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Annual Obituaries
SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 1999 - Muchnick, Rick Rude, Owen Hart, Renegade...

Mar 11, 2008 - 1:53:48 PM
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By Thomas M. Gallipoli, PWTorch.com Obituary Specialist

Deceased Wrestlers for 1999
PWTorch.com Exclusive
By Thomas M. Gallipoli, PWTorch.com Obituary Specialist

 
"Welcome to my funeral parlor." -Paul Bearer

Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea.  I’m back with the 1999 Obituary List. 

As with the 2000 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, 1999 had virtually no links to it since wrestling deaths were not on the radar like they are today. 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'd also like to thank MattheWWFanatic, Genghis, Dusty Giebink, Super Jerk, and Steve MHW for posting on the Obit thread I started on at PWTorch.com.  Post on the thread and get a mention!I hope to update this section as often as I can with one entire year per update so the next one will cover 1998.

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

Joe "Killer" Christie, Joseph Kayorie, January 6, 1999, Heart Attack, age 82

-I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

Mike Kilonis, January 8, 1999, Natural Causes, age 86

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

"Dirty" Dick Barkley, January 28, 1999, Natural Causes, age 69

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

Giant Baba, Shohei Baba, January 31, 1999, Bowel Cancer, age 61

-Legendary Japanese wrestler and promoter, trained by the most influential and important Japanese wrestler ever, Rikiodozan, stood legitimate 6'10" and could throw dropkicks when young, former professional Japanese baseball player owned and operated All-Japan Promotion noted for both clean finishes and rarely elevating talent, famous star on both continents, virtually never missed a wrestling match in 39 year career,  NWA (three-time World Heavyweight Champion, three-time International Heavyweight Champion, twelve(!)-time Tag Team Champion, Detroit Tag Team Champion), AJPW (AJPW President, 1978 & 1980 Real World League Tag Winner, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1981, & 1982 Carnival Tournament Winner), JWA (Heavyweight Champion, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, & 1972 World League Winner, three-time Tag Team Champion, three-time Asian Tag Team Champion),  four-time PWF Heavyweight Champion AJPW All Asia Tag Team titles w/Toyonobori defeating Caripus Hurricane & Gene Kiniski (May 29, 1964);
MSM Link:
http://www.wrestlingclassics.com/fe/fe-baba_remembered.html

Paavo Ketonen, February ??, 1999, Heart Attack, age 88

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

Chuck Malone, Cecil McDonald, February 6, 1999, Diabetes, age ??

- I could find out nothing else about this wrestler

Butch Levy, Leonard Levy, February 9, 1999, Unknown, age 78

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

The Renegade, Richard C. Williams, February 23, 1999, Suicide, age 33

-WCW wrestler, brought in as a knock-off of the WWE Ultimate Warrior by Hulk Hogan as the Renegade Warrior, pinned Arn Anderson for Television title in under a minute in mimic angle of the Ultimate Warrior versus Honky Tonk Man, when Ultimate Warrior came to WCW, he was the body double for some of the special effect stunts, tragically killed himself during domestic dispute, WCW Television Champion

Cecilia Blevins, March ??, 1999, Unknown, age 79

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime lady wrestler

Kurt Von Hess, William Terry, March 13, 1999, Heart Attack, age 56

-Canadian Wrestler who used stereotypical Nazi gimmick after World War II, finisher was the Claw, member of Von Hess Brothers tag-team stable, NWA (five-time Detroit Tag Team Champion, two-time Gulf Coast Heavyweight Champion, Los Angeles North American Tag Team Champion, Louisiana Tag Team Champion, Vancouver-Canadian Tag Team Champion), Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion,  IWA (Tag Team Champion, Montreal-International Tag Team Champion), NWF Tag Team Champion, MWWF Tag Team Champion

Herb Welch, March 29, 1999, Natural Causes, age 91

-Longtime wrestler from Oklahoma, member of large wrestling Welch family, longtime tag team partner of Al Costello, NWA (eight-time Tennessee/Georgia-World Junior Champion, three-time Mid America-Southern Tag Team titles, four-time Tennessee/Alabama-Southern Junior Champion, Gulf Coast-Southern Tag Team Champion, three-time Tennessee/Alabama World Tag Team Champion, four-time Florida-World Junior Champion, two-time Mid America-World Tag Team Champion)

Emiko Kado, April 9, 1999, Dies after match from Brain Injury, age 23

-Japanese lady wrestler, died from head trauma in the ring after only few months into career, second Japanese lady wrestler to die in ring.
MSM Link:
http://www.the-dispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=NEWS&template=wiki&text=Emiko_Kado

Rick Rude, Richard Erwin Rood, April 20, 1999, Heart Attack due to Overdose, age 41

-AWA, WWE, WCW, ECW wrestler, known mostly for "Ravishing" nickname and very impressive physique, trained by noted wrestler Eddie Sharkey, very hated heel wrestler whose catchphrase, "What I'd like to have right now…" always got tremendous heat, very strong in real life by winning multiple arm-wrestling contests, made wrestling history by appearing on WCW Monday Nitro and WWE Monday Night Raw on the same night at the same time (Raw was taped previously that night), severe neck injury suffered in Japan ended active wrestling career and became announcer and manager, passed away while training for return to ring, AWA (Southern Heavyweight Champion, Southern Tag Team Champion), NWA (two-time Southern Heavyweight Champion, Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champion, United States Tag Team Champion, World Tag Team Champion),  WCCW (American Heavyweight Champion, World Class Champion),  WCWA (Heavyweight Champion, Television Champion), WWE Intercontinental Champion, WCW (United States Champion, two-time International Heavyweight Champion) 

Jos LeDuc, Michel Pigeon, May 2, 1999, Diabetes, age 54

-Canadian wrestler, trained by legendary Stu Hart, feuded with famous Vachon and Rougeau families, Stampede International Tag Team Champion, IWA (Montreal- International Heavyweight Champion, Montreal-International Tag Team Champion), NWA (three-time Florida United States Tag Team Champion, three-time Florida Heavyweight Champion, Florida Tag Team Champion, eight-time Florida-Southern Heavyweight Champion, five-time Southeastern Tag Team Champion, two-time New Zealand-British Empire/Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion, Southeastern-Alabama Heavyweight Champion, two-time Mid Atlantic-Television Champion), AWA (three-time Southern Tag Team Champion, two-time Southern Heavyweight Champion), World Wrestling Council-North American Heavyweight Champion
           
Johnny Eagles, Roy N. Boyd, May 12, 1999, Unknown, age 64

-Longtime British wrestler, nicknamed "Man of a Thousand Holds" and "Houdini of Wrestling", wrestled in Portland, Oregon, renowned as scientific wrestler.

Boyd Pierce, May 18, 1999, Unknown, age 70

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

Owen Hart, Owen James Hart, May 23, 1999, Accidental Fall, age 33

-Canadian wrestler, member of famous Hart Family, brother of Bret Hart, known as "Rocket" Owen Hart, and Blue Blazer-the gimmick he died in, an impressive high-flyer and technical wrestler, career overshadowed by more famous brother, teamed with brother-in-law Jim Neidhart, Davey Boy Smith, Jeff Jarrett and Koko B. Ware, accidentally injured Steve Austin's neck which shortened his career, tragically fell to his death in Kemper Arena, Missouri, WWE (two-time Intercontinental Champion, four-time
World Tag Team Champion, European Champion, 1994 King of the Ring),  Stampede Wrestling (British Commonwealth Mid Heavyweight Champion, International Tag Team Champion, two-time North American Heavyweight Champion),  NJPW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, USWA Unified Heavyweight Champion
MSM Link:
Owen Hart article
Canadian Owen Hart article

Diablo Velasco, Cuauhtémoc Velazco Vargas, June 13, 1999, Heart Attack, age 80

-Longtime Mexican wrestler, trained by Raul Romero, rare Mexican wrestler who did not wear mask, Mexico (Occidente Lightweight Champion, Occidente Welterweight Champion, Occidente Middleweight Champion)

Walter Johnson, Walter Johnson, June 29, 1999, Unknown, age 56

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

Chuck Krauser, Paul Novak, July 14, 1999, Prostate Cancer, age 76

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

Cavernario Galindo, Rodolfo Galindo Ramírez, July 19, 1999, Lung Cancer, age 75

-Longtime Mexican masked wrestler, trained by Velasco, Yaqui Joe, Jesús Garza, career began one year after Diablo Velasco (see above), nickname included Caveman Galindo, El Cavernas, Ruddy Valentino, Ruddy Galindo, Cavernario Galindo I, 
 Mexico-National Light Heavyweight Champion

Dick Barkley, Richard Barkley, July 28, 1999, Natural Causes, age: 69

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

Jackie Simpson, Jack Simpson, July 28, 1999, Heart Attack, age ??

- I could find out nothing else about this wrestler

Yuel Lovett, Alex Lovett, July 31, 1999, Heart Attack, age 28

- I could find out nothing else about this indie wrestler

Lord Jonathan Boyd, Jonathan  Barry Boyd, August 7, 1999, Heart Attack, age 56

-New Zealand wrestler, member and manager of the Sheepherders (later Bushwackers), was injured and replaced by Butch Miller of Bushwacker fame, often defeated opponents with actual boomerang gimmick, NWA (seven-time Pacific Northwest Tag Team Champion, three-time Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Champion,
Los Angeles-Americas Tag Team Champion,  Georgia Television Champion
Southeastern Tag Team Champion, Southeastern-Alabama Heavyweight Champion), Stampede International Tag Team Champion, seven-time AWA Southern Tag Team Champion,  SCW Southwest Tag Team Champion, ICW Heavyweight Champion

Therese Theis, Grace Therese Theis, August 7, 1999, Cancer, age 68

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime lady wrestler

Jackie Sato, Naoko Sato, August 9, 1999, Stomach Cancer, age 41

-Lady Japanese wrestler, had memorable feud with Monster Ripper (Bertha Faye), two-time WWWA World Women's Champion

Ann Laverne, Ann Pico, August 19, 1999, Unknown, age 77

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime lady wrestler

Brian Hildebrand (Referee) Brian Hildebrand, September 8, 1999, Stomach Cancer, age 38

-Trained as wrestler by Dominick DeNucci who also trained Mick Foley but was considered too small to be wrestler, head referee for Smokey Mountain Wrestling, worked in ECW, went to WCW and refereed under the name of Mark Curtis, was universally liked in the Business.

Gorilla Monsoon, Robert Marella October 6, 1999, Heart Illness, age 62

-Longtime wrestler and powerful backstage agent in WWE for decades, huge wrestler who went to hour-long draws against Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden, only man to Box Andre the Giant and wrestle Muhammad Ali, was part owner of World Wide Wrestling Federation-WWWF who sold his share to Vince McMahon Junior in exchange for lifetime job with WWE, best known to fans as the "voice" of WWE broadcasting during the 1980s alongside Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura as lead play-by-play man, famous for mangling medical terms and said "literally" when he meant "figuratively", would manage backstage happenings at WWE events and would stand right next to the entrance curtain, it became known as Gorilla Position, later became WWE figurehead president after Jack Tunney retired, son Joey Marella died in car crash in early 1990s, received warm reception after last public appearance at WrestleMania XV in 1999, WWE-United States Tag Team Champion, IWA Heavyweight Champion, two-time WWA Tag Team Champion, two-time WWC North American Champion

Paul Baillargeon, Paul Baillargeon, October 18, 1999, Natural Causes, age 77

-Longtime Canadian wrestler, born in Montreal, Quebec, nicknamed Le colosse de Saint-Magloire and the French Canadian Bear, NWA San Francisco Tag Team Champion, Canada (Canadian Junior Heavyweight Champion, Canadian Heavyweight Champion)

George Becker, George P. Becker, October 25, 1999, Alzheimer's Disease, age 85

-Longtime wrestler, partner with Johnny Weaver, who just recently passed away, married to lady wrestler, Joyce Grable, was local top draw in San Francisco before wrestling was on television, Tennessee-World Light Heavyweight Champion, Los Angeles-World Heavyweight Champion, California State-Heavyweight Champion, NWA (ten(!)-time Mid Atlantic-Southern Tag Team Champion, four-time Atlantic Coast Tag Team Champion)

Robin Hood/Brazo Cibernético, José Aarón Alvarado Nieves, October 27, 1999, Unknown, age 33

-Mexican masked wrestler, nicknamed Sputnik, El Arquero I, Átomo, Super Átomo, Brazo de Bronce, Tortuguillo Kareteka II, Brazo Cibernético, trained by Brazo de Oro, Mexico (Distrito Federal Tag Team Champion, State Trios Champion, National Trios Champion)

The Mighty Atlas, Morris Shapiro, October 28, 1999, Unknown, age 85

-Longtime wrestler, used strongman gimmick, was stuntman in Abbot and Costello movie titled "Here Come the Coeds", NWA (Mid America Heavyweight Champion, Central States Heavyweight Champion, Mid America-United States Tag Team Champion, Mid America Tag Team Champion, Texas Heavyweight Champion)

Joe Scarpello, November ??, 1999, Alzheimer's Disease, age ??

-Longtime wrestler, outstanding amateur wrestler, tag team partner of legendary Verne Gagne, three-time MWA Junior Heavyweight Champion, two-time Amateur Wrestling NCAA Champion, four-time University of Iowa All-American Champion,
AWA World Tag Team Champion

Wolf Rubinsky, Wolfgang Ruvinskis, November 9, 1999, Heart Attack, age 78

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

Al Amezcua, November 11, 1999, Natural Causes, age 81

-Longtime Mexican wrestler, did not wrestle in a mask, nicknamed The Golden Terror, Pájaro Azul, and Bolchevike, Mexico (Occidente Welterweight Champion, Occidente Middleweight Champion, two-time Northern Middleweight Champion)

Tony Rumble, Anthony David Magliaro, November 14, 1999, Heart Attack, age 43

-Indie wrestler, nicknamed Boston Bad Boy, Tony Rummell, The Dungeon Master, three-time CWA New England Heavyweight Champion



-Longtime wrestler, nicknamed the Hangman, I could find out nothing else
           
Hiro Matsuda, Yasuhiro Kojima, November 27, 1999, Cancer, age 62

-Longtime Japanese wrestler and trainer, was trained by Rikiodozan and Karl Gotch, trained Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, and others, was brutal trainer (broke Hogan's ankle) but then took trainees under his wing, was longtime liaison between WCW and New Japan, NWA (six-time Florida Tag Team Champion, two-time Junior Heavyweight Champion, three-time Southern Heavyweight Champion, four-time Florida Tag Team Champion, Tennessee & Alabama Tag Team Champion, JWA Asian Tag Team Champion, NWF North American Tag Team Champion

Jerry Monti, Gerald Monti, December 3, 1999 Liver Cancer age 57

-Longtime wrestler, feuded with Bugsy McGraw, I could find out nothing else
Mr Ebony, Steven Caster, December 19, 1999, Heart Attack age 46

-There were two wrestlers with the name, but I could find out nothing else on one of them and the other went by the name "Bearcat Jones" but the information listed indicated he was too young to be the one in Jim Wilson's "Chokehold" Book so I could not update this information accurately.

Captain Hook, David "J.D." Kyle, December 22, 1999 Unknown age 71

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime wrestler

Chico Cortez, Basil Salazar, December 28, 1999, Natural Causes, age 77

- I could find out nothing else about this longtime Mexican wrestler

Sam Muchnick, Samuel Muchnick, December 31, 1999, Internal Bleeding, age 93

-Longtime NWA promoter and president, born in the Ukraine and emigrated to America, was sports journalist before becoming promoter of the Saint Louis area, was president of the NWA from 1950-1960 and then again from 1963-1975, was controlling booker of the NWA World Champion for years


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