2006 Finishes

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El Shereef 12/19/06

Jerry Carroll, aka El Shereef, died from cancer today at his home in Southern California. He was a main event wrestler in the late 1950’s and throughout the 1960’s before retiring from wrestling to become a physician. He worked as Jerry Woods, El Shereef, and appeared in Hawaii under yet a third ring name. He was in his late 60s.

 

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Don Jardine 12/16/06

One of wrestling’s greatest masked men ever has died. Don Jardine, as the highly menacing and influential Spoiler, was one of wrestling’s major players for three decades. His approach to performing was so unique, he made a lasting impression on everybody who saw him.
Slam! Wrestling has written a wonderful piece about him, which you can see here.

 

Jack Carter 12/06/06

This New Zealand wrestler, Jack Carter died in Florida Dec. 6, 2006.  He was 90 years old.  His real name was Johnny Lakey.  He arrived in the U.S. in 1946 and got lots of work with Fred Kohler at Chicago’s Marigold Arena and surrounding areas.  He was unknown in his homeland as a wrestler but worked with Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George, Yukon Eric, Primo Carnera, Tony Olivas and all the big names of the 60’s. Carter retired in the 50’s and went into the car business at that time.
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Willie Pep 11/23/06

FEATHERWEIGHT GREAT, 84, LEAVES BIG LEGACY
Contributor WReaLano@aol.com

Former featherweight champion Willie Pep, whose simple fight philosophy was, “Hit the other guy as often as you can but don’t let him hurt you,” died Thursday, his grandson said. He was 84.

Pep, who became a champion at age 20, died in a convalescent home in Rocky Hill, eight miles south of Hartford, grandson William P. Papaleo said. Pep had been confined to an Alzheimer unit since 2001. Willie had been a friend of Mike Mazurky, Gene LeBell and Art Abrams; and attended several of our East Coast CAC reunions.

The wiry, right-handed, two-time world featherweight champion held the title from 1942-48 and from 1949-50. He turned pro in 1940 and amassed a record of 230-11-1 with 65 KOs when he retired in 1966 at age 43. His nickname was Will of the Wisp since he was so agile and escaped punches.

“He was among the greatest fighters who stepped into the ring,” said Ed Brophy, executive director of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. “His clever style in the ring earned him tremendous respect and allowed him to mount up such an enormous record of victories.”

In 1999, Pep was listed fifth among the best fighters of the 20th century as chosen by a five-member panel for The Associated Press.

“He was a very special fighter in a great era of boxing,” said Glenn Feldman, president of the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, which had made Pep its first inductee. “You just don’t see fighters today with a 26-year career.”

Born Guglielmo Papoleo on Sept. 19, 1922, in Middletown, Conn., Pep became one of boxing’s all-time greats. Nicknamed “Will o’ the Wisp” for his elusiveness, the 5-foot-6-inch Pep held the featherweight title for six years.

Ring historians recall Pep’s alley-fighting style. He wasn’t a fancy boxer, but could punch equally hard with both hands. And he was most dangerous when he was hurt.

He is best remembered for his physical, four-fight series against fellow Hall-of-Famer Sandy Saddler.

Pep won the first 63 fights of his career. He was barely 20 when he beat Chalky Wright in a decision in 1942 to win the featherweight title, becoming the youngest champion in 40 years.

The following year brought 63 undefeated bouts for Pep before he lost a non-title fight to Sammy Angott. Undeterred, Pep went on to win another 73 successive fights.  He lost the title in October 1948 to Saddler on a fourth-round knockout, setting up a rivalry for the ages.  Four months later Pep and Saddler squared off in Madison Square Garden. Intent on revenge, Pep relied on his quickness to outrun Saddler for 15 rounds. Bloodied, but not beaten, Pep scored a unanimous decision to became the first boxer in the history of the 126-pound class to regain a lost championship.

Saddler regained the title in 1950 with an eighth-round knockout. They met once more in 1951 and Saddler won again, this time with a knockout in the ninth round.

Pep retired in 1959, although he was back in the ring six years later. His nine-fight winning streak was interrupted by a knockout by Calvin Woodward in 1966, and Pep hung up his gloves for good.

 

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Tiger Conway Sr. 11/13/06

Tiger Conway Sr. passed away last night at St Josephs hospital in Houston Texas from complications of a massive stroke and brain aneurysm. Tiger was a life member of the CAC and a faithful and dedicated supporter of the CAC for several years. Tiger had many friends, fans and workers of this business and will be missed by so many. CAC member Greg Oliver has a wonderful article located at SLAM! Sports. Click here to read more about Tiger Sr.

 

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Sputnik Monroe 11/03/06

Sputnik Monroe passed away around 2am this morning after a lengthy period of declining health. Sputnik began his career in 1945. “Rock Monroe” started wrestling at age 17, at Traveling Carnivals in Kansas taking on all comers. In 1957 Rocky Monroe was given the name “Sputnik” at a TV taping at WKRG Channel 5 in Mobile, Alabama. In the early 60’s Sputnik teamed with Bill Fletcher. This tag team was managed by Sputniks real life brother, Gary who was known as “Jet” Monroe. In 1970 Sputnik Monroe defeated Danny Hodge for the Junior Heavyweight title of the World.

 

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Joey Maggs 10/15/06

Joseph Magliano aka “Jumpin” Joey Maggs passed away yesterday. He was 37 years old.

Joey Maggs often appeared on WCW Saturday Night and WCW WorldWide Maggs made his WCW debut in 1991 and appeared off-and-on on their shows until 1998. He took part in the inaugural WCW Light Heavyweight title tournament in 1991. He also formed a tag team with Johnny Rich (Tommy Rich’s brother) called “The Creatures.” Current WWE’s Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long once managed him. Maggs’ final WCW television appearance aired on WCW World Wide on Valentine’s Day 1998 in a loss to the emerging Bill Goldberg.

Maggs made his wrestling debut in 1987 at the age of 18. He was from Wildwood, New Jersey.

 

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“CRYBABY” Edwards 10/05/06

“Crybaby” Edwards /George Hill was found by a neighbor Thursday Oct. 5th in his house in Murfreesboro TN. “Crybaby” was 58 at the time of his passing.
Edwards worked for Angelo Poffo’s ICW in Lexington, doing pretty much every gig there is to do in the business.  In the early 1970s Edwards worked for Phil Golden’s All Star Wrestling in Paducah, Kentucky, mainly as a heel manager. Ron Starr gave him the “Crybaby” nickname.  “Crybaby” worked in the early-mid 70’s with a promotion owned by Henry Rogers in Malden, Missouri. At one time he ran a promotion called Midwest Championship Wrestling based out of Clinton, Iowa.  In the 1970s/1980s George Hill was a very well known wrestling photographer and wrestling magazine article writer. “Crybaby” was well respected as a wrestling historian due to his deep knowledge on 1960’s Florida wrestling.

 

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Antonio Pena 10/05/06

Antonio Pena, the founder of the Mexican professional wrestling promotion AAA, passed away last night due to a massive heart attack. He was 53 years old.

Pena had not been in good health for quite some time.

Pena revolutionized the Mexican wrestling scene when he created AAA in 1993. His promotion is responsible for bringing the “Lucha” style to the United States in the mid-90’s. He gave a number of WWE and WCW stars their first big breaks in wrestling. Those stars include Rey Mysterio, Psicosis, Eddie Guerrero, Juventud Guerrera, La Parka and several more.
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Ricky Gibson 09/15/06

Ricky Gibson, the brother of Rock and Roll Express Robert Gibson passed away Friday at his home near Pensacola Florida. Rick had a notable feud with Jerry Lawler in 1974. Rick wrestled in the Jim Crockett Promotions as Ricky Lee Jones. Rick teamed with his brother and was the NWA America’s Tag Team Champions in 1979. Rick was involved in a car accident forcing him to retire and Robert had several partners before teaming up with Ricky Morton and forming the Rock and Roll Express.

 

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“HOTLINE” Ric Carter 09/02/06

CAC member, Ric Carter age 44 died yesterday (09/02) when he stopped his car on the way to Mesquite to help out after another car had rolled over from a earlier accident. While he was helping, a hit and run driver hit him.

“Hotline” Ric Carter started a radio show on a 50,000 watt station in Vegas in 1988. Mike Lano was one of his weekly co-hosts doing the Japan and Mexican wrestling news, along with Potshot Bill Kunkel and Mike Tenay ( his first foray into broadcasting). Ric of course was the star and main host. He’d reff’ed at most of Moolah’s LIWA conventions. Ric resided in Las Vegas.

 

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Karl Von Stroheim 08/13/06

Karl Von Stroheim passed away August 13th in Florida resulting from a heart attack. Von Stroheim promoted IWWA shows based out of Tampa Florida in the eraly 80’s. Von Stroheim worked Atlanta, Detroit and Oklahoma before going to New York, where Vince McMahon Sr. made him “Dynamite” Joe Cox in 1969. The claw was one of his pet moves. For a complete review of his career, visit Greg Oliver’s SLAM! Wrestling. Greg has written a in depth article about Von Stroheim at SLAM! Wrestling.

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Dr. Love Adam Marks 08/10/06

Adam Stevens, aka “Dr. Love Adam Marks”, age 21 passed away this week. Two days before his 22nd birthday.  Stevens wrestled for USWF in Kentucky, promoted by Jimmy Walls and was the 2005 USWF “Rookie of the Year”.
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Donald Lortie 08/05/06

Donald Lortie passed away Saturday, August 5th of congestive heart failure, after a lengthy illness and a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s. Lortie was tagteam partner of Tony Gonzales as the MASKED MEDICS. SLAM! Wrestling’s Greg has written a in depth article about Masked Medic Tony Lortie at SLAM! Wrestling.

 

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Barbara Huizar 08/01/06

Barbara Huizar, wife of the late Eddie Sullivan, died August 1st, 2006, at the age of 56 from complications with diabetes. Barbara had attended the CAC Las Vegas reunions, the Seattle wresting reunions. the Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunion, the Fabulous Moolah’s LIWA reunions, and was a CAC member. She lived in Phoenix, Arizona, but will be buried in South Dakota next to her husband Eddie Sullivan.

 

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Bob Orton Sr. 7/16/06

Bob Orton, Sr., father of Bob Orton, Jr. and grandfather of current WWE wrestler Randy Orton passed away Sunday night (7/16). Orton was a standard fixture at the CAC’s annual reunions. Orton began his wrestling career in 1951. Orton was born in 1929 and would have been 77 on July 21st.
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Pat Hutchison 6/27/06

Pat Hutchison, long-time Memphis enhancement worker, died yesterday. Hutchison usually wrestled under a mask as he worked for the Shelby County Clerks office and did not want to be known.

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Tiger Khan

Tiger Khan (Marlon Kalkai) passed away in California recently. A former main-eventer for the legendary Calgary Stampede Promotion, this veteran was a world traveler, having appeared in Trinidad, England, Wales, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the U.S., and a variety of other stops. With his classic “foreign heel” gimmick, he’s faced such legends as Jerry Lawler, King Kong Bundy and Sabu.

 

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Harry Elliott 6/25/06

Harry Elliott, former long-time Northwest wrestling promoter, passed away June 25, 2006 at the age of 101. He would have celebrated his 102nd birthday August 17.  He began his ring career in the 1930s as a lightweight boxer, but quit to attend Oregon State University, where he graduated with the highest honors ever awarded to any student up until that time. Following graduation, he went to work for the Kaiser Aluminum Company, before joining forces with the Owen family in the Portland, Oregon wrestling office. He became their head referee and ran numerous spot shows up until 1957, when he obtained a contract with CBS Television to broadcast wrestling live in the City of Seattle.

From 1958 until 1969, he was the sole head promoter in Washington State, Idaho and Northeast Oregon. He is survived by his wife Junna and his son who resides in Kirkland, Washington. Harry passed away at an assisted living home in Portland, Oregon.

 

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Crazy Luke Graham 6/23/06

Crazy Luke Graham, The fabulous one himself has passed away late this afternoon in a Macon Georgia Hospital of heart failure not far from his home in Millageville, Ga. Visitation was Sunday 6/25/06 at the Williams Funeral Home. Services were held at Williams Funeral Home on Monday 6/26/06.

 

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John “EARTHQUAKE” Tenta 6/07/06

After a two-year fight with bladder cancer, John Tenta died Wednesday. Tenta, 42, was best known as Earthquake, a gargantuan bad guy from B.C. who dominated the WWF during the Hulkamania boom period of the late ’80s.

 

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Calvin “PRINCE” Pullins 6/01/06

Calvin “Prince” Pullins passed away at age 74 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prince Pullins wrestled for Dick the Bruiser’s Indianapolis-based in the 60s and 70s.

 

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Bull Ramos 5/27/06

Just receive info. that “Bull Ramos” the most hated Indian Heel to step into the squared circle has passed away in Houston. Texas today at approx. 1:30pm. Ramos was famous all over the world and had some of his best running feuds with the likes of Dutch Savage, Mil Mascaras, Terry Funk, Bruno Sammartino and many more great legends in the sport of Professional wrestling.

 

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Cowboy Bob Yuma 5/23/06

Cowboy Bob Yuma passed away today, May 23rd, 2006 at the age of 54 after suffering many years from lung disease. He and his wife Alicia resided in Arizona.

Yuma (Frankie Vaughn) was trained by Tito Montez and broke into the wrestling business in 1973/74, and after his tour of the Pacific Northwest ventured to Arizona where he held many regional championships.

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Sam “Steamboat” Mokuahi Jr. 5/02/06

Sam “Steamboat” Mokuahi Jr., a powerful presence in professional wrestling and outrigger canoe paddling, died on Tuesday at his Hawaii Kai home.
He would have been 72 today.

“To different people from different eras, he was different things,” his oldest daughter Samantha Moikeha said. “To Mainland people in the 1950s, he was a big wrestler. In the ’60s and ’70s, it was Wrestling Hawaii. In the ’80s and ’90s, it was paddling and coaching. He was always doing something.”

Mokuahi was battling Alzheimer’s disease, according to his daughter.  Mokuahi was a multi-sport athlete at Roosevelt High, and then became an internationally known professional wrestler under the name “Sammy Steamboat.”

Greg Oliver of SLAM! Wrestling has written a in depth article about Sammy Steamboat at SLAM! Wrestling.

 

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Kay Noble 04/27/06

Kay Noble, one of the greats of women’s wrestling from the 1950s to the early 1980s, lost her final battle — to inoperable stomach cancer. She died Thursday, April 27, at about 6 pm CT, in Texas, surrounded by friends and family.

Greg Oliver of SLAM! Wrestling has written a in depth article about Kay at SLAM! Wrestling.

 

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Victor Quinones 04/02/06

Victor Quinones, the owner of IWA Puerto Rico, was found dead this morning at the age of 46. Quinones was at the IWA show last night and nothing appeared out of the ordinary. At this time it is believed to be of natural causes, that he died in his sleep.

 

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MARIA BERNARDI “THE TIGRESS” 03/20/06

The First Lady of the Cauliflower Alley Club. Maria Bernardi had a long and successful career in the ring, she will always be remembered best for what she brought to the industry through the CAC. And Maria was very proud of the role she played.

 

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Captain Leslie Holmes 02/28/06

CAC member, Captain Leslie Holmes succumbed to cancer and passed away February 28th. 2006. He was 89 years young.. The manager of famed wrestler Lord James Blears and Lord Athel Layton.

Captain Holmes was an amazing person who in many workers eyes, opened many doors for the “Wrestling Manager” personalities of today. With his famed black tuxedo, Monocle and walking cane. Captain Holmes knew what good showmanship was and knew how to rile up fans to get them to come to the wrestling matches. His ability to talk on camera in the early days of television was remarkable and he understood how to be a villain as well as a good guy.

After the wrestling business, Holmes operated his own real estate business in the San Fernando Valley of California for many years and later worked as a loan consultant for Home Savings and Loan he always reflected many years of good memories on the road with the other wrestlers and his good friend Lord Blears. Holmes and Blears still talked on the phone weekly up until the last few weeks of his life. Holmes is survived by his wife, Freda who he was married to for 58 years and two sons and four grandchildren.

 

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Mike “Johnny Grunge” Durham 02/16/06

Johnny Grunge of the popular Public Enemy tag team was pronounced dead on arrival earlier this morning at an Atlanta area hospital. Durham had been dealing with complications from sleep apnea for sometime.

Grunge was one half of the Public Enemy tag team with Rocco Rock, aka Teddy Petty, who passed away in September of 2002 following a massive heart attack. Grunge was said to have never been the same since his passing. Public Enemy were first created in ECW and became subject to a bidding war between both WCW and WWF. Jason Clevett of SLAM! Wrestling has a more in depth look at Grunge’s career.

 

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Ron Dobratz 2/11/06

Ron Dobratz, wrestling writer and aficionado, passed away Saturday February 11, 2006 at the age of 64. Ron, a non-smoker, battled lung cancer and had a lung removed in the process. Recent bouts with pneumonia and a heart attack left him too weak to even speak.  His many friends in the wrestling community will miss him dearly.

Ron started attending matches way back in the Fred Kohler days, making many two hour trips to Chicago’s Marigold Arena from his home in Rockford, IL. Ron was an avid collector of wrestling results and in the very early 70’s began publishing the Wrestling Information Bulletin. He listed comprehensive results from all over the country and began writing stories about the wrestlers and their territories. He later went on to publish several editions of Wrestling Digest Magazine. All the while, he continued writing for several other publications on the sport.

Ron could converse with anyone in the business at an extremely high level. His memory of the guys and the angles used way back in the 50’s was just incredible. He could tell you stories of the old days rattling off names like Ronnie Etchison, Billy Goelz and Don Leo Jonathan, when he was the most feared terror of the mat.  Ron was always willing to help upstarts with information and references and was instrumental in getting me and close friend, Vic Eagles (Orlandino), into the game back in the 70’s. For that I am deeply indebted.

Ron had attended WFIA conventions and a few conventions in Newton, Iowa; but I think his biggest thrill was coming to the CAC convention a few years ago where he delighted in passing out free copies of his publications to the guys who were featured inside its covers. He was quite familiar with all the guys but had a special place in his heart for all his AWA buddies. We’ll miss you Ron. Reazest Eazin Peazeace!

 

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Emory Hale 01/30/06

Emory Hale, known as Lord Humongus and also The Machine (WCW) died Monday evening. Hale was managed by Jimmy Hart in WCW and was often spoken about being used in prospective projects headed by Hart and Hulk Hogan following the end of WCW. He was broken into the business by Brett Sawyer. Hale had suffered from kidney failure in recent years and was the recipient of a kidney transplant in 2003. He had been hospitalized for some time.

 

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Ricky Romero 01/15/06

Nick Bockwinkel has just notified the CAC the Ricky Romero has passed away earlier today due to complications from diabetes. Ricky and Nick began the business together. The two remained close friends long after their wrestling careers. Ricky was the father of Mark, Jay and Chris Youngblood. Ricky’s Brothers, Darlo and Albert also worked in the business. Albert worked in the northwestern states as the Lumberjack. Romero was in his 70’s. Greg Oliver of Slam Canoe Wrestling has written a in depth article about Romero. It is located here .