eric Johnson. He talked about starting IWE and how he wouldn't be Eric Johnson without the fans. He then put Bomb and Sonny on the spot about him coming back and the crowd freaked out. Eric left, then the lights went out. The Mutts with Sarah D'Arrico and August Leon came out. Sarah says that they are back and wishes everyone a happy 10 year anniversary. Ian Griffin then calls Bomb and Sonny the drunks. Alex Caine gets really pissed and freaks out saying they ruled the tag team division but were given a kick in the ass on the way out the door. August Leon then says that they are basically going to take over IWE.

Match 4: Derek Shorey defeated Steven Lust

This match didn't really do it for me but it was good to see Shorey get a win.

Match 5: Big Moxie defeated Maine State Champion Adam Ricker in a Last Man Standing Match to win the title

Moxie pretty much dominated this match. Ricker did get a brief advantage when Rob Marsh, Bill Vaux and Steven Lust came out allowing him to get a bat out from under the ring, but The Street, Derek Shorey and Ricky Williams came out and ran them off. Moxie then got the bat and hit Ricker multiple times for the win.

Match 6: Todd Harris w/Malik Logan defeated Kalvin Strange to win the Live Wire Championship

Great match that the crowd was super into. Strange worked the arm throughout the match and Harris did a great job of sellling it. Harris got the win after an RKO then a Dragon Sleeper. Hopefully this match gets released because it was really good.

In Ring: Todd Harris says that he lost his dad recently but his dad was watching him win tonight. He then made fun of the crowd and rubbed in his victory.

In Ring: Captain comes out and talks about the IWE training school. He then brings out the current trainees. Mason X comes out and destroys them until Mikey Primer makes the save.

Match 7: Mason X defeated Mikey Primer

This was a massive squash. I'm liking the new Mason X

Match 8: Triple Threat: Danger Kid defeated IWE Champion Aidan Aggro & Alexander Lee with Johnny Primer as Special Referee to win the title

Great match that spilled to the floor early. These guys really beat the hell out of each other. Midway through Primer got knocked down from a kick. Gleitz came out but Primer got back up and gave him a cutter. In the end Danger Kid hit a Swanton Bomb on Lee while he was pinning Aggro for the win.

In Ring: MSP makes up and help Danger Kid celebrate his win, when The Mutts come out. They stare down MSP then the 2 teams start yelling at each other. Alexander Lee spit on Alex Caine then shortly after there was a massive brawl that spilled into the crowd. A bunch of guys came from the back to break it up and a trainee got knocked out. Rob Marsh also got really pissed and wanted to fight The Mutts. This didn't seem like this was supposed to happen.

Overall this show scored a 34.25 out of 80 for an overall score of 42.81%. The first half was lacking a little bit but the 2nd half more than made up for it with two great title matches and an awesome ending. 

IWE returns to Brewer on Saturday February 10th with "The Franchise" Shane Douglas who will challenge Danger Kid for his newly won IWE Championship

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast Podcast of 1,000 Holds on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Later Readers!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Roy's Review: IWE 10th Anniversary 1/12/2018 Fairfield, Maine

Here is my review of IWE's 10th Anniversary Tour Night 1 in Fairfield, Maine on January 12, 2018

In Ring: Jimmy Limits challenges any crusierweight in the back to a match. Tommy Lane comes out and accepts the challenge.

Match 1: Jimmy Limits defeated Tommy Lane

A decent match that saw Lane get in some good offense but in the end he got wrecked by a Brogue Kick.

Match 2: Kalvin Strange defeated Steven Lust

This match didn't really do it for me.

Match 3: Mason X defeated Big Moxie

These guys beat each other with clubs to the back and tried crushing each other in the corner. Other than that they didn't really do much of anything else. Midway through the match Adam Ricker came down. In the end he distracted Big Moxie allowing Mason X to get the win.

In Ring: Mason X continued to beat up Big Moxie until Eric Johnson came down to make the save. They battled to the back. Then Adam Ricker came in and gave Big Moxie and World's Strongest Slam. Ricker then gets on the microphone and says that tomorrow night Big Moxie will be his bitch.

Match 4: Crusierweight Champion "Boston Bad Boy" Jason Rumble defeated Elite Terrell w/Angel Cross to retain

Lots of comedy in the beginning of this one. Once they got to wrestling it was a solid match. Rumble got the win with a backstabber.

Match 5: Angel Cross w/Elite Terrell defeated Rob Marsh w/Chad Epic by disqualification

Decent match until Steven Lust came out and attacked Angel Cross.

In Ring: Elite Terrell comes in and chases off Rob Marsh and Steven Lust. He then grabs the microphone and says that The Era of Violence didn't earn the tag team titles because they never pinned The Street. Angel Cross then challenges Steven Lust to a match.

Match 6: Todd Harris defeated John Steele

Solid match with Harris getting the crowd going as always. Steele had a good showing in his IWE debut.

In Ring: Todd Harris says that Kalvin Strange is a lower class citizen and he will trump him. Roadblock then comes out with a referee.

Match 7: Todd Harris defeated Roadblock

Superkick and bye see ya.

Match 8: Triple Threat Match: Derek Shorey defeated Ricky Williams and Malik Logan w/Todd Harris

This match was to determine the #1 contender to the Live Wire Championship. Good match with Shorey really shining. He got the win after a Swanton Bomb. Todd Harris was super pissed after the match for some reason.

This show scored a 35.5 out of 80 for an overall score of 44.38%. This was an average show that seemed to be used to put over the Brewer show.  Finally Derek Shorey is going to get the opportunity he deserves and should have had a long time ago. 

IWE returns to Fairfield on Friday February 9th with "The Franchise" Shane Douglas

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast Podcast of 1,000 Holds on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Later Readers!

Photos courtesy of Philster

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Brandon's 2017 Year in Review

This past year, I spent a lot of time in front of a wrestling ring. In fact, I saw more live wrestling action than any year prior! What's even more astonishing is that I didn’t attend a single event from a nationwide touring promotion, but instead I stuck to local wrestling here in North Carolina. It was a great year of wrestling and I’m hoping 2018 is just as rewarding.

January 28th, 2017
AML Second Anniversary Show

Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Home & Garden Center
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

I started off the year attending my first ever AML event (outside of Wrestlecade) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I was riding off an amazing Wrestlecade V and was excited to get a chance to meet Cody Rhodes. Going into the event, I’d say I was a medicore Cody supporter, but walking out I was a full-fledged fan. Cody Rhodes was one of the nicest wrestlers I’ve ever met and it was a joy to have a few moments to chat with him. 

Match of the Night: Cody Rhodes vs. Sonjay Dutt for the Global Force NexGen Title

February 25th, 2017
AML All for the Glory
Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Home & Garden Center
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

After a wonderful night of AML action in January, the wife and I decided to make the two and half hour trip back out to Winston-Salem the following month to what else AML had going on. The big name they brought in for All for the Glory was PJ Black, and he and Caleb Konley put on one heck of a match. My only complaint was they needed a little more time and a room with a higher roof. 

Match of the Night: PJ Black vs. Caleb Konley

March 18th, 2017
NCWA Ivan Koloff Memorial Tag Team Tournament
Clayton Fitness Center
Clayton, North Carolina

I’ve wanted to attend an NCWA event since I first moved back to North Carolina in 2005. Every year, they put a lot of work into promoting what used to be called the Ivan Koloff Tag Team Tournament, but following his passing earlier this year the event was converted into a Memorial Tournament. This year I finally bought tickets and sat in an extremely cramped three-quarter gym at a fitness center to see legends like Shane Douglas, Demolition, The Rock N Roll Express, and Bobby Fulton. The location may have sucked, but it was great getting to meet some of my favorite tag teams in person and being able to attend a decent wrestling show that wasn’t several hours away.

Match of the Night: Mid-Atlantic Outlaws vs. The Ugly Ducklings

March 26th, 2017
AML Big Man Bash
Franklinton Middle School Gym
Franklinton, North Carolina

AML made its furthest east appearance in the small town of Franklinton, North Carolina, which happened to be just a little over an hour away. The wife and I drove out to the little town and found that most of the town had showed up to see some hard hitting AML action. The gimmick of the show as this was a big man tournament, and big men showed up. Drew Galloway (a week away from returning to the WWE) wrestled and AML brought in Jax Dane and Houston Carson, who both put on some great matches in front of a very lively audience.

Match of the Night: Jax Dane vs. Houston Carson

April 28th, 2017
AML Viva La Lucha
Winston-Salem National Guard Armory
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

For the first time in almost twenty years, I attended a wrestling event with my father. I took him to his first ever independent show and he was blown away by the action. Chavo Guerrero Jr faced off against Caprice Coleman in a high flying, hard hitting match. But it was the underdog Willie Mack vs. Timmy Lou Retton who tore the house down with an intense match that spilled out into the crowd.

Match of the Night: Willie Mack vs. Timmy Lou Retton

September 22nd, 2017
Big Time Wrestling: Raleigh
Dorton Arena
Raleigh, North Carolina

Big Time Wrestling has been coming to Raleigh for the last several years, and every year I make a decision to go, but then something happens. This year, my father bought my wife and I tickets, so I had no excuse not to go. Dorton Arena is one of those iconic arenas that was used by Jim Crockett Promotions, and it was almost breath taking walking into the beautiful building and seeing a wrestling ring set up. Obviously, the crowd was much smaller now than it was in the 80’s, but it was still the type of thing that sends a chill down your spine.

Not only was I able to cross attending a wrestling event at Dorton Arena off my wrestling bucket list, but also seeing Terry Funk vs. Jerry Lawler wrestle. Of course, it was nothing like what it was thirty years ago, but it was still amazing to see these two legends in the ring at the same time. 

Match of the Night: Flex Armstrong vs. Ted Goodz

November 24th, 2017
Wrestlecade: Showcase of Champions
Benton Convention Center
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Showcase of Champions is usually considered the sleeper event of the Wrestlecade weekend and its hard to argue with that sentiment. The event features talent from all over the country showcasing their talent for fans who travel all over the world to come to WrestleCade. Big names like Rosemary, Pentagon Jr., and Fenix were on the card, along with lesser known wrestlers from different promotions as far west as Oregon.

Match of the Night: Chet Sterling vs Rey Fenix vs Andrew Everett vs and Jason Kincaid

November 25th, 2017
Wrestlecade: Supershow
Benton Convention Center
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

After attending Wrestlecade for the past three years, I finally stuck around to watch the SuperShow. It was quite a treat to see all the amazing talent up-and-down the card. It truly is a wonderful event that features up and coming talent, legends, and some of the top talent in the game right now.

Match of the Night: Taya Valkerie vs. Ivelisse

When I look back at all the events I attended it’s hard to decide on just one event that really sticks out as better than the rest. Each show was unique in its own way and that made attending every one of them a lot of fun. If I was forced to decide on just one event that was the Best Event of the Year I’d have to say the first event of the year, The AML Second Anniversary Show was probably the most fun.

As far as Best Match of the Year goes, there was no competition. Timmy Lou Retton vs Willie Mack from AML’s Viva La Lucha was by far the best match. These two guys put on a show that no one in attendance expected. It was one of those matches that just captured everybody’s attention and reminded you why you love professional wrestling.

As far as Best Wrestler Interactions of the Year it was a three-way tie. 

Cody Rhodes was incredibly gracious and really seemed interested having an actual conversation with the fans.

Bacon and Eggs are one of the more entertaining tag teams I saw this year and well… they picked me up totally unexpectedly for a photo op and that was very cool of them.

My interaction with Jerry Lawler was very similar to Cody Rhodes. He actually took time to talk to me for several minutes and wasn’t in a hurry to rush onto the next person. Its nice when wrestlers don’t treat you like a quick cash grab.

Over 2017 was a year of a great wrestling. I didn’t get a chance to attend all the shows I wanted to, but there is always 2018.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Wrestlers Who Died in 2017

In February 2017 in just a few days time we lost Chavo Sr, George "The Animal" Steele, and Ivan Koloff.  Just a month prior Superfly Snuka died.  It was then that I started the post that would be dedicated to wrestlers that we lost in 2017.  This year we have lost some legends in Mexico, Japan, and the United States.  There will be names you've grown up watching and names you've never heard of but they all entertained us in one way or another inside the squared circle.

Timothy Well 55, September 8, 1961 - January 9, 2017

Born Timothy Smith and also known as Rex King, he debuted in 1987 in the Pacific Northwest Wrestling as Rex King teaming with Steve Doll as the Southern Rockers.  In 1993 he and Doll entered the WWE under the names Timothy Well and Steven Dunn as the team Well Dunn.  The duo won several tag team championships in Music City Wrestling, PNW, USWA, & World Wrestling Council.  Well passed away from kidney failure.

Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka 73, May 18, 1943 - January 15, 2017

Snuka debuted in 1968 in Hawaii and toured the territories headlining wherever he went.  He's known for famously leaping off the top of the cage in Madison Square Garden on October 17, 1983 onto Don Muraco after losing the match to the Intercontinental Champion.  However that was not the first time he'd soared off the cage.  That was June 28, 1982 against Bob Backlund.

Snuka died in hospice care from undisclosed illness just two weeks after a judge ruled him unable to stand trial for in the May 1983 murder of Nancy Argentino.

Jun Izumida 51, October 28, 1965 - January 25, 2017

Izumida was a sumo wrestler from 1986 to 1991 before debuting in All Japan Pro Wrestling in May 1992.  He left AJPW following Misawa when he formed Pro Wrestling Noah.  He retired October 3, 2012 wrestling his final match in at the AJPW 40th Anniversary show teaming with Takao Omori & Manabu Soya defeating Dark Cuervo, Dark Ozz, & RONIN.  He was found dead on January 31st, it was determined that he had passed away days earlier from a heart attack.

Tom Drake 86, 1931 - February 2, 2017

Drake attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he wrestled and played football.  He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers but he didn't last long in the NFL before he was drafted by the US Army in 1954 during the Korean War.  After leaving the Army he became the head wrestling coach for the University of Alabama.  He later enrolled in law school at the same University earning his degree.  He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives holding the Cullman County seat for 32 years even holding consecutive terms as Speaker of the House.

He wrestled for 24 years from 1954 to 1978 while doing everything I mentioned above.  He had matches with some of the greatest legends of wrestling including Lou Thesz, "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, Gorgeous George, and "Classy" Freddie Blassie.

"Bruiser" Bob Sweetan 76, July 4, 1940 - February 10, 2017

A native of British Columbia, Sweetan debuted in 1966 and wrestled 21 years primarily for Central States Wrestling but also in the territories in Mid-South, Texas, San Francisco, Puerto Rico, and Stampede Wrestling in Calgary.

Outside the ring Sweetan's personnel life wasn't the best.  He was a convicted sex offender and in 2000 he was deported back to Canada.  He died from complications with diabetes and other ailments.

Chavo Guerrero Sr. 68, January 7, 1949 - February 11, 2017

A second generation superstar from the famous Guerrero family, Chavo Sr. wrestled for 46 years from 1970 until 2016.  He wrestled all over the world as a singles star and with his brothers in various tag teams.  He had an unexpected run in the WWE in 2004 as Chavo Classic including a month long Cruiserweight Championship reign.  He passed away from liver cancer.

George "The Animal" Steele 79, April 16, 1937 - February 16, 2017

The Animal debuted in 1967 as The Student in the Detroit area under a mask.  Later he went to the WWWF feuding with Bruno Sammartino over the WWWF Championship.  He is best known by my generation for his run in mid 80's and his infatuation over Randy "Macho Man" Savage's valet/wife Miss Elizabeth.  He stopped wrestling in 1988, returning in 1997 wrestling on and off for three years.  He passed away from kidney failure

Nicole Bass 52, August 10, 1964 - February 17, 2017

Bass got into the world of wrestling after a spending over a decade as a female bodybuilder.  She debuted in ECW joining Justin Credible's stable alongside Chastity and Jason in 1998.  At WrestleMania XV she debuted as Sables bodyguard lasting in the WWE for only a few months.  She made some independent appearances before leaving wrestling in 2000.  Bass passed away from a stroke she suffered the day before.

Ivan Koloff 74, August 25, 1942 - February 18, 2017

The Russian Bear wrestled for over thirty years and is quite possibly best known for defeating Bruno Sammartino on January 18, 1971 for the WWWF Championship ending Bruno's near 8 year reign.  I first recall seeing him in Jim Crockett Promotions teaming with his nephew Nikita and Krusher Kruschev.  He passed away from liver cancer.

Johnny K-9 53, December 7, 1963 - February 21, 2017

Born Ion Croitoru, Johnny K-9 began wrestling in 1984 for Stampede Wrestling before going to the AWA.  He also wrestled as a jobber in the WWF, and toured Japan with NJPW, FMW, & WAR.  He wrestled under other names such as Bruiser Bedlam, The Terrible Turk, and more.

Outside wrestling he was in various motorcycle gangs and accused of murder, assault, trafficking cocaine, and bombing a police station.

Tom Jones 77, October 22, 1939 - March 4, 2017

Jones wrestled for 30 years across North America but primarily out of Texas.  He held championships in California, Georgia, and the Pacific Northwest to name a few.  Jones promoted shows in Oklahoma and helped his son "Human Highlight Reel" Cody Jones get his start in wrestling.

"Outlaw" Ron Bass 68, December 21, 1948 - March 7, 2017

Bass debuted in 1971 for the NWA Gulf Coast Territory.  He would go on to compete in Championship Wrestling from Florida and Jim Crockett Promotions before entering the WWE in 1987.  He is probably best known for attacking Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and cutting him up with spurs causing him to miss his match with the Honky Tonk Man at SummerSlam 1988.

He died after complications from surgery following a burst appendix.

Dennis Stamp 70, December 6, 1946 - March 13, 2017

Stamp debuted in wrestling in 1971 for the AWA becoming their rookie of the year.  In 1976 he joined the Funk's NWA Western States promotion making his home in Amarillo, Texas.  He is probably best known by my generation from his appearance in the 1999 documentary Beyond the Mat.  He died from lymphoma.

Fishman 66, January 6, 1951 - April 8, 2017

Fishman was a thirty-one year Lucha Libre veteran who won championships in the EMLL, UWA, and WWA.  He also was victorious in ten of eleven mask vs mask matches losing his own on August 28, 2000 to Mascara Sagrada.  His three sons also wrestle in Mexico.  He died from a heart Attack.

Joaquin Roldan 63, April 8, 2017

The General Manager for AAA worked for the company for many years before taking it over in 2006 with his son Dorian Roldan.  Roldan was married to Marisela Pena the sister of Antonio Pena who founded AAA in 1992.

Larry Sharpe 65, June 26, 1951 - April 10, 2017

Sharpe debuted for the WWWF in 1974 but is probably best known for his wrestling school The Monster Factory.  Sharpe opened The Monster Factory in 1983 with "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers and his wrestling school has turned out some amazing graduates including Bam Bam Bigelow, Chris Candido, Raven, The Pitbulls, and many many more.  Larry wrestled his last match Japan in 1987 teaming with his prized pupil Bigelow in a losing effort to Dick Murdoch and Tatsumi Fujinami.  He died from liver disease.

Matthew Anoa'i 47, April 7, 1970 - April 17, 2017

A member of the famous Anoa'i family, the son of Sika, Matt debuted in 1995 for his uncle's WXW promotion.  He's perhaps best known from his time in the WWE as one half of 3 Minute Warning and later as Rosey, the Super Hero In Training with The Hurricane. He passed away from congestive heart failure.

Brazo de Oro 57, October 7, 1959 - April 28, 2017

Brazo de Oro was a second generation Luchador wrestler for 40 years from 1975 - 2015.  Part of the famous Alvarado wrestling family which consists of his father, five brothers, and ten nieces and nephews many who still wrestle today in CMLL and AAA like Maximo, La Mascara, Goya Kong, and Psycho Clown.  Brazo was a former booker for CMLL and held numerous tag team and trios championships in Mexico and California promotions. He passed away from a heart attack.

Gran Apache 58, April 16, 1959 - May 7, 2017

Apache debuted in 1975 wrestling for 41 years and was technically still active at the time of his death.  He is the father of Faby and Mari Apache and worked for the AAA promotion since 1996.  He held the AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championships one time each with both of his daughters.  He was the head trainer for AAA for over a decade and is known for being one of the best trainers of female wrestlers.  He passed away from intestinal cancer.

Wayne Van Dyke 29, May 13, 2017

Van Dyke debuted in 2010 in Florida as Insane Wayne, and later competed as Richard Delicious.  He wrestled regularly on the independent scene in Florida including American Combat Wrestling.  On April 29, 2017 either during or after a match he suffered and apparent heart attack and was taken the a medical facility where he was placed in a medically induced coma until his death.

"Pretty Boy" Doug Somers 65, September 22, 1951 - May 16, 2017

Somers debuted in 1971 wrestling around the territories primarily for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Championship Wrestling from Florida.  He is probably best known for his tag team with "Playboy" Buddy Rose managed by Sensational Sherri, and their feud with The Midnight Rockers over the AWA World Tag Team Championships.

"Rotten" Ron Starr 67, April 3, 1950 - June 8, 2017

Starr wrestled for 25 years from 1972 to 1997 starting in the Jim Crockett Promotions and other NWA Territories.  He wrestled around the territories including Japan, Canada, and Puerto Rico holding numerous regional championships.  In the forward to Starr's book "Bad to the Bone: 25 Yeras of Riots and Wrestling" Mick Foley credits Starr for teaching him the brawling style of wrestling.  Starr passed away in his sleep from an apparent collapsed lung.

Buddy Wayne 50, May 28, 1967 - June 17, 2017

Debuting in 1985 in Vancouver, Wayne wrestled for 32 years competing in his final match just three weeks before his death.  He wrestled extensively in the Pacific Northwest United States and Canada and was also a jobber for the WWE and WCW.  He passed away from a heart attack.

Mr. Pogo 66, February 5, 1951 - June 23, 2017

Mr. Pogo debuted in March 30, 1972 for New Japan Pro Wrestling on the eleventh show ever promoted by the company, and had his last match 44 years later.  I'm most familiar with Mr. Pogo from his death match days in FMW with Atsushi Onita.  Prior to that though he spent 10 years touring Canada and the United States (1975 -1985) before returning to Japan.  He first entered FMW in 1990 and adopted the Death Match style that would become his signature until the end of his career.  He died from complication from surgery that resulted in a cerebral infarction.

Smith Hart 68, November 28, 1948 - July 2, 2017

The eldest Hart sibling he wrestled from 1973 -1991 primarily for Stampede Wrestling but also toured Puerto Rico, Japan, England, Germany, and the United States.  He finished his career in Puerto Rico after Stampede was sold to the WWE.  He came back for a final match in 2013 defeating Mad Braddock at a Pure Wrestling Association show in Lefroy, Ontario.  He died from prostate cancer. 

Diane Von Hoffman 55, April 13, 1962 - July 6, 2017

Phyllis Burch began training while still in high school by Dale Mann, later she joined The Fabulous Moolah's training school eventually teaming with Moolah.  Under various names Hoffman toured the world wrestling in Japan, Canada, the Philippines and more.  In 1990 under the name Moondog Fifi she was part of the Moondogs feud with Jerry "The King" Lawler & Jeff Jarrett that resulted in her having her head shaved.  She died from complications from knee surgery.

Buddy Wolff 76, April 11, 1941 - July 11, 2017

Wolff was trained by the Verne Gagne and wrestled in Mid Atlantic region before moving to the WWWF wrestling Gagne at Madison Square Garden.  He toured the territories before winding down with the AWA having his Last Match on May 3, 1987 teaming with Doug Somers & Kevin Kelly in a losing effort to Ray Stevens and The Midnight Rockers.

"Beautiful" Bobby Dean Tovey 40, September 2, 2017

This second generation wrestler, the son of Lord Little Brook, debuted in 1995 and wrestled around the United States most of the time against his brother Little Kato.  Sadly I cannot find much detail about Bobby's career.  He appeared to have wrestled his last match June 10, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri in a losing effort to NWL KC Champion: Dak Draper.

Otto Wanz 74, June 13, 1943 - September 14, 2017

Wanz debuted in Austria in 1968 and later wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling as Bulldog Otto.  In 1973 he founded Catch Wrestling Association based in Austria and Germany.  He is a former AWA World Champion and four time CWA World Champion.  He retired from full time in 1990 wrestling his last match August 23, 1996 defeating Terry Funk at CWA Catch Cup 1996.  He folded the CWA promoting their last show on December 4, 1999.

Bobby "The Brain" Heenan 72, November 1, 1944 - September 17, 2017

The greatest wrestling manager of all time, and one of the greatest commentators of all time.  There really isn't anything I can say about The Brain that hasn't been said already.  I always enjoyed Bobby no matter what role he was in and I'm glad that I had the chance to meet him.  Sadly though it was after cancer had taken away his ability to speak. 

Lance Russell 91, March 18, 1926 - October 3, 2017

The Voice of Memphis Wrestling for nearly 40 years Lance started calling the action in 1959 for Nick Gulas and Roy Welch.  His long term partnership with Dave Brown began in 1967.  He worked for WCW from 1989 - 1993ish before returning to Memphis Wrestling.  He also worked for Smoky Mountain Wrestling as the company was winding down.

I had the honor of meeting Mr. Russell in 2009 at the NWA Legneds Fanfest.  He was very approachable and genuine and a pleasure to chat with.  On Saturday morning of the Fanfest Lance, Dave Brown, and Jerry Jarrett did a 90 minute Memphis Wrestling Roundtable that was outstanding.

Eric Denis 40, October 8, 2017

I wasn't able to find a lot about Denis but this is what I did find.  He was a 21 year veteran of the ring competing primarily in the Montreal based ICW. The weekend of his death ICW was promoting two benefit shows on Saturday and Sunday.  Denis had wrestled five times on Saturday and was in his second bout Sunday when he collapsed in the ring.  Paramedics attempted to revive Denis but were unsuccessful.

Stan Kowalski 91, May 13, 1926 - October 20, 2017

A World War II veteran Kowalski began wrestling in 1948 for the NWA.  He formed a tag team called Murder Incorporated with Tiny Mills.  The duo wrestled around the world together in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and United States.  They captured the Minneapolis Version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship twice and when the AWA withdrew from the NWA Murder Inc was announced as the first ever AWA Tag Team Champions.

In 1970 he changed his name to Krippler Karl Kovac and entered the WWWF where on March 9, 1970 he headlined Madison Square Garden challenging Champion Bruno Sammartino.

Tokyo Joe 75, 1942 - November 4, 2017

Joe Daigo began his wrestling career in Japan but is best know for his time in Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling.  After a car accident in 1974 ended his in ring career he became a prolific trainer in the Hart Dungeon including the last graduates Nattie Neidhart, Harry Smith, and TJ Wilson.  He came the gaijin booker for New Japan helping many wrestlers get their first trip to the land of the rising sun.

Dick "Tugboat" Taylor 71, December 9, 1945 - November 8, 2017

Debuting in 1980, Taylor stayed primarily in Texas Territories wrestling for Mid-South, Global Wrestling Federation, and others.  Eventually he opened his own wrestling school and promoted under the banner Texas All Pro Wrestling.  His son Chaz Taylor also became a wrestler and promoted NWA Houston.

"Blackheart" Dave Johnson 50, May 22, 1967 - November 26, 2017

Trained by The Great Malenko, Blackheart debuted in 1989 primarily competing in the Florida region.  In 1991 he worked as a jobber in WCW before donning a mask as Blackheart Devastation with Tom Nash who was Blackheart Apocalypse.  The duo would wrestle in the USWA, and toured All Japan in 1993.

Johnson was still and active wrestler at the time of his death mostly for Coastal Championship Wrestling in Florida.  He also had a hand in training several wrestlers including MVP.  Slam Sports has an excellent write up on him here.

Devon Fielding 42, September 14, 1975 - December 4, 2017

Debuting in 1994 after training with Leo Burke and Biff Wellington he wrestled primarily in Western Canada.  Slam sports has a great write up on Mr. Fielding here.

Tom Zenk 59, November 30, 1958 - December 9, 2017

An avid bodybuilder and former Mr. Minnesota he began his wrestling career in the AWA in 1984.  He formed a tag team with Rick Martel in 1986 in Montreal's Lutte Internationle.  Calling themselves the Can-Am Connection they debuted in the WWE in 1986.  The team defeated Don Muraco and Bob Orton in the opening match for WrestleMania III.  The team seemed to be in line to win the tag team championships when Zenk abruptly left the promotion.

After stints in All Japan and the AWA he debuted for WCW as The Z-Man.  There he captured the World Television Championship and the United States Tag Team Championships with Brian Pillman.  In 1994 he left WCW and returned to All Japan before taking a hiatus in 1995.  He returned in late 1996 finishing his career in the Washington State based American Wrestling Federation.

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