Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

BILL CARDILLE: R.I.P.


– The Phantom of the Ring

The true unsung hero of televised wrestling is the announcer sitting at ringside. He is the first person we meet as youth tuning into wrestling for the first time, and the quality of his announcing will often determine the level and passion of our love as fans. One of the true greats of that art form passed away on July 21, 2016 at the age of 87 at his home of pneumonia after a long battle with cancer. He was Bill Cardille, better known to the fans in Pittsburgh as “Chilly Billy” in reference to his longtime status as host of his station’s Chiller Theater. He was a fixture on Pittsburgh’s NBC affiliate, WIIC-TV (now known as WPXI-TV), Channel 11. He did whatever the station needed, serving as a newsman, weatherman, announcer, and television host for various programs, this in an era when local stations originated most of their own programming. (In fact, it was Cardille who signed WIIC onto the air on September 1, 1957. )  He also worked as a radio personality, actor and producer. died early Thursday morning at his McCandless home of pneumonia.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Mike Lano with the Valiants

Mike Lano with the Valiants

 

In Memory of Pepper Gomez’ Famous Wife Bonnie


– Dr. Mike Lano

Bonnie Gomez passed Friday, She was a fixture backstage, and will be greatly missed.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Wrestling great Danny Miller leaves behind a treasure trove of memories


– Mike Mooneyham

“I’m just not sure anybody would remember me.”

That’s what Danny Miller told me shortly after he was invited to the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte back in 2013.

Miller had been selected as member of that year’s Hall of Heroes class, a high distinction that honors some of the greatest stars to ever appear in the old Mid-Atlantic territory.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Pro wrestling superstar Chyna was a force of nature


– Mike Mooneyham

 

When will Chyna be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame?

It has been an oft-asked question among wrestling fans over the past decade. And with good reason.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

All The Angles—Remembering Chyna

– John Willett

 

They met in 1996; one from Nashua, NH, one from Rochester NY. Little did they know that their meeting would change both of their lives forever. Paul Michael Levesque and Joan Marie Laurer are two stark symbols of what the business of wrestling can do both for you, and to you.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

A Tribute to Joanie, Combate Kurosai Joanie-San

By Dr Mike Lano

 


I think we can all agree that the last 24 hours have been pretty brutal in terms of deaths of notable people who affected us all uniquely, and who we’ll all miss (yup, even Trips especially after Joanie cornered him like last year, wanting to make amends).  First Joanie Lauer, and then soon after confirmation Prince had been found dead at his Paisley Park, MN, home and studio; wrestling got word that a longtimer had passed in Ruth Silverstone.  Many of you may not recognize Ruth’s name but she helped her husband Dean for years promote a major outlaw wrestling promotion in the Pacific Northwest that encompassed Washington State with some shows in Oregon, etc. using names like Lumberjack Luke, Paddy Ryan and more in the 70′s and 80′s.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Pro wrestling’s Blackjack Mulligan created a character for the ages


– Mike Mooneyham

 

It’s never easy saying goodbye to an old friend. But that’s what the professional wrestling community had to do last week when Bob Windham, better known to millions of fans around the world as Blackjack Mulligan, passed away Thursday at the age of 73.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering Blackjack Mulligan


By Dr Mike Lano

 

Very sad getting this horrible news, right after Merle Haggard’s passing yesterday.  Most all of you know Bob Windham’s basic story.  He came from football right into pro wrestling, and one of his first territories as a green Bobby Windham was my home base Los Angeles Cal Eaton/Mike Lebell territory.  He was like John Studd when Walter first broke him in, also in L.A.  Big, tall and green clumsy.  But a great talker from the get go.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

 

Read the rest of this entry »