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Annual Obituaries
SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 2007 with Details (Updated as needed)

Aug 22, 2007 - 4:59:00 PM
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By Thomas M. Gallipoli, PWTorch.com Obituary Specialist

SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 2007
By Thomas M. Gallipoli, PWTorch.com Obituary Specialist

Deceased Wrestlers for 2007
PWTorch.com Exclusive
By Thomas M. Gallipoli, PWTorch.com Obituary Specialist


"Welcome to my funeral parlor."—Paul Bearer

Hi, everyone. I promise that the above quote from Paul Bearer will be the extent of the jocularity in this section. I have volunteered to handle the obituary section of the Torch website. I will list the deceased wrestlers by the following information:

Wrestler's Name, Real Name, Date of Death, Cause, Age and a brief snapshot of his/her career. I will also provide any Main-Stream Media links to the wrestlers if applicable. Please note that many wrestlers' deaths are not usually reported in the media so much of, if not most, of this information may be culled from "non-official sources" like blogs and websites. It is my goal to make this section as up-to-date and accurate as possible for Wade and visitors so please feel free to email me at tomphoenix@optonline.net with any questions, comments, updates, links, corrections, or anything else you like. The initial installment will cover Wrestling deaths up to August 22, 2007. I hope to update this section at least once per week with one entire year per update so the next one will cover 2006. I'd like to thank my wife, parents, and sister for their patience and love. And now, onto the roll call:

*Eddie "Flash" Barker, January 1, 2007, Heart Complications, age 91

-I could not find out much more about him as he was a longtime wrestler who died in obscurity.

*Cowboy Lang , Harry Robert Lang, January 4, 2007, Heart Disease, age 56

-Midget wrestler, trained by famous midget wrestler Lord Littlebrook, wrestled mostly in Canada, two-time NWA World Midget Champion.

*Coco Samoa , Ulualoaiga Onosai Tuaolo Emelio, January 9, 2007 Unknown, age 62

-Samoan wrestler, wrestled for NWA (three time NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Champion, NWA Mid America Heavyweight Champion, NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Champion) and AWA (AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion)

*Bam Bam Bigelow, Scott Charles Bigelow, January 19, 2007, Heart Disease & Overdose of Cocaine & Benzodiazetine, age 45

-Wrestled in AWA (AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion), WCW (two- time WCW Tag Team Champion, WCW Hardcore Champion), ECW (ECW Heavyweight Champion, ECW Television Champion), WAR (WAR Six Man Tag Team Champion), 

WCCW (WCCW Television Champion), NJPW (NJPW IWGP Tag Team Champion), UXW (two-time UXW Heavyweight Champion), UWA (UWA Heavyweight Champion),

TRP (TRP Heavyweight Champion), headlined WWE WrestleMania 11 vs. Lawrence Taylor 

MSM Link: http://www.sptimes.com/2005/11/17/Floridian/Wrestling_with_Bam_Bam.shtml

*Doug Gentry (Promoter), Doug Gentry, January 26, 2007, Heart Disease, age 34

-ROH President under the Feinstein era and ECW Fan Cam Operator

*Bob Luce, February 8, 2007, Natural Causes, age 78

-Longtime promoter, ran shows at the International Amphitheater in Chicago, where he reportedly drew 120,000 fans to 14 shows with gross receipts in excess of $325,000 in 1968, worked with talent including Andre the Giant, Dick the Bruiser, Buddy Rogers, Gorgeous George and Verne Gagne, and married lady wrestler Sharon Lass

*Jim Melby(Wrestling Magazine Editor), February 11, 2007, Massive Heart Attack, age 57

-Published many wrestling magazines which are sadly out of print now. They include The Wrestling News, Wrestling Revue, Wrestling Monthly, and The Ring's Wrestling Magazine, and was also the editor of Verne Gagne's Pro Wrestling Report.

*Mike Awesome, Michael Lee Alfonso, February 17, 2007, Suicide, age 42

-Hulk Hogan's relative but not related to Bill Alfonso the ECW manager, wrestled in FMW (FMW Tag Team Champion, two-time World Brass Knuckles Tag Team Champion, two-time World Brass Knuckles Champion, Street Fight Six Man Tag Team Champion, Independent World Heavyweight Champion), ECW (two-time ECW Heavyweight Champion ,ECW Tag Team Champion), USWA (Unified World Heavyweight Champion), WWE (WWE Hardcore Champion), MLW (Heavyweight Champion), trained by Steve Keirn.

MSM Link: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/06/30/america/NA-GEN-US-Wrestlings-Shame.php

*Jesus Perez (Promoter), February 23, 2007, Natural Causes, age 91

-Longtime promoter. Again, not much else about him.

*Matt Storm /Luigi DelBove, February 24, 2007, Unknown, age 39

-I have no further information about him.

*Tracey Richards, Debra Hunter Newkirk, February 25, 2007, Cancer, age 50

-Lady wrestler, nicknamed The Arm, was Mississippi State Champion, trained by Natasha the Hatchet Lady, was the first female wrestler to use the power body slam since she was a major power lifter

*Bad News Brown, Allen J Coage, March 6, 2007, Heart Failure, age 63

-Legitimate Judo Grand Champion before turning Pro (Judo 1976 Olympics Bronze Medal Winner, four-time National Judo Heavyweight Champion, Judo Grand Champion: 1967, 1968, & 1975, Pan American Games Gold Medal Winner), NWA (NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion, three-time NWA Americas Tag Team Champion, NWA Bahamas Heavyweight Champion, NWA Southern Heavyweight Champion), Los Angeles (Los Angeles Television Champion), four-time Stampede Wrestling Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion, Hawaii (Hawaiian Pacific Heavyweight Champion), ICW (ICW Heavyweight Champion), IWA (IWA Heavyweight Champion), Japan (Tokyo International Tag Team Champion), Polynesia (Polynesian Pacific Heavyweight Champion), feuded in WWE with Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, & Jake The Snake Roberts

*Ray Stern, Walter Bookbinder, March 6, 2007, Complications From Heart Surgery, age 74

-Trained by the Dusek Brothers, NWA (San Francisco Tag Team Champion), Ohio (Ohio Tag Team Champion), was a Merchant Marine at 13, a pro wrestler at 17, a multimillionaire by his 30s, even wrestled a de-clawed bear.

MSM Link: http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/misc/weekend/stories/041507dnsposherrington.3656742.html

*Black Shadow, Alejandro Cruz Ortíz, March 8, 2007, Pneumonia, age 82

-Trained by Manuel "Toro" Miranda and Tony Camargo "El Enfermero", Mexico (National Lightweight Champion)

* Big Cat Ernie Ladd, March 11, 2007, Cancer, age 68

-WWE Hall of Famer, famous NFL player, NWA (NWA Texas Heavyweight Champion, NWA American Heavyweight Champion, NWA Southern Heavyweight Champion, five-time NWA Tri State North American Heavyweight Champion, NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Champion, NWA Georgia Tag Team Champion, NWA Central States Tag Team Champion), NWF (NWF Heavyweight Champion, two-time

NWF North American Heavyweight Champion) MSW (two-time MSW Tag Team Champion, WWA (WWA Heavyweight Champion, WWA Tag Team Champion), WWC (North American Heavyweight Champion)

MSM Link: http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=186906&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=11&sid=1c3e21e3508db2192a0f6c2efb4aecd7

*Arnold Skaaland, March 13, 2007, Natural Causes, age 82

-Longtime wrestler and manager, WWWF US Tag Team Title, became a manager of Bruno Sammartino during his WWWF title reign and Bob Backlund. Was very influential behind the scenes in WWWF and became a WWE Hall of Famer.

*Angel Azteca, Juan Manuel Zúñiga, March 18, 2007, Heart Attack, age 43

-Mexican wrestler, trained by Dr. Wagner, Mexico(Laguna Lightweight Champion), Arena (Victoria Tag Team Champion), Mexico (two-time National Tag Team Champion, National Welterweight Champion, National Trios Champion), 

NWA (NWA Middleweight Champion)

*The Mighty Axis, Steven Thomas Ranton, March 26, 2007, Suicide, age 22

-Indie wrestler who died too soon, IWF (IWF Tag Team Champion)

*Abe Coleman, Abba Kelmer, March 28, 2007, Kidney Failure, age 101

-Also known as the Hebrew Hercules, The Jewish Tarzan, Little Hercules, Ape Man, born in Poland, he emigrated to the United States and then to Canada before he died.

*Dynamite D, Darren McMillan, April 11, 2007, Cancer, age 37

-Trained by Sam Houston, Terry Funk and The Fabulous Moolah, owned the Southern California Championship Wrestling indie league, SWF (two time SWF Heavyweight Champion), was a trainer for XPW

*Mephisto LePhanto, Omar Antonio Perez Barreto, May 5, 2007, Heart Attack, age 31

-Not much about this wrestler either.

*Sonny Myers, Harold C Myers, May 7, 2007, Illness, age 83

-Longtime NWA wrestler, NWA ([Amarillo] two-time North American Heavyweight Champion, three-time NWA North American Tag Team Champion, [Central States] United States Heavyweight Champion, fourteen-time Central States Heavyweight Champion, three-time Central States Tag Team Champion, Missouri Heavyweight Champion, Southern Junior Heavyweight Champion, Southwest Heavyweight Champion, Three-time Southwest North American Tag Team Champion, five-time Texas Heavyweight Champion, Vancouver: Canadian Heavyweight Champion, two time Canadian Tag Team Champion, Vancouver All-Stars Vancouver International Tag Team Champion

*Sandy Barr, Ferrin Charles Barr,  June 2, 2007, Heart Attack, age 69

-Longtime wrestler, promoter and owner of CWIA in Pacific Northwest, father of deceased Art Barr and Jesse Barr, trained Velvet McIntyre,

MSM Link:

http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/2007/06/03-week/

*Caballero Rojo, Humberto Reynoso, June 14, 2007, Unknown, age 72

-Not much is known about this wrestler other than he wrestled in South America and was a popular children's star on television

*"Sensational" Sherri Martel, Sherri Russell, June 15, 2007, Unknown, age 49

-One of the top women wrestlers and managers, AWA (four-time AWA Women's Champion), WWE (Women's Champion), managed wrestlers in AWA, WWE, and WCW, WWE Hall of Famer

MSM Link: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,287182,00.html

*Princess Tona Tamah , Tona Ford , June 15, 2007,  Natural Causes, age 72

- Former lady wrestler and boxer, also worked with law enforcement and also had a youth club and trained boxers & wrestlers and was once rated as one of the top female wrestlers in the world

MSM Link: http://www.everythingtallahassee.com/articles/c1700/?sort=hits&startnum=11

*Boogie Woogie Brown, Delance Clifford Wright , June 23, 2007, Lupus, age 54

-African-American wrestler, ECWA (two-time ECWA Mid Atlantic Champion, ECWA Tag Team Champion), PCW (three time ) PCW Tag Team Champion, PCW Six Man Tag Team Champion)

*Biff Wellington, Shayne Bower, June 24, 2007, Heart Attack, age 42

-Close friend of Chris Benoit, trained in Hart Family Dungeon, also wrestled as Bobby Hart, Stampede Wrestling Stampede International Tag Team Champion, CRMW (two-time CRMW North American Heavyweight Champion)

MSM Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/15/AR2007081502357.html

*Woman, Nancy Daus-Sullivan-Benoit June 25, 2007, Strangled, age 43

-Sadly, we all know about this one…

*Chris Benoit, Christopher Michael Benoit, June 25, 2007, Suicide, age 40

-As we do this one.

*Devil Bhudakhan, James Fawcett, July 15, 2007, Suicide, age 31

-A longtime indie wrestler in the Pittsburgh, PA area

*John Kronus, July 18, 2007, Heart Failure, age 38

-Longtime original ECW wrestler, teamed with Perry Saturn as the Eliminators and wrestled on the first ECW pay-per-view, ECW (four-time ECW Tag Team Champion), USWA (USWA Tag Team Champion)

MSM Link: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,290069,00.html

*Ronnie P Gossett(Wrestling Manager), July 23, 2007, Colon Cancer, age 64

- A manager and promoter who spent most of his career working for Southern-based promotions in Georgia and Tennessee where he once served as Jerry Lawler's manager in the Nashville-based USWA.

MSM Link: http://web.charleston.net/news/2007/jul/29/unprofessional_lax_injures_mack11694/

*Tor Kamata, McRonald Kamata, July 23, 2007, Heart Disease, age 70

-Longtime tag team wrestler from Hawaii, but played stereotypical Japanese heel, NWA (British Empire Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion, North American Tag Team Champion, three-time Australasian Tag Team Champion, two-time Hawaii Heavyweight Champion, Southern Tag Team Champion, Hawaii-North American Heavyweight Champion, Pacific International Heavyweight Champion, Los Angeles-Tag Team Champion, Calgary-International Tag Team Champion), AWA (AWA Tag Team Champion), three-time Stampede Wrestling Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion, WWC (WWC Puerto Rican Heavyweight Champion), WWA (two-time WWA Tag Team Champion), PWF (PWF Heavyweight Champion)

MSM Link: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2007/Aug/19/ln/hawaii708190349.html

*Karl Gotch, Karl Charles Istaz , July 28, 2007,  Natural Causes, age 82

-Longtime wrestler, trained by the Robinson family, born in Germany, teamed with Mike DiBiase (Ted's father), AWA (Ohio Heavyweight Champion), WWA (WWA Tag Team Champion), WWWF (Tag Team Champion), NJPW (two time NJPW Real World Champion), NWA (Eastern States Heavyweight Champion)

*Bronko Lubich (Referee), August 12, 2007, Natural Causes, age 81

-Longtime wrestler and referee, especially in WCCW, used to travel with Steve Austin, very popular with the wrestlers and knew how to draw heat with the fans for his "inept" refereeing

MSM Link: http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/misc/weekend/stories/081907dnsposherringtonbrunch.3600474.html

&

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/columnists/ksherrington/stories/081907dnsposherringtonbrunch.3600474.html

*Brian Adams, August 13, 2007, Unknown, age 43

-Former WWE and WCW wrestler, originally brought in as Demolition member Crush, had memorable feud with Randy Savage, one-half of Kronik tag-team in WCW, WWE Tag Team Champion and WCW Tag Team Champion

MSM Link: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-bk-adamsdead0813,0,4606109.story?track=rss

*The Missing Link, Byron James John Robertson, August 16, 2007, Cancer, age 68

-Canadian wrestler, trained by Whipper Billy Robinson, managed by Bobby Heenan in WWE, NWA(Canadian Heavyweight Champion, two-time Central States Heavyweight Champion, two-time Central States Television Champion, two-time Mid Atlantic Tag Team Champion, three-time Toronto International Tag Team Champion, five-time Central States Tag Team Champion, Tri State United States Tag Team Champion)

MSM Link: http://www.accessmontgomery.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070819/SPORTS/708190320/1057 missing link

General MSM links: http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/06/27/after-chris-benoits-death-have-health-risks-of-pro-wrestling-b/



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