Reid Flair dead at 25

(L to R) Reid Flair, Ricky Steamboat Jr., George South, Dillon Eaton

Wow, this is never news you expect to see. According to PWInsider.com by way of Prowrestling.net, Reid Flair, son of WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, is dead at the age of 25. No parent should ever have to bury his son, and to be frank, given Ric’s on-air statement “I will only retire when I am dead in this ring,” we’re doubly shocked about the news. Condolences to the family of Reid Flair. -Eric

RIP Paul Bearer

paul-bearer-pictures-11_display_image

From WWE.com:

WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Moody, aka Paul Bearer. Moody made his WWE debut in 1991 as the manager of The Undertaker and went on to become a memorable part of WWE over the course of the next 20 years.

Our deepest condolences go out to Moody’s family, friends and fans. (BEARER’S OFFICIAL ALUMNI PAGE)

This sucks. If you haven’t watched his shoot with Jim Cornette yet, drop everything and do that now. – Dusty

Brad Armstrong dead at 51

Sad news from the world of me watching Southern wrestling in the late ’80s and early ’90s: According to Prowrestling.net, Brad Armstrong (real name Robert James) was found dead in his home Thursday of causes yet to be announced. He had been treated recently for undisclosed medical issues.

Brad, one of the Armstrong family that included father “Bullet” Bob, and brothers Steve (of the Young Pistols), Scott (current WWE referee), and Brian (aka Road Dogg Jesse James), was known in circles as hilarious backstage but bland on camera despite his incredible in-ring work. He never rose far above midcard status in the NWA/WCW but wrestled his share of great matches against the likes of Bobby Eaton and Arn Anderson.

He was also given his share of shitty gimmicks from the “Throw It Against the Wall and See What Sticks Department.” Check out the videos below of Arachniman and Buzzkill for evidence of the genius minds behind WCW all throughout the ’90s.

Comedian and former WWE writer Patrice O’Neal dies at 41

In somewhat-related-to-wrestling news, according to The Huffington Post, comedian Patrice O’Neal has died at age 41 after battling with with diabetes and suffering a stroke last month. O’Neal had a brief stint as a writer for WWE in 2000 (read about it here), but was more famous to me as a frequent panelist on “Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn,” one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen on TV. Exhibit A is above, and more proof is in the related results. He is the one who introduced to me the visual of “Fat Albert on a skateboard,” one of the major reasons I lost 90 pounds two years ago. O’Neal’s wordsmithing has directly influenced mine, so in other words you have him to blame. Rest in peace, stupid. -Eric

Macho Man Randy Savage dies in car accident

We love you too, Randy.

Wow. Just simply wow. According to Prowrestling.net, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, 58, died in a car accident Friday in Tampa, Fla. A report on TMZ.com says Savage had a heart attack while driving, causing the crash.

Jeremy said no jokes here, but I can’t help but to make a few observations. 1) Whatever issue Vince McMahon had with Savage that  kept Savage out of the WWE Hall of Fame ought to be wiped out now, but damn if that wouldn’t have been an awesome acceptance speech. And since Miss Elizabeth isn’t around to accept, either, I guess that leaves “Leaping” Lanny Poffo to recite a posthumous poem for us all. 2) Of all the people, of all the young deaths and of all the randomness when it comes to pro wrestling fatalities, how the hell is Jake “The Snake” Roberts still alive? I don’t think a nuclear holocaust, this Saturday’s judgment day or a nasty case of chicken pox could even affect this sweatpants-wearing freak of nature. 3) I guess this makes the “Where’s Randy Savage” blog irrelevant now. 4) Watch this match:

Eric’s blog: Larry Sweeney revived the art of the wrestling manager

Listening back to our PWTorch.com VIP interview with the late Larry Sweeney from March 2008, it’s easy to hear the excitement in our voices when asking Sweeney who inspired his over-the-top wrestling character, as it translated so well into his cornerman persona in Ring of Honor. As a pro wrestling manager, he was smarmy, he was loud, he was obnoxious, he dressed poorly, and he made you want to grab him by his shaggy, curly hair and just shake him until he left you alone.

He was an antagonist to the nth degree, more effectively than most in-ring performers of his time and certainly a throwback to the days when wrestling managers like Capt. Lou Albano, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Jim Cornette and Jimmy Hart ran rampant outside the ring.

Managers played an important role in pro wrestling for decades, often acting as the mouthpiece for a behemoth who couldn’t get his point across verbally, so audiences would understand what that grappler’s motives were in the fight. Sometimes managers performed the duties of a general whose army’s collective goal was utter annihilation, and in the war room, the manager strategized the chaos.

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Larry Sweeney, dead at 29

According to Prowrestling.net, independent wrestling manager Larry Sweeney was found dead today at the age of 29. No details are available at this time, but Twitter is full with an outpouring of sadness for this loss.

@JoeyRyanOnline: RIP Larry Sweeney. A genuinely nice guy who always had a smile on his face when I saw him which is how I’ll remember him. Very sad day.

@AllisonDanger: @JoeyRyanOnline and I were talking so fondly about Larry Sweeney yesterday. I can’t believe he is gone today. Please keep his family in your thoughts. I wish I could form the words that do his loss justice but I just can’t.

@CCastagnoli: Thank you for all the memories Larry Sweeney… I’ll remember them forever…

@TheRealXPac: How did Larry Sweeney die? Wtf enough already!!!

@SteveCorino: I hope everyone remembers Larry Sweeney for the amazing talent he was. He loved entertaining fans. Sad. RIP Alex.

@TheChrisHero: We lost a dedicated friend and an overwhelmingly talented performer this morning. Alex Whybrow aka “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney has passed. We spent a few yrs together on the road & Alex was gifted beyond measure. He could enthrall you with colorful stories from his personal life or he could captivate thousands with his undeniable charisma. I loved him & my heart is with his family, friends & his countless fans. First he was my student & he transcended that almost immediately. I will forever cherish our in depth conversations & time spent together Love you man. Miss you. Rest in Peace.

Our condolences for his family and friends’ loss. To access an 18-minute interview Jeremy and I did with Sweeney in Orlando, Fla., during WrestleMania 24 weekend, click here (exclusive to Pro Wrestling Torch VIP members).

Since then, we’d heard he’d been up to some wacky antics, but that doesn’t take away from his unfortunate death. Always entertaining, he had the potential for so much. Dusty and I will probably continue to fantasy-book him in our never-to-exist wrestling leagues out of respect. -Eric

RIP Mike Shaw

Word going around the internet water cooler is that Mike Shaw, aka Bastion Booger, aka Norman the Lunatic, aka Makhan Singh, passed away over the weekend. He was 53 years old. We here at Stunt Granny offer our most sincere condolences to his family and friends.

On a personal level, I always had a great deal of respect for Mike Shaw. He obviously cared a great deal about what he was doing, and he was different. God forbid in this day and age that a wrestler not be a goddamn interchangeable head. Keep truckin’, Norman… – Dusty

Luna Vachon found dead at age 48

Oh my god: According to Prowrestling.net, Luna Vachon was found dead at her mother’s home this morning at the age of 48 (Luna, not her mom’s home). That’s sad, she was fun to watch growing up. But her backward elbow off the ropes in WWF Raw is War for SNES sucked. Her father, Butcher Vachon, and her uncle, Mad Dog Vachon, have been super cool guys every time I’ve seen them at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, so my condolences go out to them and the rest of the Vachon family. (But not that Gabgrel; Jeremy thinks Gangrel’s evil twin did it.) -Eric

So apparently this had some sort of impact since we both wrote something and I am not wasting the five minutes I spent writing this up by not posting my thoughts.
It’s another dead wrestler, Luna Vachon passed away at the age of 48. I honestly want to care about so many wrestlers or ex-wrestlers kicking the bucket but when it gets to the point where it is news when a month goes by and two of them didn’t die it is rather difficult. Sure this is sad for her family and the two children she leaves behind but for the rest of us this is a shoulder shrugger of a story.  So rest in peace Luna.  -Jeremy

Who’s Deader Than Kanyon?

No one. From Dot Net:

Chris Kanyon (a/k/a Christopher Klucsaritis) was found dead of an apparent suicide on Friday night. Although details are still sketchy, it is believed that he was in New York at the time of his death. A longtime friend reports that a pill bottle and several notes were found close to the body.

Kanyon also worked as the Mortis character in WCW and also had a run with WWE starting with the Invasion angle. He made headlines after his WWE run concluded by going public with his homosexuality. He appeared on the Howard Stern radio show several times as a result of his admission. Although he retired from wresting at one point, he had returned to the ring again recently and worked a couple of matches this year.

I’m gonna go to hell when I die, I’m gonna go to hell… – Dusty

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