Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

‘Nature Boy’ Buddy Landel battled his demons, but found redemption


__ Mike Mooneyham

 

“If ever there was such a talented rascal who would always be unconventional, it was Buddy Landel.” — Cowboy Bill Watts

Buddy Landel, who passed away last week at the age of 53, never had a problem admitting to anyone that he — far too often — had been his own worst enemy.

 

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Pro wrestling legend ‘American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes dead at 69


– Mike Mooneyham

 

 

Dusty Rhodes, one of professional wrestling’s most iconic stars, died Thursday at the age of 69.

Rhodes, whose real name was Virgil Riley Runnels Jr., was better known to millions of wrestling fans worldwide as “The American Dream.”

 

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Dusty Rhodes, One of the All Time Greats


– Article & photo by Dr. Mike Lano

 

Glad to see so many young and not so young in the biz posting, Tweeting and remembering Big Dust who had so many great phrases and career arcs in wrestling.

 

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Tommy Rogers leaves behind Fantastic tag-team legacy


– Mike Mooneyham

 

Tommy Rogers, who passed away last week at the age of 54, was one of the profession’s finest practitioners of tag-team wrestling.

It was an art Rogers perfected with longtime partner Bobby Fulton, and it was more than just a little apropos that they were known collectively as The Fantastics.

 

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Wrestling World Mourns Tommy Rogers

 

Today Bobby Fulton reported the death of his former Fantastics tag team partner Tommy Rogers, whose real name was Thomas R. Couch.

 

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Wrestling and Hollywood’s Friend, Eric Caiden

– Article & Photo by Dr. Mike Lano

 

Eric was one of those incredibly nice people in wrestling who really was even better known (that’s hard to believe but true) within grind house and cult, horror movie circles as both an expert and historian.  He appeared in a number of those films but also never strayed from his pro wrestling roots with production involvement in the Adrian Street/John Tolos, etc. wrestling film Grunt! and many other projects including co-promoting some ISW shows, etc with his longtime pal Johnny Legend, projects with Andy Kaufman and Johnny’s sis Lynne Marguiles (My Breakfast W/ Blassie) who had been a longtime girlfriend of Kaufman’s, etc.

 

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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.

 

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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.”

 

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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).

 

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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.

 

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