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16 hours ago, RIPPA said:

Aaron Gainey - who one of the Nigerian Nightmares - passed away

Damn.  RIP.

 

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Don Nakaya Nielsen apparently passed away as well.

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Per the new WON - Steve Gatorwolf (real name Steve Ketcher) passed away at the age of 59  while serving time in federal prison

He was a convicted child molester so don't mourn too greatly... or at all

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1 hour ago, RIPPA said:

Per the new WON - Steve Gatorwolf (real name Steve Ketcher) passed away at the age of 59  while serving time in federal prison

He was a convicted child molester so don't mourn too greatly... or at all

My exact chain of thought just now: "Aww, that sucks- yeah, never mind."

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Otto Wanz has passed away

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What Dave wrote on the website

Quote

Otto Wanz, the most famous wrestler in Germany and Austria during the 70s and 80s, passed away Thursday morning from what was described as a short but heavy illness. He was 74.

Wanz, a powerhouse at 6-foot-2 and 380 pounds, would be best known in the United States for his run as AWA Champion in 1982. Wanz had been champion of his own Catch Wrestling Association, but was largely unknown outside of Germany and Austria. He defeated Nick Bockwinkel for the title on August 29th, 1982, in St. Paul in a match that caused lingering hard feelings between Bockwinkel and longtime manager Bobby Heenan, because Bockwinkel never told Heenan that the title was changing hands ahead of time.

Wanz had come to the AWA with a big push and basically purchased a short run with the championship as a way to promote himself in his native land that he went to the U.S. and captured the World title. Bockwinkel regained the title on October 9th, 1982, in Chicago.

Wanz did three AWA tours, one in 1982 and another in 1983 where his title win enabled him to be pushed as a big star upon returning. After the prime of the AWA, he returned for some matches in 1987.

The title win did add to his prestige where he promoted, as he promoted that he was the only Austrian to win an American World Heavyweight wrestling title at a time when titles were taken more seriously.

Wanz started as a boxer, starting in the sport as a teenager and began wrestling in 1967.

He became a promoter and was known for running tournaments around the year, and a major show in Bremen every December, where he'd bring in a major international star to challenge him for his World title.

His biggest run came after beating Don Leo Jonathan for what was billed as the World title in 1978, a championship he held until losing it in Denver to Leon White (Vader). Wanz was the first promoter to push White into main event status. He eventually retired as champion in 1990, but did come back in 1996 for a retirement match against Terry Funk.

Andre the Giant was one of his most famous opponents and he was billed as the only man ever to bodyslam both Andre and Yokozuna, who he wrestled before he became a star in WWF.

He also did strongman stunts on television, although the stories of him being a hero to Arnold Schwarzenegger, which Schwarzenegger stated at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, don't really add up timeline wise since Wanz didn't become a major star in Austria until years after Schwarzenegger had left for the U.S., and Schwarzenegger's familiarity with pro wrestling would have been with people like Bruno Sammartino and Superstar Billy Graham, who he knew well before Wanz's heyday.

 

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This got into the news headlines over here in Austria (at least for a couple of hours). Funny thing is the obituaries I have seen until now all have treated his wrestling success as being fully legit sports achievements.

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I don't recall seeing anything public from Bo Dupp about Wanz's passing.  Would've been appropriate given than he ran around the Carolina indies for years and worked OMEGA as Otto Schwanz.

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2 hours ago, RIPPA said:

 

:(

RIP Tokyo Joe.

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From WON

Quote

Yukihiro Sakada, better known as Joe Daigo and Tokyo Joe, a former wrestler and longtime agent for New Japan Pro Wrestling, passed away today in Calgary from colon cancer.

He was 75.

Daigo had been living in Calgary for more than 40 years. He was in an auto accident and was confined to a wheelchair, but helped train TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd), Harry Smith (Davey Boy Smith Jr.), Natalya, and many other wrestlers in the area, as well as helped train numerous Japanese wrestlers including Jushin Liger, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Kensuke Sasaki, Shinya Hashimoto, Hiroshi Hase, Hiro Saito, Super Strong Machine, George Takano, among others.

"He really taught me a lot about training, and about life really," said Smith. "He had a sixth sense, second sight or maybe a bit psychic. I'm not sure if anything with his leg injury had to do with that, but he was always right about everything."

Sakada for the past several years had lived in seclusion in Calgary, and had kept his cancer a secret.

He wrestled from 1966 to 1974, when he suffered his career ending auto accident, in the United States, Canada, and Japan, with his home base being the old IWE promotion.

He was best known as a trainer and talent scout for New Japan Pro Wrestling, and was a key in getting international exposure and stardom for people like Bret Hart, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith, as well as The Undertaker and Bam Bam Bigelow early in their careers.

http://www.f4wonline.com/other-wrestling/tokyo-joe-daigo-passes-away-75-years-old-245761

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RIP the original Tugboat, Tug Taylor. CANOE has a nice article on his passing.

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Don Arakawa died. He was 71. He passed away on November 2nd. He wrestled all over the place.

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I have fond memories of his comedy stuff he did in his later years. Really fun prelim vet. Heaven needed some kancho. 

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He had one of those one and done miracle matches with the Cobra (George Takano) on the NJPW '80s set. RIP

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Yeah, I was not a fan of Don Arakawa's comedy gig. He was like one of the original comedy guys before comedy took over puroresu. But those matches and THOSE CRAZY PILEDRIVERS during his feud with The Cobra are LEGENDARY! He stepped up to the challenge when New Japan needed it, after losing so much of it's roster, and actually created a memorable junior heavyweight feud out of the ruins.

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 Will we ever find out how Vince got him to shut up around 2001?

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Really big Zenk fan, first wrestler I was really a fan of. He had everything a 12yr old fan could want... Colourful tights, lots of dropkicks, cool sounding nickname. Still hand on heart one of my 3 favourite wrestlers of all time

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For some reason I always remember Gary Capetta announcing him as "the Sexiest Man in WCW". RIP Z-Man.

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