Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

Remembering Bob Geigel plus Column Stuff

– Dr. Mike Lano

 

Sorry guys to be behind on a Bob Geigel tribute but was swamped with not just S.F. Giants world series coverage when they played the Royals 2 out of the 3 games at San Francisco’s beautiful ATT Park right on the water, but also their victory parade and City Hall ceremony officiated by Mayor Ed Lee out here.  It was my third time covering the Giants world series games out here and victory parade in the celebrated 5 years.  And yep, I put out there that “Kung Fu Panda” Pablo Sandoval looks exactly like Taz in the latter’s prime, especially in that World Series close-up, headshot footage of him winking at the camera before hitting a triple against KC.   Also, CMLL’s Negro Casas is beginning to look like Perro Aquayo Sr. when the latter was starting to get old looking and burnt out.  No disrespect to Perro Sr. who put in decades of in-ring service as has the equally great Negro Casas who I first covered ringside at Korakuen Hall for New Japan.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

The Great Ox/Doug Baker Remembered

By His Friend Mike Lano

 

Ox Baker was one of the more important figures in our industry.  I was very sad when I saw the subject like of Karen’s email a few hours ago – Ox Baker.   I knew what that meant without her writing anything else or opening it up.  He’d been ailing for some time now and had been on a downward health spiral overall since his most recent wife passed away.  Not just the Ray Gunkel or Torres brother death in the ring which he had nothing to do with, (just freak heart conditions on the part of Gunk and Torres) but which promoters for good or bad capitalized on in promoting him.  And for which he used the op to publicize his “heart attach punch” later shortened thankfully to “Heart Punch.”

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering Cowboy Bob Kelly

– Dr. Mike Lano

 

Cowboy Bob Kelly was easily the biggest, most beloved babyface in Gulf Coast wrestling territory history.  Just got the news and more remembrances will come as he passed away just hours ago.  He was a longtime fellow Cauliflower Alley Club board member and if that was not enough, he was also president of the Gulf Coast Reunion board (their wonderful annual reunion in Mobile is for the boys only – I was honored to attend two of them since I’d jobbed and at the 1996 one, I flew with Ray Stevens and his lady wrestler wife Terese Thies who in turn had me drive the rental car from New Orleans airport, picking up Bob and driving in a downpour to Mobile where the rain suddenly stopped when we arrived).

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering the Great Don Manoukian, Don the Bruiser: NFL and Pro Graps Star

By Mike Lano

 

Don was a multi tag champ for San Francisco and West Coast promoter Roy Shire but also had Japan and Honolulu tours, worked for Don Owen, Cal Eaton in Los Angeles and other West Coast promoters like Gene Kiniski.  He was broken in in part by Ray Stevens who both said were each other’s best legit friends.  Don used to live with Ray and his lady wrestler wife Terese Thies who helped break in Ray along with Frankie “Great Mephisto” Kane.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

A tribute to longtime friend and friend of pro wrestling: Eric “The Midget/The Actor” Lynch
By Dr. Mike Lano

 

Eric “the Actor” as he preferred Stern to call him on the Howard Stern radio show on Sirius/XM channels 100 and 101, was in reality, Sacramento-based Eric Lynch.  Quiet, polite and a really nice person.  He was never really able to walk, and was just a bit over 3′ tall.  He was born with various other maladies like club feet and malshaped fingers that made it hard to grasp his phone or other objects.  But he never let any of that get in the way of him enjoying and living life to the fullest.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Sean O’Haire’s final fight was one he couldn’t win

– Mike Mooneyham

 

It was a dream come true when Sean O’Haire landed a full-time job with World Championship Wrestling in 2000.

The Hilton Head High graduate wanted to be a wrestler because he was a fighter, first and foremost, shaped by years of kick boxing, mixed martial arts and toughman contests.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Robin Williams, The Genius Of A Star Who Fell To Earth

by Mike Lano

 

Robin Williams was brilliant both as a comic and an actor and as many have said, there was no one like him and no one who did what he did. Nor ever will. Billy Crystal probably had it best simply Tweeting “no words” upon learning his friend had died in contrast to so many other celebs and posers who either had a camera shoved in their faces or Social Media’d out trite stuff. Williams deserved more and thankfully got it from a few. This man-child force of nature who seemed to be twenty entertainers all rolled into one.

Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering Shu Aoki

By Mike Lano

 

Firstly, mutual historian and friend Mick Karch (who began in the late 60′s as the plexi for the Bockwinkel Brigade fan club and later became an announcer for the AWA and many top midwest promotions in the 80′s and 90′s) has the absolute best Shu tribute text online and I urge everyone to go there.  There’s also a photo of Shu, Mick and Bill Apter from I believe some fanfest 2 years ago where they’re all smiles, having one of those great and rare nowadays, pro wrestling fun times.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering “Arriba” Luis Martinez

– Article & photos by Paul Stratoti

 

I last saw Luis in 1987 when he was working a program for the Great Lakes Wrestling Association during which time he wrestled the Sheik as “Apache” Luis Martinez.  He was working in conjunction with 3M Productions with Howard Mann (aka Howard “the Animal” Steel). I never found out who the other partner was but on this night it didn’t matter as he was wrestling the Sheik for the Sheik’s United States championship and he still had it in him as his ailment hadn’t quite made it to him yet. He may have lost that match by having fire thrown at him that night at Willard High School but he would continue to do battle in the ring or the foreseeable future although his active wrestling career had winded own to a trickle.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

WWE, Wrestling World Mourn the Passing of a Warrior

– Mike Mooneyham

 

Days after the sudden and tragic passing of one of the profession’s most colorful figures, the wrestling community is still coming to grips with the loss of The Ultimate Warrior.

It’s a loss made even more painful due to the events preceding his death at age 54.

His final week was a script right out of a Shakespearean play. It had been a glorious week – the returning hero being hailed by an adoring audience that never stopped loving him.

 

Read the rest of this entry »