Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

Pro wrestling and a lifetime of County Hall memories

Mike Mooneyham
While looking back on over 50 years of covering the professional wrestling business, many highlights immediately come to mind.

Unforgettable Starrcades, the glitz of Wrestlemania, the Monday Night Wars, the Attitude Era.


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Bob Leonard Will Be Missed

Article & photos by Paul Stratoti


We at Pro Wrestling Digest hereby offer condolences to the Leonard family as we announce the passing of 74 year old Bob Leonard, who began his wrestling career as a photographer and served our community as Cauliflower Alley Club honoree and Executive Board member.


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David Bowie, Not Of This Earth

– Mike Lano


Maybe it was for the best that the general public didn’t know that David Bowie had been very ill with cancer the past 18 months.  CBS Morning News opened this morning with Charlie Rose interviewing him back in 1989, and Bowie was smoking during the entire interview sadly ala Keith Richards in his own, old days.  Bowie even coughed the smoker’s deep cough which was chilling several times during the piece.  Although he might not have seemed of this world, otherworldly while fallling into it; he forever changed this planet.  I know this has nothing to do with boxing, MMA or pro wrestling, but David Bowie sort of does. Well the color, spectacle and showmanship he brought to his performances and video certainly were influential even in pro wrestling.  One wouldn’t have an Adrian Street without Bowie’s influence.  Or Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed on up to George Clinton and Bootsie Collins, NY Dolls, Kiss, Talking Heads, Madonna, Marilyn Manson, Gaga, Katie Perry, and so many others who lifted from the Bowie palate.  Most anyone doing anything with flair and color since 1971 has DB to thank.


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On Bob Leonard and Joyce Grable (and other stuff)

– By Dr. Mike Lano


Karen sent me an email that I just received today and was very happy to hear super nice person Joyce Grable put out online that she’s doing great.

Joyce Grable just posted this on her Facebook:

I am back home. 4 days in hospital but have new valves in my heart. 1 -2 weeks before I can drive. Just very thankful I am feeling good and on my way to better health. God is so good to me. Will see you in Mobile.


Which we’re all praying means after all her cancer therapy, is that she’s in remission. I just emailed my longtime pal to send her more encouragement. And that why does it seem often in wrestling the really nice, caring people seem to get ailments, etc. while the total a-holes live forever, often problem and disease-free.   Joyce has always been a total sweetheart, plus of course a great young legend in the biz.  Keep those positive vibes going for her everyone.


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Gone but not forgotten: Professional wrestling lost memorable names in 2015

– Mike Mooneyham


It’s an appropriate time to reflect upon some of the pro wrestling personalities who passed away in 2015.

Many represented an era that will forever be etched in the memories of longtime fans.

They touched our lives in many ways. For those of us lucky enough to see them perform, we will never forget them.


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Apter’s mat memoir funny, poignant; Remembering the great Nick Bockwinkel

– Mike Mooneyham


Leave it to Bill Apter to come up with a title like “Is Wrestling Fixed: I Didn’t Know It Was Broken!”

For nearly 50 years Apter has been at the forefront of pro wrestling journalism. As well known and influential as many of the top stars he has covered over that half century, Apter has solidified his spot among wrestling’s hierarchy.


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Diametric Opposites
Remembering Nick Bockwinkel and Don Fargo

– Article & photos by Dr. Mike Lano

Sorry guys for being late with some personal thoughts on these two greats of the industry.


It’s been very hard to process Nick’s Alzheimer’s the past few years, let alone losing him the other day with Donny the week prior.


Both great in their own way but complete opposites.


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Nick Bockwinkel, “The Smartest Wrestler Alive,” died after an illness on Saturday night, Nov. 14, 2015.  The WWE Hall of Fame member and 4 time AWA Heavyweight Champion was 80 years old, born Dec. 6, 1934.


Bockwinkel was trained by his father Warren and the great Lou Thesz. He was managed by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and held the AWA Tag Team Championship with Ray Stevens.


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Remembering Don Fargo

— Article & photos by Paul Stratoti


Wrestling legend Don Fargo died November 8, 2015, after an illness.  He passed on not long after going into hospice.  We at ProWrestlingDigest extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to his family and friends..


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Remembering Rowdy Roddy Piper

– Article & photos by Paul Stratoti


With the unrest that prevailed in the Northeast Ohio area in what was then recent memory (aka Hough riots, Kent State University shootings, the riot at the Cleveland Arena that Ox Baker incited, the near riots that the Sheik incited there) this reporter became alarmed at the anxiety that overwhelmed me the night of August 24, 1984, when as the momentum of its expansion was now in full swing, WWE debuted at Cleveland Convention Center. Roddy Piper came to the ring first during one of the under card matches and demanded the mic. All of the sudden in typical Hot Rod heel fashion he started screaming into the mic demanding that his opponent “Get your ass in this ring you, n@xxxx!” That’s right, Roddy f’bombed twice during this untelevised pre match promo and I noticed that half of the fans in the front row appeared to be of African American decent.


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