A Tribute to Wrestlers Who Passed Away During the Decade

As we take a look back at the decade that just ended, there is one thing that stands out – the names that passed away. We said goodbye to many beloved grapplers of the ring and some who have achieved an iconic status (like Shinya Hashimoto, Classy Freddie Blassie, Mitsuharu Misawa, and the Fabulous Moolah).

The causes of death were as widely varied as their individual styles. Some died of natural causes. Some committed suicide. Some overdosed. Some died due to injury. And some were murdered.

What we have tried to do here is to present the names of those who passed away broken down by year and then in alphabetical order. If they were well known by a ring name, that name is also included after their real name. Not all of these names are familiar. Some are wrestlers on the independents who never got that big break. Some were veterans of the territories whose names have begun to fade into history. And some were among the biggest stars in the industry.

One thing, however, unites all of them. They were all part of the wrestling industry. All of them worked night in and night out to entertain us. And all of them are gone.

We here at Inside Pulse extend our condolences to their families and loved ones.

2000
Gary Albright
Rodney Anoai (Yokozuna)
Elizabeth Chase
Bobby Duncum Jr.
Gordon Solie
Tomomi Tsuruta (Jumbo Tsuruta)

2001
Chris Adams
Dennis Corralluzzo
Mike Davis
Terry Gordy
Russ Haas
Rhonda Singh (Bertha Faye)

2002
Randy Anderson
Basil Bozinis
Herb Calvert
Robbie Dicks (Slick Robbie D)
David DiMeglio (Dino Casanova)
Theodore Petty (Rocco Rock)
Jeff Raitz
Jerry Reese (Big Red)
Alex Rizzo (Big Dick Dudley)
Davey Boy Smith
Troy Thompson (Troy Graham)
Billy Joe Travis

2003
Tony Altimore
Don Anderson (Ox Anderson)
Freddy Blassie (Classy Freddy Blassie)
Larry Booker (Moondog Spot)
Brian Cox
Antonio Barichievich (The Great Antonio)
Anthony Durante (Pitbull 2)
Ed Farhat (The Sheik)
Audie Hager (Danny Fargo)
Stu Hart
Michael Hegstrand (Hawk)
Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect)
Elizabeth Hulette (Miss Elizabeth)
Dick Hutton
Dan Johnson (Bull Whip Johnson)
Mike Lockwood (Crash Holly)
Mike Lozansky
Stu McCullum (The Masked Marvel)
Joey Rossi
Art Thomas (Sailor Art Thomas)
Jerry Tuite (The Wall, Malice)
Kurt Von Poppenheim

2004
Jim Barnett
Pablo Crispin (The Great Goliath)
Jack Donovan (Dandy Jack Donovan)
James Dudley
Balk Estes
Don Haggerty (Hard Boiled Haggerty)
Raymond Fernandez (Hercules Hernandez)
Pepper Gomez
John Heath (Coach John Heath)
Marianna Komlos
Sandor Kovacs
Jim McDonald (Dano McDonald)
Bill Parks
Manuel Rivera (Dr. Wagner)
Pat Roach (Bomber Pat Roach)
Billy Spears
Ken Timbs (Gentleman Ken Timbs)
Ray Traylor (Big Boss Man)
Jack Tunney
Kurt Von Brauner

2005
Chris Candido
Bill Clark (The Great John L)
Eddie Guerrero
Shinya Hashimoto
Alfred Hayes (Lord Alfred Hayes)
Frank Hoy (Black Angus Campbell)
Al Kashey
Trae Kellar
Johnny Kostas
Bob Langevin (Legs Langevin)
Tony Lanza
Don Lirette
Reggie Lisowski (The Crusher)
Jose Perez
Dan Quirk (Spider)
Peter Smith (Slick the Butcher)
Gene Stanlee (Mr. America)
Rod Trongard
Ray Villmer
Pezavan Whatley (Pistol Pez Whatley)

2006
Chris Benoit
Nancy Benoit (Woman)
Maria Bernardi (The Tigress)
Jerry Carroll (El Shareef)
Tiger Conway Sr.
Mike Durham (Johnny Grunge)
Harry Elliott
Ricky Gibson
Emory Hale (Hail)
George Hill (Crybaby Edwards)
Leslie Holmes (Captain Leslie Holmes)
Pat Hutchison
Don Jardine (The Spoiler)
Grady Johnson (Crazy Luke Graham)
Marlon Kalkai (Tiger Khan)
Donald Lortie (Masked Medic)
Joseph Magliano (Joey Maggs)
Sam Mokuahi (Sammy Steamboat)
Sputnik Monroe
Kay Noble
Bob Orton Sr.
Guglielmo Papoleo (Willie Pep)
Antonio Pena
Calvin Pullins (Prince Pullins)
Victor Quinones
Manuel Ramos (Bull Ramos)
Ricky Romero
Adam Stevens (Dr. Love Adam Marks)
John Tenta (Earthquake)
Frankie Vaughn (Cowboy Bob Yuma)
Karl Von Stroheim

2007
Brian Adams (Crush)
Mike Alfonso (Mike Awesome)
Sandy Barr
Ross Bentley (Dean Ross)
Scott Biglow (Bam Bam Bigelow)
Isak Bjerknes (Isak Rain)
Monty Black
Walter Bookbinder (Ray “Thunder” Stern)
Shayne Bower (Biff Wellington)
George Caiazzo (John Kronus)
Enrique Camargo (El Satanas)
Mablo Cardoza (Rocky Cardoza)
David Casey (Little Andre)
Allen Coage (Bad News Allen/Bad News Brown)
Billy Darnell
Scott Dumas (Scotty Williams)
Lillian Ellison (The Fabulous Moolah)
Ulualoaiga Emelio (Cocoa Samoa)
Sean Evans (Sean “Shocker” Evans)
James Fawcett (Devil Bhudakhan)
Tona Ford (Princess Tona Tamah)
Tim Foster (The Equalizer)
Rickey Fowler (The Dog of War)
Frank Fozo
Juan Galicia (El Gran Markus)
Francisco Garcia (Frank Butcher)
Doug Gentry
Greg Gillies (Mr. Gillis)
Ruth Gohman (Countess Victoria de Beaulais)
Ronnie P Gossett
Karl Istaz (Karl Gotch)
McRonald Kamaka (Tor Kamata)
Abe Kelmer (Abe Coleman)
Ernie Ladd (The Cat)
Carlos Lagarde (Karloff Lagarde)
Harry Lang (Cowboy Lang)
Bronko Lubich
Bob Luce
Joey Maggs
Lita Marez (Latin Hellcat)
Sherri Martel (Sensational Sherri)
David McCombs (Dave Diamond)
John Meek (Iron Mike Steel)
Charles Milliser (JR Hogg)
Thomas Moore (Jack Dempsey)
Zack Murray
Sonny Myers
Fineaso Po’a (Lightning Leni)
Ivan Radocaj (Ivan the Giant)
Nathan Randolph (Moondog Nathan)
Humberto Reynoso (El Caballero Rojo)
Tracy Richards
Dewey Robertson (The Missing Link)
Arnold Skaaland
Tom Stanton
Dave Sheldon (The Angel of Death)
Eugene Stezycki
Enrique Torres
Rey Urbano (The Great Kabooki)
Scotty Williams
Delance Wright (Boogie Woogie Brown)

2008
Susan Adams (Pebbles)
Armando Aro (Babe Sharon)
Ned Babic (Igor Volkoff)
Joe Ball
Penny Banner
Mike Barber (Arman Hussein)
James Barrier (Buffalo Jim)
Don Beitelman (Don Curtis)
Mike Bell
Myron Blaser (Mike Blazer)
Steve Bradley
Charles Buffong
Nellya Burress-Baughman (Judy Grable)
William Connell
Jean-Louis Cormier (Rudy Kay)
Ricardo Cortez (Ricky “The Crusher” Cortez)
Harvey Cyr Sr. (Gene Cyr)
George Dahmer (Chief White Owl)
Jose Diaz (Alfonso Dantes)
Art Dominguez (Salvador Dominguez)
Conrad Efraim (SD Jones)
Carl Engstrom
Jack Faggart Sr. (Sonny “Roughhouse” Fargo)
Leo Garibaldi
Lawrence Grattenthaler (Kurt Von Stroheim)
Harold Harris (Monbassa)
Ron Hill
Wallace Ho (Oni Wiki Wiki)
Jimmy Jackson
Walter Kowalski (Killer Kowalski)
Masatake Kusatsu (The Great Kusatsu)
Joe Lesperance
Yvon Losier (Frenchy Roberre)
Luis Magana
Leah Maivia
Rocky McGuire
Patrick Miller
Sara Miquet (Sara Lee)
Roland Montgomery (Rollin Hard)
Don Morrison (Lumberjack Luke)
Shuji Nozawa (Fuji Nozawa)
Bill Olivas (The Elephant Boy)
Jim Olivier
Albert Olsen (Ole Olsen)
Juan Pugh (Juan “The Party Man” King)
Rick Renslow (The Wild Alaskan)
Jack Reynolds
Yvon Robert Jr.
Juan Rodriguez (Bestia Salvaje)
Oscar Rodriguez (Angel Rojo)
Raymond Sabourin (Pee Wee James)
Bill Savage (Wild Bill Savage)
David Slinker (Ron Slinker)
Margarita Strong (Margaret Garcia)
Steve Szoke (Diehard Steve Szoke)
Chase Tatum
Lynn Toney
Barney Tucker
Hannes Van Zyl (Stunner)
Johnny Weaver
Hogan Wharton
Gary Williams (Playboy Gary Hart)

2009
Lou Albano (Captain Lou Albano)
Kerry Brown
Robert Bruce
Adolfo Contreras (Renato Torres)
Yvon Cormier (The Beast)
Rick Crabtree
Steve Doll (Steven Dunn)
Adam Dykes (Adam Firestorm)
Damien Evans (Damien Truth)
Frank Faketty (Karl Von Hess)
Edward Fatu (Umaga)
Paul Fuchs (Paul E Normous)
Paul Gibson (Farmer Elmer Gibson)
Gladys Gillem (Killem Gillem)
Peter Goodman
Ted Grizzly
Cary Jackson (Colt Steel)
Alberto Jiminez (La Parkita)
Alejandro Jiminez (Espectrito II)
Cynthia Johnson (Princess Jasmine)
Woodie Johnson (Whirlwind Woodie Johnson)
Lanny Kean Jr. (Cousin Junior)
Mike LeBelle
Billy Red Lyons
Andrew Martin (Test)
Mitsuharu Misawa
Joseph Novo (Butcher Brannigan)
William Osborne (Bud Osborne)
Andres Palomeque (Abismo Negro)
Paul Perschmann (Playboy Buddy Rose)
Alexis Pillman (Sexi Lexi Pillman)
Walter Sieber (Waldo Von Erich)
Jason Smith (DJ Rizz)
John Tolos
Al Tomko
Clem Turner
Karl Von Brauner
Lester Welch
Orig Williams (El Bandito)
Steve Williams
Jim Wilson
Hiroshi Yagi (Ryuma Go)