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Annual Obituaries
SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 2001: Johnny Valentine, Terry Gordy, Chris Adams, Bertha Faye, Helen Hart

Feb 22, 2008 - 4:02:31 AM
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By Thomas M. Gallipoli, PWTorch.com Obituary Specialist

Deceased Wrestlers for 2001
PWTorch.com Exclusive
By Thomas M. Gallipoli, PWTorch.com Obituary Specialist


"Welcome to my funeral parlor."-Paul Bearer

I’m back with the 2001 Obituary List. As with the 2002 edition, I will list the information by Wrestler's Name, Real Name, Date of Death, Cause, Age and a brief snapshot of his/her career. I will also provide any Main-Stream Media links to the wrestlers if applicable. As a no big surprise, 2001 had virtually no links to it. Again, please note that much of, if not most, of this information may be culled from "non-official sources" like blogs and websites but I have tried to insure the information was accurate. It is still my goal to make this section as up-to-date and accurate as possible for Wade and visitors so please feel free to email me at tomphoenix@optonline.net with any questions, comments, updates, links, corrections, or anything else you like. I’ll give you a shout-out and thanks for any updates or corrections. I hope to update this section at least once per week with one entire year per update so the next one will cover 2000.

I'd like to thank my wife, parents, and sister for their ongoing patience and love. And now, onto the roll call

Kung Fu, Raymundo Cuesta Veloz, January 3, 2001, Heart Attack, age 49
-American wrestler who wrestled primarily in Mexico, trained by El Duque, used martial arts gimmick as well as mask gimmick, Mexico-two-time National Welterweight Champion, Arena-Coliseo Tag Team Champion, UWA World Trios Champion, NWA Middleweight Champion

Villano I, José de Jesús Díaz Mendoza, January 4, 2001, Heart Attack, age 49
-Mexican wrestler, trained by Ray Mendoza, member of the famous Villano stable, UWA (UWA World Light Heavyweight Champion, four-time World Trios Champion), Mexico-Distrito Federal Heavyweight Champion, Arena-Coliseo Tag Team Champion

Wayne Cashman (Referee), Wayne Cashman, March 13, 2001, Unknown, age 53
-I could find out nothing else on this referee

Benny McGuire, March 26, 2001, Heart Attack, age 54
-I could find out nothing else on this wrestler

Johnny "Red Shoes" Dugan(Referee), March 26, 2001, Parkinson's Disease, age 89
-I could find out nothing else on this longtime referee

Reisor Bowden(Announcer), April 2, 2001, Natural Causes, age 74
-I could find out nothing else on this longtime announcer

Johnny Valentine, John Wisniski, Sr., April 24, 2001, Natural Causes, age 72
-Longtime wrestler, father of WWF/WCW/NWA and WWE Hall of Famer wrestler Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, confined to a wheelchair after same plane crash that nearly killed Ric Flair, Texas-eight time Texas Heavyweight Champion, NWA (three-time Toronto-United States Champion, four-time American Tag Team Champion, three-time American Heavyweight Champion, Mid Atlantic-United States Champion, Georgia Heavyweight Champion, three-time United States Tag Team Champion, three-time Florida Heavyweight Champion, two-time Mid Atlantic Heavyweight Champion, Canadian Heavyweight Champion, two-time Southern Heavyweight Champion, International Tag Team Champion, Beat the Champ International Television Champion, Missouri Heavyweight Champion, two-time Texas Brass Knuckles Champion, two-time United States Television Champion, United National Heavyweight Champion, Florida Brass Knuckles Champion, Texas Tag Team Champion, Hawaii Tag Team Champion, Southern Tag Team Champion, three-time Toronto-International Tag Team Champion),
WWWF United States Tag Team Champion, IWA Heavyweight Champion, NWF (two-time NWF Heavyweight Champion, North American Heavyweight Champion), IWA International Heavyweight Champion, AWA Minneapolis-Tag Team Champion

Bill Helm, William Helm, May 24, 2001, Unknown, age 55
-I could find out nothing else on this wrestler

Tex McKenzie, Frank H. McKenzie, May 31, 2001, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, age 71
-Longtime American wrestler, feuded with "Big Cat" Ernie Ladd, inducted into the Stampede (Calgary) Wrestling Hall of Fame and Northwest Wrestling Hall of Fame, retired and became architect

John Paul Henning, John Paul Henning, July 1, 2001, Unknown, age 73
-Longtime babyface wrestler, U.S. Navy veteran frogman, Other than becoming an evangelist upon retirement, not much else is known

Ace Freeman, Zoltan Friedman, July 9, 2001, Dies in Nursing Home, age 87
-Longtime wrestler, besides being a member of the Hungarians stable, I could find out nothing else

"Bam Bam" Terry Gordy, Terrence Gordy, July 16, 2001, Heart Attack, age 40
- Member of the famous Fabulous Freebirds stable, trained by Mongolian Stomper, began wrestling at the age of 13 due to unusually large size (!) but wrestled under a mask to hide his teenage acne, was very good big man brawler, set Texas wrestling on fire due to feud with Von Erich family in Texas, wrestled in Japan as tag team with "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, suffered brain damage from a coma in late 1990s, continued to wrestle for several years, had brief WWE stint as The Executioner and feuded with Undertaker, son is WWE developmental trainee, WCW World Tag Team Champion, SMW Heavyweight Champion, AJPW (two-time Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion, seven-time International Tag Team Champion, 1988, 1990, & 1991 Real World Tag League Tournament Winner), GWF Tag Team Champion, NWA (Texas Brass Knuckles Champion, Southeastern Heavyweight Champion, Alabama Heavyweight Champion, American Heavyweight Champion, American Tag Team Champion, World Tag Team Champion, six-time Six Man Tag Team Champion, Georgia Tag Team Champion, two-time Mid America Tag Team Champion, four-time National Tag Team Champion), MSWA Tag Team Champion, UWF Heavyweight Champion

Gorilita Flores, July 24, 2001, Heart Attack, age 77
-I could find out nothing else on this longtime wrestler

Bertha Faye, Rhonda Sing, July 27, 2001, Suicide, age 40
-Canadian lady wrestler, trained by Mildred Burke, a very large woman who stood out from the usually smaller lady wrestlers, teamed in WWE with manager Harvey Whippleman as comedy act, also known as Monster Ripper in Japan, WWE Women's Champion, IWA Women's Champion, two-time AJPW Women's Champion, Stampede Wrestling-Stampede Women's Champion, WWC Women's Champion

Dennis Coraluzzo(Promoter), July 29, 2001, Stroke, age 48
-NWA promoter in New Jersey, became head of NWA after Jim Crocket Jr. sold his majority portion to Ted Turner which became WCW, head legendary real-life feud with Paul Heyman and original ECW due to infamous Shane Douglas throwing down the NWA World Title incident, but reconciled with Heyman before he died

Bad Business Brown, Bryan Lee Brown, August 4, 2001, Unknown, age 31
-I could find out nothing else on this wrestler

Ciclón Veloz Jr., Humberto Veloz Berrueco, August 30, 2001, Esophagus Cancer, age 63
-Mexican wrestler, trained by Ciclón Veloz, Mexico-National Middleweight Champion

Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, Hank Nasiff Jr., September 4, 2001, Seizure, age 39
-Howard Stern regular, midget performer, claim to fame was briefly being a member of the Vince Russo created-Oddities stable in WWE

Tamba, Francisco Ruiz Arreola, September 6, 2001, Unknown, age 51
-Mexican wrestler, trained by Octavio Gaona, also called El Elefante Volador (The Flying Elephant) and Abdullah Tamba due to his resemblance to Abdullah the Butcher, Mexico-Distrito Federal Heavyweight Champion

Frankenstein, Nathanael Evaristo León Moreno, September 12, 2001, Brain Hemorrage, age 85
-Longtime Mexican wrestler who performed without a mask since his odd appearance was his gimmick, beyond that, I could find out nothing else

"Gentleman" Chris Adams, Christopher Adams, October 7, 2001, Murdered, age 46
-British wrestler, was former National Judo Champion in England, finisher was Superkick, performed ala Shawn Michaels, trained by Shirley Crabtree (favorite British wrestler of Queen Elizabeth), was trainer of Stone Cold Steve Austin, shot in drunken dispute with roommate, WCWA(WCWA World Champion, Six Man Tag Team Champion), four-time WCCW Television Champion, WWWF Light Heavyweight Champion, UWF Tag Team Champion, two-time North American Heavyweight Champion, NWA (two-time American Tag Team Champion, two-time Texas Heavyweight Champion, Texas Brass Knuckles Champion, "Beat the Champ" Television Champion, Six Man Tag Team Champion)

Bill Berger, October 11, 2001, Heart Attack, age ??
-I could find out nothing else on this wrestler

Chief Dave Foxx, David Farrar, October 28, 2001, Heart Attack, age 44
-I could find out nothing else on this wrestler

Helen Hart, November 4, 2001, Organ Failure, age 77
-Matriarch of famous Hart Wrestling Family

Ben Sharpe, Benjamin Sharpe, November 21, 2001, Unknown, age 85
-Longtime Canadian wrestler, tag team partner of "Iron" Mike Sharpe's father Mike Sharpe, NWA (twenty-time (!) San Francisco-Tag Team Champion, San Francisco-Pacific Coast Heavyweight Champion, Texas Tag Team Champion, Chicago Tag Team Champion, Hawaii Heavyweight Champion, Pacific Coast Tag Team Champion)

Johnny Dupree, November 30, 2001, Cancer, age 60
-I could find out nothing else on this longtime wrestler

Ed Whalen(Stampede Announcer), December 4, 2001, Heart Attack, age 74
-Longtime Canadian announcer for Stampede Wrestling, nicknamed "Mr. Calgary", used catch-phrases "ring-a-ding-dong daddy" and "malfunction at the junction", got involved with wrestlers for angle purposes, heavily involved in charities, left medical school to be a broadcaster

Russ Haas, Russell Haas, December 15, 2001, Heart Attack, age 27
-Brother of current WWE wrestler Charlie Haas, was WWE developmental wrestler, wrestled in tag team with Charlie in OVW, trained by Mike Sharpe, two-time JAPW Tag Team Champion, CZW Tag Team Champion

"Maniac" Mike Davis, Michael Davis, December 25, 2001, Heart Attack, age 47
-Former member of the Rock'N'Roll RPMs, featured in Global Wrestling Federation in early 1990s, was regular performer on Gordon Solie's Florida television wrestling show, had memorable feud with Dusty Rhodes, GWF Television Champion, NWA (Georgia-Junior Heavyweight Champion, Florida-United States Tag Team Champion), five-time AWA Southern Tag Team Champion, two-time WWC Tag Team Champion, CWF Tag Team Champion

General MSM Link for 2001:
2001 Article


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SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 2000 - Solie, Albright, Duncum, Tsuruta, Blue Demon, Al Costello
SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 2001: Johnny Valentine, Terry Gordy, Chris Adams, Bertha Faye, Helen Hart
SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 2002 (Wahoo, Thesz, Rocco, Mr. Wrestling)
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