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Bison Smith, American professional wrestler, heart complications, died he was 38.


Mark Smith[4] was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Bison Smith. He best known for his appearances with Pro Wrestling Noah in Japan; and World Wrestling Council and International Wrestling Association in Puerto Rico died he was 38..[6] In January 2009, he joined the American promotion Ring of Honor.[2]
After being trained by Donovan Morgan and Michael Modest, Smith began wrestling on the independent circuit. He began competing for the International Wrestling Association in Puerto Rico in 2003, and has held the IWA World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions, the IWA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship once, and the IWA Hardcore Championship one time. He also wrestled for Pro Wrestling Noah, and on May 23, 2008, he won the GHC Tag Team Championship with Akitoshi Saito and again on April 14, 2010, with Keith Walker. He also won the Global Tag League tournament with Saito in 2008. In January 2009, he debuted for Ring of Honor, where he was pushed as “unstoppable”, before he joined Prince Nana‘s Embassy faction.

(September 24, 1973 – November 22, 2011) 

Early life and career

Smith was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He began weightlifting at the age of 13.[1] Smith played American football at the University of Colorado, where he was an offensive lineman.[4] After his final year at college, Smith worked as a furniture mover.[1] Smith later moved to California.[1]

Career

Training and early career

Following his move to California, Smith trained at the All Pro Wrestling promotion under Donovan Morgan and Mike Modest.[1] He debuted in 1998.[1]

Independent and Japanese promotions

Smith toured in Japan first in July 2001.[1] On June 7, 2003, Smith won the Pro Wrestling IRON Heavyweight Championship, by defeating Bart Blaxson, and held the title for nearly two years before he dropped it on April 28, 2005 to California wrestler Malachi.[3] He competed for the International Wrestling Association (IWA) in Puerto Rico, where, on November 1, 2003, he defeated Glamour Boy Shane to win the IWA World Heavyweight Championship, which he held for over a month, before losing it back to Glamour Boy Shane.[3] On July 16, 2004, he defeated Slash Venom to win the vacant IWA Hardcore Championship.[3] He lost it later that month to Chet Jablonski.[3] On September 25, 2004, Smith won the New Breed Wrestling Association‘s top championship, the NBWA Championship, when he and Morgan defeated B.J. Whitmer and ODB in a tag team match, where the person who won the pin, won the Championship.[4] He competed sporadically for the next few months, and won the IWA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship from Glamour Boy Shane on November 20, 2005.[3] He held the Championship for over a year, before losing it to Slash Venom on December 12, 2005 in a steel cage match.[3]
He began competing for the Japanese promotion, Pro Wrestling Noah, in 2005, where he competed mainly in tag team matches.[4] He made his Pro Wrestling Noah debut on May 29, 2005, where he, Akitoshi Saito, and Takashi Sugiura defeated Akira Taue, Takuma Sano, and Jun Izumida.[7] In his next appearance two days later, Smith and Low Ki were defeated by KENTA and Kenta Kobashi.[8] He teamed with fellow Americans, and his trainers, Michael Modest and Donovan Morgan in June to defeat Takeshi Rikio, Mohammed Yone, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, which was followed by a defeat for his team, also including Akitoshi Saito and Masao Inoue, to Mitsuharu Misawa, Akira Taue, and Jun Izumida.[9][10]
Smith didn’t appear again in Pro Wrestling Noah until he went on a tour
with them in November 2005, where he usually teamed up with fellow “gaijins“, or foreigners, most commonly Low Ki.[11][12][13] He also teamed with Nigel McGuinness, Doug Williams and Scorpio on various occasions throughout November and December 2005.[14][15][16]
At the start of 2006, Smith returned to the United States, where he began competing for New Wrestling Superstars.[4] In August 2006, Smith began regularly wrestling for Fusion Pro Wrestling.[4] He also wrestled for the American Wrestling Federation (AWF), and on November 11, 2006, he won the AWF Heavyweight Championship by defeating Steve Gatorwolf.[4]
In July 2007, he returned to the IWA in Puerto Rico, where he won the
IWA World Heavyweight title for the second time by defeating Chicano on July 15.[3] He later lost the Championship to Blitz on September 30, 2007.[3] In October 2007, while touring Japan with Pro Wrestling Noah, he suffered a broken breastbone.[4] In 2008, he returned to Pro Wrestling Noah, and, with Akitoshi Saito, won the GHC Tag Team Championship on May 23, by defeating Naomichi Marufuji and Takashi Sugiura.[3] Smith and Saito also won the Global Tag League 2008.[3] On April 14, 2010, Smith teamed up with Keith Walker to win the GHC Tag Team Championship from Takeshi Rikioh and Muhammad Yone.[17]
On August 31, however, Walker’s father died. Walker later chose not to
immediately return to Japan, and on September 10 both Smith and Walker
were stripped of the GHC Tag Team Championship. On January 15, 2011,
Smith unsuccessfully challenged Takashi Sugiura for the GHC Heavyweight Championship.

Ring of Honor

Smith made his Ring of Honor (ROH) debut at Full Circle on January 16, 2009 in Manassas, Virginia by interrupting a match between Rhett Titus and Sean Denny, and attacking both men.[18] The next night at Injustice II, Smith interrupted a match between Grizzly Redwood and Chris Escobar, and attacked both men.[19] At the Caged Collision pay-per-view, which was taped on January 31, Smith attacked Bryan Danielson, during a number one contender’s match, powerbombing him on the floor and giving him a concussion. Smith made his in-ring debut on February 6, at Proving Ground 2009 Night One. He quickly defeated Sal Rinauro gaining the victory with the Skull Vise Slam.[20] The next night at Proving Ground Night Two, Smith gained his second victory, defeating John Kermon.[21] On the March 4 edition of the ROH Video Wire, it was revealed that Prince Nana, a manager who had just recently returned to ROH, was controlling Smith.[22] Smith had his first loss in ROH on March 13 at Stylin’ and Profilin’, when he lost to Danielson by countout.[23] Smith made his debut in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City in a losing effort teaming with the returning Jimmy Rave against Bryan Danielson and the returning Colt Cabana on March 21.[24] Smith, with Rave and Ernie Osiris, then joined the newly reformed Embassy faction, led by Prince Nana.

Death

Smith died November 22, 2011 in Puerto Rico due to heart complications.[5] Smith was in Puerto Rico because he was due to fight Eddie Colon the same week during World Wrestling Council‘s Crossfire show. The event started with a tribute to Smith by Willie Urbina with the WWC roster in the arena.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • New Breed Wrestling Association
    • NBWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[4]
  • Pro Wrestling IRON
    • PWI Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[3]

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Killer Karl Kox, American professional wrestler, died he was 80.

Herb Gerwig was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name of Killer Karl Kox, who competed in the National Wrestling Alliance as well as international promotions such as All Japan Pro Wrestling, the International Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling during the 1960s and 70s died he was 80..

(April 26, 1931 – November 10, 2011) 

Career

Killer Karl Kox was one of the biggest stars in the WCW promotion in
Australia during the 1960s and 1970s. As a singles heel through the
sixties, he was a top-of-card fixture battling well-established crowd
favourites such as Mark Lewin, Spiros Arion, Tex McKenzie, Dominic Denucci and Mario Milano.
Enormous numbers from Australia’s nascent ethnic community turned out
to support Arion, Denucci and Milano, and Kox risked riots at every
appearance. His brainbuster finisher was as famous as his chronic rule
breaking and surreptitious use of foreign objects. Fans longed to see
the brainbuster deployed on the side of good, and this boon was granted
in 1971 when the Killer turned into a good guy in a nationally televised
mea culpa – he pledged to change his ways on a solemn promise to his
dying mother.
This created much heat in the already booming Australian wrestling
promotion, where the fixture was an ongoing television “war” between the
good guys referred to as “The People’s Army” (Lewin, Curtis, Arion,
Milano and visiting faces from overseas) and the “mercenary soldiers”
managed by Kentucky biker / preacher Big Bad John. The turning of the
tables saw the erstwhile Killer create great excitement in tag matches
against his former heel comrades Abdullah the Butcher, Brute Bernard,
Dick “The Bulldog” Brower, Tiger Singh, Waldo Von Ehrich and Japanese
badboys like Mr Fuiji and the Tojo Brothers.
In the wrestling profession, Killer Karl Kox was always a popular
figure for his humour, behind-the-scenes practical jokes and
inventiveness in furthering the promotion (“the greatest gimmicks man in
the business” said one admiring colleague). His grudge matches were
well-calibrated and exciting, building through a series of
disqualifications and non-decisions through run-in interference, and
often climaxing in a conditional match in which “the loser packs his
bags and leaves town.” This saw off one or the other of the combatants
as they travelled to fulfill other promotional runs in other countries;
battle would be re-joined next season when the participants returned for
another highly profitable run.
Among Killer Karl Kox’s famous matches in Australia, his feuds with
man-mountain Haystacks Calhoun usually involved the insinuation of
foreign objects into the proceedings by Kox. At the end of one season,
Kox “left Australia for medical treatment in the states” when, in a
strap match with Bulldog Brower, his eye was nearly removed (the wound
was unbandaged to show the television audience). A headline making event
was when a television match for the Australian championship against
Spiros Arion was declared ended due to time limit by well-loved
commentator Jack Little. Kox responded by applying the Brain Buster to
the unfortunate Little, who was hospitalized and required to call
matches the following month in a neck brace. Kox made his final
wrestling-related appearance at VCCW Quest for the Crown II in August
2011, taking part in a meet and greet as well as later presenting the
championship to Scot Summers.
On November 10, 2011, Kox died at the age of 80 following a heart attack and a stroke he had suffered nearly three weeks prior.[1]

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Donna Christanello, American professional wrestler, died from a heart attack she was 69.

Mary Alfonsi better known by her ring name Donna Christanello (also billed as Donna Christianello, Donna Christenello, Donna Christiantello, and Donna Christantello, the name which she went by on her official website), was a professional wrestler trained by The Fabulous Moolah. She was active from the late 1960s through the 1980s. She frequently wrestled women such as Ann Casey, Vicki Williams, Evelyn Stevens and Leilani Kai throughout the 1970s.

(May 23, 1942 – August 25, 2011)

National Wrestling Alliance

Christanello was employed at a restaurant in Pittsburgh when she
decided to contact a wrestling promoter to become a professional
wrestler.[1] Male wrestlers Waldo Von Erich and Klondike Bill helped set her up with women’s wrestling trainer The Fabulous Moolah.[3] She moved to South Carolina in 1963 to train with Moolah.[3] In 1969, Christanello competed during an Australian tour with Toni Rose, Jessica Rodgers, Betty and Rita Boucher, Ramona Isbell, Marva Scott and Evelyn Stevens.
She was the frequent tag team partner of Toni Rose. She and Rose won the National Wrestling Alliance‘s NWA Women’s World Tag Team Championship in 1970.[3] In 1972, she competed at the Superbowl of Wrestling, where she and Rose defended the time World Women’s Tag Team Championship against Sandy Parker and Debbie Johnson. They eventually lost the title in October 1973 to Joyce Grable and Vicki Williams at Madison Square Garden in New York. There is also an unrecorded title change. Susan Green
and Sandy Parker won the World Tag Team title from Christanello and
Rose in November 1971 in Hawaii and lost them in February 1972 to
Christanello and Rose in Hong Kong. They also defended the title in the
NWA and American Wrestling Association, and the title was eventually integrated into the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).[3] As a result, they were recognized as the first WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions.[3]

World Wrestling Federation

During the mid-1980s she competed in the WWF’s women’s division.
Christianello continued to wrestle in tag team matches. On May 5, 1984,
Susan Starr and Christianello defeated Wendi Richter and Peggy Lee. On June 5, 1984, Peggy Lee and Christianello defeated The Fabulous Moolah and Desiree Petersen. The next day Moolah and Petersen defeated the team of Christianello and Judy Martin.
On June 9, Moolah and Petersen defeated Martin and Christianello. The
following day, Moolah and Petersen once again defeated Christianello and
Judy Martin.
In August 1984, Christianello wrestled primarily singles matches. On August 19, Susan Green
defeated Christianello. In matches on both August 20 and 21, Susan
Starr defeated Christianello. In 1987, she wrestled as part of Sensational Sherri’s team at the Survivor Series pay-per-view.[3]

Personal life and death

Christanello was born and raised in Pittsburgh and was of Italian descent.[1] She lived with The Fabulous Moolah on-and-off for forty years, ending in May 1999 when she moved back to Pittsburgh.[4] While living with Moolah, she helped train women’s wrestlers Sherri Martel and Brittany Brown.[3] After retiring from the ring, she was employed by Wal-Mart in the accounting department.[3]
Her niece, Marie Minor, was trained by Christianello and worked as a
wrestler under the ring name Angie Minelli for several years in the
1980s.
On August 25, 2011, Christanello died from a heart attack. She was 69 years old.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

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Shawn McGrath, American professional wrestler, committed suicide. he was , 34

Shawn McGrath was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Shawn Osborne committed suicide. he was , 34. He is best known for his stint with World Wrestling Entertainment as a developmental talent, most recently wrestling for its developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling.

 (May 9, 1976 – January 26, 2011)

Professional wrestling career

Early career

On March 8, 2003, McGrath debuted in Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) against Cody Hawk in Wilmington, Ohio.[1] He wrestled under the name Number One for Black Militia. Later McGrath changed his name to Shawn Osbourne, using the “Bad Seed” nickname. He broke free from the Black Militia faction becoming a face in the process. He defeated current HWA Champion Rory Fox for his first and only HWA Heavyweight Championship. He lost the championship a few months later and left HWA soon after. McGrath later wrestled for Impact Zone Wrestling in late 2005 and early 2006.[1]

World Wrestling Entertainment

Ohio Valley Wrestling

McGrath wrestled a couple dark matches for World Wrestling Entertainment‘s (WWE) Raw and SmackDown before signing a developmental contract with WWE in June 2006.[3][4] He was assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), and debuted a month later under the ring name “The Bad Seed” Shawn Osborne.[5] In September, McGrath formed a faction with Eddie Craven, Mike Kruel and Roucka known as Bad Kompany in which they would challenge for the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship in a losing effort to Cody Runnels and Shawn Spears.[6]

Deep South Wrestling, Florida Championship Wrestling and departure

On February 8, 2007, Osborne made an appearance in Deep South Wrestling, losing to G-Rilla in a dark match.[1] It was later announced that Osborne had been moved to DSW.[1] In DSW, he would form a tag team with Jon Bolen, although the team ended when DSW was dropped by WWE as a developmental territory and Osborne subsequently returned to OVW. After OVW was also dropped by WWE, Osborne relocated to Tampa, Florida to train in Florida Championship Wrestling, debuting in a losing effort to G-Rilla.[7] He was then released from his contract in February 2008.[1]

Independent circuit

Since his release, McGrath resumed competing on the independent circuit, most notably for Ring of Honor‘s sister promotion Full Impact Pro.

Death

McGrath died on January 26, 2011, due to an apparent suicide.[2] He sent a suicide note to several friends, detailing his reasons for committing suicide.[2]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

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King Curtis Iaukea, American professional wrestler, died after a long illness he was , 73

Curtis Piehau Iaukea, III  was a professional wrestler better known as King Curtis Iaukea. Iaukea won championships in several of the major regional US promotions, both as a single and in various tag team combinations, during the 1960s died after a long illness he was , 73. He then competed in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) where he won the WWF Tag Team Championship. He was also later The Master of the Dungeon of Doom in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Under the name “Iau Kea” he appeared in the film The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze with Moe Howard declaring “That’s not a man! That’s a committee!”.

(1938 – December 4, 2010)

 Biography

He was the grandson of Colonel Curtis Iaukea, a vice chamberlain and diplomat to the court of King Kalākaua and Queen Liliuokalani [1] and later Sheriff of Honolulu and son of a Honolulu Police Department Captain also named Curtis Iaukea. He attended Punahou School and the University of California Berkeley as an economics major where he lettered as a lineman until he dropped out. He played as a tackle for the BC Lions from 1958-1959.[2]
In the early mid sixties, 1963 – 1964, post football and before his pro wrestling debut with 50th State Wrestling, Curtis “the Bull” Iaukea briefly worked as a disc jockey for KUMU Radio station in Kaimuki under then station owner/manager John Wiser. Playing a “Classical Music” format, he provided the first OJT job internship cueing records and tapes as a station gopher/programing assistant for a young upcoming south-shore surfer Steve Gilbert, whom he paid out of his own pocket. As a result of necessitated chair replacement, KUMU DJ’s benefitted for years getting to use the extremely solid yet comfortable steel swivel DJ chair with lumbar support, a legacy of “Da Bull’s” near 300lb girth which simply demolished several prior replacement bar stool type chairs becoming a major expense of legendary proportion.

Professional wrestling career

In Australia, King Curtis was a part of the face tag team known as the People’s Army with Mark Lewin and Spiros Arion.
His first sojourns to Australia were in the 1964–1965 season, where he was a villain. He was teamed with Skull Murphy. King Curtis initially wrestled as Curtis Iaukea in his first run in Australia. The King Curtis tag was the one that stuck as he feuded against Mark Lewin. After becoming a fan favorite in time for the seventies, King Curtis feuded against Tiger Singh and various Japanese “brothers.” King Curtis was also a member of an alliance known as “The People’s Army.”
After retiring in the mid-1980s, he turned to managing. In ICW, knows as King Curtis, he managed Kevin Sullivan and Mark Lewin, taking on the gimmick of a crazed cult leader. His faction feuded with Joe Savoldi and Austin Idol. Curtis Iaukea re-appeared briefly in the WWF promotion as a manager and mouthpiece for Kamala and Sika. He also appeared briefly in WCW as ‘The Master’ of The Dungeon of Doom stable in the mid-90s.

Championships and accomplishments

  • American Wrestling Alliance

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Skip Young, American professional wrestler died he was , 59

Galton W. Young, better known as Skip Young and Sweet Brown Sugar [1] was an American professional wrestler who competed on the Southeastern regional promotions during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s in Florida Championship Wrestling, World Class Championship Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance died he was , 59.

(July 24, 1951 – December 3, 2010)

After making his debut in Florida Championship Wrestling, Skip Young originally wrestled as the masked Sweet Brown Sugar winning the NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship three times between 1979 and 1982[2]. He also formed a successful tag team Butch Reed in the Florida region winning the NWA North American Tag Team titles in April 1982[2].

During the early 1980s, he also toured Japan most notably facing Genichiro Tenryu and Ashura Hara in a tag team match with The Destroyer in Tokyo, Japan on January 3, 1982.

After leaving the Florida region in 1984, Young began wrestling unmasked in the Texas-area where he began teaming with “Pistol” Pez Whatley and feuded with the PYT Express (Koko Ware and Norvell Austin), during the mid 1980s. However, despite prior success teaming with Kerry Von Erich in 1980, Young was little used by Texas promoter Fritz Von Erich due to his declining popularity [3] although he would later win the WCWA Tag Team titles with “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas in 1987[2].

Championships and accomplishments

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J. C. Bailey, American professional wrestler. died from a brain aneurysm he was 27

Joseph Carl Bailey, Jr.[3] was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name J. C. Bailey died from a brain aneurysm he was 27. He wrestled for numerous American-based professional wrestling promotions including Combat Zone Wrestling, IWA Mid-South, and IWA East Coast.[1]

(August 23, 1983 – August 30, 2010)

Contents

Professional wrestling career

Bailey made his professional wrestling debut in 2001.[1]
On March 29, 2003, Bailey defeated Nate Webb to win the IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship.[4] He lost the championship to Michael Todd Stratton on May 24, but regained it a week later on May 31.[5][6] In June 2003, Bailey, Ian Rotten, and Corporal Robinson “invaded” Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) on behalf of Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South (IWA Mid-South).[1] The following month, he competed in the second annual CZW Tournament of Death where he lost to Nick Mondo in a deathmatch involving light tubes.[7] On August 9, at Aftermath, Bailey lost the IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship to Sonjay Dutt.[8] He also competed in the fifth annual IWA Mid-South King of the Deathmatch tournament in August, where he defeated 2 Tuff Tony, Necro Butcher, and Ian Rotten, before losing to Mad Man Pondo in the final.[9][10] On November 21, Bailey won a three-way match against Dutt and Nate Webb to win the IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship for the third time.[11] He held the championship for two months before losing it to Matt Sydal on January 17, 2004.[12]

In June 2004, Bailey competed in the sixth King of the Deathmatch where he lost to Mad Man Pondo and Toby Klein,[13] and the following month he participated in the third Tournament of Death where he lost to Wifebeater after defeating Chri$ Ca$h.[14] On December 11, 2004, he teamed up with Chri$ Ca$h, Nate Webb and Sexxxy Eddy to win the CZW World Tag Team Championship.[15] Team Ca$h held the championship until February 5, 2005, when Ca$h and Webb lost to H8 Club (Justice Pain and Nick Gage).[15][16] The same night, Bailey became the first-ever CZW Ultraviolent Underground Champion.[16][17] He lost the championship to Zandig in July 2005.[17] The following month, on August 13, Bailey defeated Necro Butcher in a No Ropes Barbed Wire Death Match to win the Ultraviolent Underground Championship for the second time.[17] He held the championship for over five months, before losing it to Nick Gage on January 14, 2006.[17]
Between 2005 and 2007, Bailey competed in several more hardcore tournaments, including the fourth and fifth Tournaments of Death,[18][19] seventh and eighth King of the Deathmatch tournaments,[20][21] and Tournament of Death: Fast Forward.[22]
On August 20, 2006, he went to Japan and competed in the professional wrestling tournament WRESTLE EXPO 2006 where he lost to 2 Tuff Tony after defeating Mad Man Pondo.[23] On September 16, 2006, he competed in the first Masters of Pain tournament where he lost to the “Crazy Monkey” Jun Kasai after defeating 2 Tuff Tony and Corporal Robinson.[24]http://www.youtube.com/v/eYvOuZxlz1A?fs=1&hl=en_US
In December 2009, Bailey returned to CZW in December at Cage of Death 11, attacking Thumbtack Jack who had just won a no-ropes barbwire match against Nick Gage.[25] Bailey was accompanied in this attack by ‘Halfbreed’ Billy Gram who in turn revealed that Bailey was the new member of The Cult Fiction stable led by Gram. Bailey and Gram were sooned joined by tHURTeen, the returning Brain Damage and Masada in The Cult Fiction, and began a feud against fan favorites Danny Havoc, Drake Younger, Scotty Vortekz and Eddie Kingston who were dubbed The Suicide Kings. On June 5, Bailey won the 2010 IWA Mid-South King of the Deathmatch tournament. He defeated Ian Rotten, Nick Gage, and Balls Mahoney en route to the final, where he defeated Devon Moore.[26] On June 26, Bailey competed in CZW’s Tournament of Death 9, where he advanced through the first two rounds, before losing in the finals to Vortekz.[27]

Personal life

Bailey’s father, Joseph Bailey, runs the Bad 2 the Bone Wrestling promotion in Kentucky.[1]

Death

Bailey was found dead on August 30, 2010, having died in his sleep.[3][28][29] Prior to his death he had complained of headaches and numbness in his hands.[29] The cause of death was later determined to be due to a brain aneurysm, caused by multiple concussions and blows to the head.[29] His brain is expected to be donated for research at Boston University.[29]

In wrestling

 Championships and accomplishments

  • Bad 2 the Bone Wrestling
    • BBW Hardcore Championship (2 times)[1]
    • BBW Lightweight Championship (1 time)[1]
    • BBW Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Vic The Bruiser (1)[1]
    • Rookie of the Year (2001)[1]
  • Coliseum Championship Wrestling
    • CCW Hardcore Championship (1 time)[1]
    • CCW Lightweight Championship (1 time)[1]
    • CCW Tag Team Championship (1 time)[1]
    • CCW XXX Championship (1 time)[1]
  • Insanity Pro Wrestling
    • IPW Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1]

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Steve Stanlee, American professional wrestler.has died he was , 90

Steve Zygowicz[1] better known by his ring name of Steve Stanlee, was an American professional wrestler from the late 1940s through the 1960s. He was the younger brother of the more famous professional wrestler Gene Stanlee.[2]

(February 29, 1920 – July 2, 2010)

Steve served with Gene in the U.S. Navy during World War II and entered the professional wrestling circuit after the war. From 1947 to 1948, Stanlee wrestled under the ring name Paul Stanlee for Georgia Championship Wrestling.[3] He competed against such wrestlers as Tom Mahoney and Bobby Roberts, winning the majority of these matches.[3] Like his brother Gene, Steve took the nickname “Mr. America” for his chiseled physique, bleached his hair blond, and wore dazzling sequined jackets to the ring.[4] Gene and Steve did train together and had a couple of runs as a tag team, but the two generally stayed on separate career paths.[2] Notably, Steve wrestled Lou Thesz for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on October 27, 1950,[5] two full years before his brother faced Thesz.[6]

After his stint in Georgia, Stanlee competed in Toronto, Ontario. He worked as a jobber, putting over other wrestlers, such as Al Korman and Pat Flanagan.[7] In the early 1950s, Stanlee wrestled in the Northeastern United States. Wrestling in New York and New Jersey, he received occasional pushes, challenging for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on several occasions.[8][9]

Stanlee then traveled to California, where he wrestled in the mid-1950s.[10][11] He later returned to wrestle for Capitol Wrestling in the New York area in the late 1950s.[12][13][14]

Steve didn’t catch on with the public in the same way as Gene did, and as a result never attained the same level of fame. He did have a longer career in the ring, however, and may in fact be the better known brother among fans of 1960s wrestling. While Gene was out of wrestling by the early ’60s, Steve remained active. He wrestled both as a singles competitor and as part of a tag team, “The Stanlee Steamers”, with a kayfabe third “brother”, Bob Stanlee (played by Bob Merrill).[2] Unfortunately, Steve won few high-profile matches either way and is generally regarded to have been a “jobber to the stars” for much of his career. He did, however, win the National Wrestling Alliance‘s Ohio Heavyweight Championship on July 1, 1961 by defeating Frankie Talaber.[15] He dropped the belt back to Talaber in a rematch later that year.[15] Stanlee also helped train Buddy Bison, who wrestled for Georgia Championship Wrestling for several years.[16]

From 1964 to 1966, Stanlee wrestled for the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). He lost the majority of his matches, but he did get victories over Arnold Skaaland and “Baron” Mikel Scicluna in 1965.[17][18][19] After leaving the WWWF, Stanlee wrestled in Hawaii, competing in both singles matches and in a tag team with Jim Hady.[10][20] He then returned to Georgia Championship Wrestling, putting over the other talent in that promotion as well.[3]

Late in life, Steve Stanlee appeared in an interview in the Icons Of Wrestling documentary series.[2] He passed away in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin on July 2, 2010 at the age of 90.[21]

Championships and accomplishments

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Trent Acid, American professional wrestler has died he was , 29

Michael Verdi was an American professional wrestler best known by his ring name Trent Acid. Verdi had worked as a tag team wrestler for most of his career, primarily as part of The Backseat Boyz with Johnny Kashmere, in several independent promotions in America, including Combat Zone Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Unplugged, and Ring of Honor. However, Acid had also worked a singles career with several promotions, including Juggalo Championship Wrestling.

(November 12, 1980 – June 18, 2010)

Acid debuted in Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) in 1999 and competed mostly in singles matches. At the first Cage of Death, he teamed with White Lotus to face the Kashmerinoes (Johnny Kashmere and Robbie Mireno). Acid wrestled many matches against Kashmere before teaming up with him to form The Backseat Boyz. The Backseat Boyz won the CZW Tag Team Championship. While part of this team, Acid still wrestled in the singles division and won the CZW World Junior Heavyweight Championship three times, competing against the likes of Ruckus and Justice Pain for the title. He also became the second Best of the Best winner by defeating Jody Fleisch in the final match at Best of the Best 2. In September 2003, Acid won the vacant CZW Iron Man Championship by defeating Nick Gage and Jimmy Rave in a three way match.

Around this time, Acid along with Johnny Kashmere joined the Hi-V stable and feuded with Zandig and his ultraviolent team. This feud came to an end at Cage of Death V in the Cage of Death match. However, before competing in the Cage of Death match, Acid first had to defend his Iron Man Championship against Jimmy Rave. The match went to a time limit draw with each man scoring one fall, but the match was ordered to restart and Rave won the title. Acid went on to the Cage of Death but was eliminated and his team eventually lost. The Hi-V broke up after this and The Backseat Boyz soon left CZW. Acid returned to CZW later in 2004 and feuded with Teddy Hart and Messiah. He left again shortly after.

On June 14, 2008, Acid made his return to CZW when he faced World Champion Nick Gage in a non-title match. At ‘An Eye for an Eye’ on April 11, 2009, Acid made his full time return to CZW. It was the main event of the evening as Sami Callihan and Jon Moxley took on Brain Damage and Drake Younger.

Acid joined Ring of Honor (ROH) in 2002, when he and Johnny Kashmere defeated Homicide and Steve Corino in an interpromotional match between ROH and CZW at the first Glory By Honor. The Backseat Boyz would go on to work for ROH permanently. They continued wrestling together and competed in many scramble matches against the likes of The SAT, The Carnage Crew and Special K. However, Acid is perhaps best known from ROH for his feud with Homicide. After this feud, The Backseat Boyz won the ROH Tag Team Championship by defeating Special K in the final round of a gauntlet match for the vacant title.[4] This made The Backseat Boyz the first team to win both the CZW and ROH Tag Team Championships. Acid and Kashmere lost the title to Special K at the next show.[4] Later, Kashmere left ROH and Acid would continue as a singles wrestler. At ROH’s Reborn: Completion, Acid fought with Jimmy Rave but he lost after Rave hit the Rave Clash on him. At Testing The Limit, he challenged Samoa Joe for the ROH World Championship, but did not win. He was also part of the Scramble Cage Melee main event in the scramble cage. Acid had his last ROH match at Final Battle 2004 against Jimmy Jacobs. After losing this match, he quit ROH.

Acid joined Pro Wrestling Unplugged at its inception in 2004, eventually feuding with Homicide, 2 Cold Scorpio, and Devon Moore over the PWU World Heavyweight Title. In 2005, Trent feuded with his old friend and new rival, Hellter Skelter. The feud lasted a few months, starting with Hellter claiming that Trent turned his back on their friendship and made him the evil person he is today. After months of feuding, Acid defeated Skelter in a “Philadelphia Street Fight” match on August 20, 2005. The feud continued in 2007, with Hellter wanting a rematch, and recording disturbing promos on PWU Surge TV, calling out Acid and claiming he would “carve [Acid's] flesh”. Finally on November 23, 2007, Acid accepted the rematch and lost to Skelter, who had outside help from Sunny.

Acid made his return to PWU, following knee surgery, on March 16, 2008, at the event Haunted, wrestling Television Champion ZBarr to a time-limit draw. Since the departure of Tod Gordon, and subsequent handoff of sole ownership to tag-team partner Johnny Kashmere, Acid has been named co-owner of the company.

Acid debuted in Juggalo Championship Wrestling (JCW) in 2007 under the gimmick of an arrogant priest.[3] Acid, the self-proclaimed “Savior of JCW”, cut a promo against the Juggalo fanbase, the company, and Insane Clown Posse (real-life owners of JCW) in the first episode of SlamTV!.[3] He continued to badmouth the company in the following weeks while having confrontations with several heroes.[3] On the fourth episode, Acid won a 10 Man Battle Royal to become the number one contender for Corporal Robinson‘s JCW Heavyweight Championship.[3] In their first match, Acid temporarily blinded Robinson with holy water, causing the referee to end the match.[3] Two weeks later at West Side Wars, Acid pinned Robinson after using Robinson’s championship belt as a weapon, becoming the new JCW Heavyweight Champion.[3] Corporal Robinson received his rematch at East Side Wars in a Steel Cage match and regained the championship.[5] At Bloodymania, Acid and The Young Alter Boys lost a Six Man Tag Team match against the team of Insane Clown Posse and Sabu.[5]

Acid returned to JCW at Bloodymania III, where he teamed with the Alter Boys (Tim, Tom, Terry, and Todd).[6] The group lost to the Juggalo World Order (Corporal Robinson, Scott Hall, Shaggy 2 Dope, Violent J, and Sid Vicious) in the main event.[6]

Acid also worked for the new promotion Pro Wrestling Syndicate where he has had matches with Alex Shelley, Human Tornado, Danny Doring, Justin Credible and Sabu. On May 29, 2009, Acid won a four-way match to win the PWS Heavyweight Championship.[2]

On April 2, 2010 Verdi was arrested for possession of heroin. This charge combined with other previous charges, which included possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication. On May 12 he was sentenced to a maximum of 23 months of confinement, in addition to court mandated rehab, after reaching a plea deal. He had another trial set for July 13.[7][8]

On June 18, 2010 at approximately 9:00 AM, Verdi was found dead aged 29 at his home by his mother.[9][8] Verdi’s first championship tag team partner Billy Reil posted a tribute to Verdi on the Declaration of Independents later that week.[8] At an ROH show in Buffalo, New York that night, ROH held a ten-bell salute to honor Verdi.[10] At CZW Tournament of Death show on June 26 in Townsend, Delaware, CZW honored him with a ten bell salute before the show. On June 28, it was announced that a tribute show, Acid-Fest: A Tribute to Trent Acid will be taking place at The Arena in Philadelphia on July 10. The show will feature several of Verdi’s friends within professional wrestling along with some of his students from PWU, with the proceeds going to the Trent Acid Memorial Fund to help his family with his funeral costs.[11]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • Hardway Wrestling
    • HW Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Johnny Kashmere[citation needed]
  • National Championship Wrestling
    • NCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Johnny Kashmere[18]
  • New Midwest Wrestling
  • Phoenix Championship Wrestling
    • PCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Johnny Kashmere
  • Pro Wrestling Syndicate
    • PWS Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[2]
  • Pro Wrestling Unplugged
    • PWU Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[2]
  • United States Xtreme Wrestling
    • UXW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[19]
    • UXW Xtreme Championship (1 time)[20]
    • UXW United States Championship (1 time)[21]
    • UXW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Mike Tobin[22]
  • Urban Wrestling Alliance
    • UWA Light Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
    • UWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Billy Reil
  • Other titles
    • GWA Lightweight Championship (1 time)

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Grizzly Smith,, American professional wrestler, died of Alzheimer’s disease he was 77

Aurelian Smith was an American professional wrestler better known as Grizzly Smith died of Alzheimer’s disease he was 77. He was the father of professional wrestlers Aurelian, Jr. (Jake “The Snake” Roberts), Michael (Sam Houston), and Robin (Rockin’ Robin).

After his wrestling career ended, he served for a time as a backstage official in the World Wrestling Federation and a road agent in World Championship Wrestling, as recounted in Mick Foley‘s book Have A Nice Day.

(August 6, 1932 – June 12, 2010)

Career

Smith began competing in professional wrestling in Texas, but he worked on an oilfield part-time as well.[2] Smith also competed in Georgia, where he challenged Freddie Blassie for the NWA Georgia World Heavyweight Championship but was unable to win the title belt.[1] While wrestling in Texas, Smith met Luke Brown, who he followed to Oklahoma. Smith, who had wrestled under the ring names Jake Smith and Tiny Anderson,[1][2] began competing as Grizzly Smith, although he also wrestled as Tiny Smith. Smith and Brown formed a tag team known as The Kentuckians, and the pair used the gimmick of a pair of hillbillies.[2] Together, they won the Georgia version of the NWA Southern Tag Team Championship in 1962 and held them until dropping them to Lenny Montana and Gypsy Joe on November 23 of that year.[3]

The Kentuckians’ biggest rivals were The Assassins, with whom they feuded in matches across the United States.[2] In many of these matches, The Assassins were joined by The Missouri Mauler and The Kentuckians teamed with Haystacks Calhoun.[4] The Kentuckians biggest win over The Assassins came while competing in the Los Angeles-based World Wrestling Association on August 8, 1965, when they defeated their rivals to win the WWA World Tag Team Championship. They held the belts for several months before dropping them to Gorilla Monsoon and Luke Graham the following January.[5] Later in 1966, Smith and Brown won the American Wrestling Association‘s Midwest Tag Team Championship.[6]

Smith’s feud with The Assassins also took him to Western Canada, where he teamed with Don Leo Jonathan to defeat The Assassins for the Vancouver version of the NWA Canadian Tag Team Championship. Smith, who was wrestling under the ring name Ski Hi Jones, and Jonathan held the title from March 25, 1968 until the following month, when The Assassins regained the championship in a rematch.[7]

Smith then returned to Texas, where he was involved in a rivalry with The Spoiler. The two wrestlers feuded over the NWA Texas Heavyweight Championship, which Smith won from The Spoiler in June 1968.[8] The following month, Smith gained another title when he teamed with Fritz Von Erich to defeat The Spoiler and Gary Hart to win the NWA American Tag Team Championship.[9] Smith and The Spoiler continued to feud, however, and The Spoiler regained the Heavyweight Championship in August and the Team Team Championship in September.[8][9]

The Kentuckians reunited in the NWA Tri-State territory. In an April 1971 match that was scheduled to see Bill Watts and Billy Red Lyons challenge Waldo Von Erich and Karl Von Brauner for the Tri-State version of the NWA United States Tag Team Championship, Smith and Brown took the place of the challengers. They won the match and the title belts but were stripped of the championship later that month. They continued to pursue the belts and regained them later that month, holding them until a loss to The Spoilers later that year.[10]

After retiring as a competitor, Smith promoted wrestling events in Louisiana alongside Jack Curtis.[11] He then worked with Bill Watts in the Mid-South territory until being fired during a disagreement over wages. From there, he went to Mississippi to work with promoter George Culkin.[12]

Personal life

Smith was born in Grayson County, Texas and grew up with a brother, who died at age four, and two sisters.[2] He had two children from his first marriage, Aurelian, Jr. and a daughter. He later had two more children, Michael and Robin, from another relationship after he and his wife separated. Three of his children went on to become professional wrestlers: Aurelian, Jr. as Jake Roberts, Michael as Sam Houston, and Robin as Rockin’ Robin.[13] Smith briefly married again on June 22, 1992 this time to a woman named Michelle D. Hyde who was 24 years his junior. This marriage was short lasting and ended in divorce just over a year later on September 14, 1993.

Smith retired from wrestling and moved to Louisiana, where he shared a house with his son Michael in Metairie. Smith took on a job performing maintenance in a cemetery near New OrleansFrench Quarter. The pair lost most of their possessions in the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. They were able to salvage some footwear and canned food, but flooding destroyed the remainder of their belongings. Smith’s health had been deteriorating for several years, and he developed a staphylococcal infection after scraping his leg the day before the storm hit. He was not able to get medical attention and almost lost his leg as a result.[2][14] At the time of his death he lived in Amarillo, Texas. Smith died of Alzheimer’s disease on June 12, 2010.

Smith had a strained relationship with his son Aurelian, Jr. (Jake Roberts), which Roberts stated was partially the result of his father not informing his children of the scripted nature of professional wrestling.[15] In an interview on Jake “The Snake” Roberts: Pick Your Poison, a video released by World Wrestling Entertainment, Roberts stated that his father convinced the family that his injuries in the ring were real and wore a neck brace at home to sell a storyline. On the same video , Roberts also stated that he was conceived when his father, who was dating Roberts’ grandmother, raped her 12 year-old daughter. He said that the two were forced to marry against their wishes and that the resulting emotional trauma is responsible for Roberts’ substance abuse and his sister’s mental health problems. At age 18, his sister married a man 35 years older than she was; the man’s ex-wife later kidnapped and killed Roberts’ sister.[16][17]

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves
  • Signature moves

Championships and accomplishments

  • NWA Southern Tag Team Championship (Georgia version) (1 time) – with Luke Brown[3]
  • World Wrestling Association (Los Angeles)
  • WWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Luke Brown[5]

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Kinji Shibuya, American professional wrestler and actor (Mr. T and Tina), died of natural causes he was 88,

California wrestling legend Shibuya passes away

Robert “Kinji” Shibuya, who was one of pro wrestling’s biggest stars of the 60s and early 70s in California, passed away this past Monday at his home in Hayward, CA, at the age of 88.

Shibuya was a San Francisco wrestling institution, headlining the Cow Palace on numerous occasions, both as a single as well as with tag team partners Mitsu Arakawa and Masa Saito. Shibuya & Arakawa were best known for matches against Nick Bockwinkel & Wilbur Snyder and Ray Stevens & Don Manoukian during the heyday of San Francisco wrestling when the Cow Palace was the hottest wrestling arena in the United States.

He also dabbled in acting, and was well known after his retirement in the late 70s for raising koi fish.

Robert Shibuya played the stereotypical Japanese heel role, but he was actually from Utah, and was a college football star in the 40s at the University of Hawaii.

During the mid-60s, when he held the United States heavyweight championship, he was generally considered one of the top ten stars in the industry.

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