A Memorial To Recently Deseased Wrestlers
December 1, 2003 - by Emer Prevost

B efore I begin, I have a few apologies I must make. I know that my last couple of columns have been arrogant, bitchy, condescending, and just plain lame, and that has alienated some of my readers. I don't know what came over me, but I apologize from the bottom of my heart. To all those I offended, I am sorry, unless I offended Goldberg or Triple H marks, then you know my stand there. I will try to keep my columns the way they used to be, light and sprinkled with my own brand of humor (this column being and exception), and if my ego gets too big, I hope that everyone is there to put my ass in check (thank you Mark, I really needed that). With that said, let's see what I can do to make up for my past errors...

Well, 2003 is almost gone, and it has taken as of this writing 15 wrestling personalities. While I can't say I have seen all of these great people in action, I can talk about a few of them and how they effected me.

Let's start with one that still shakes me up a little bit, Curt Hennig. When I first started watching wrestling, one of the first wrestlers I saw in a match was Mr. Perfect, and I was surprised by what I saw. I had the preconceived notion of wrestlers being oafish thugs (what did you expect from a seven year old just getting into it), and Hennig proved to me that there is a technical gift needed to be in the ring. From there, no matter what the character, I was always floored by Curt's work. Besides Owen Hart and Davey-Boy Smith, this was one of the few deaths in wrestling that brought me to tears.

Another death that was a deep one to me came from the news of the passing of the First Lady of Wrestling, Miss Elizabeth. She had a beauty that was almost unsurpassed in the world of wrestling. Some of my fondest memories in wrestling revolve around Elizabeth. The wedding to Randy Savage at SummerSlam 91 is still a touching moment to me. Just seeing Elizabeth on a wrestling show normally would perk it up just a little bit.

Next, a true legend in the sport of wrestling, "Classy" Freddie Blassie. I would love to say that I've seen Blassie's matches, but I can't. I never found any. I mostly remember Freddie for his recent WWE appearances in the last few years. The saddest part comes when we remember that Freddie was on RAW just two weeks before he passed on. Wrestling fans haven't been that close to death since Owen Hart. Now, This may sound real shallow and stupid, but I will remember Freddie most as the voice of the WrestleMania promos. That is where I got to see and hear him the most.

Now, up the three of the most recent.

I also never got to see any of Stu Hart's matches, but I saw his handiwork. We have all enjoyed the product's of the Hart family dungeon, and we all have Stu to thank for that. We have seen his work with Bret, Owen, Lance Storm, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Edge, Christian, and so many others. It seems that if Stu Hart trained them, they were one of my all time favorite wrestlers. About the most I can say, and this will sound really sappy, but Stu is back with Helen in the afterlife after two years of separation. I guess I just like romantic endings.

Another recent passing that hit me like a speeding truck was Michael Hegstrand, also known as Road Warrior Hawk. This one is an exceptional blow to me because I wrote about Hawk in my second column, and all I did in that column was gripe about the Legion of Doom's low moments. If I had made any positive comments about Hawk before he died, I might not of taken it so hard. I still feel guilty that there is a slight chance that Mr. Hedstrand read that column, and that was one of the leading causes of his heart attack. That type of guilt is a pretty bad one. Hawk will be missed dearly.

Finally, I end this column with Michael Lockwood. This man graced the WWF rings as Crash Holly and was in NWA TNA as Mad Mikey. This one is a hard one to me because of the comments of others. In the Yahoo chat rooms, I continued to hear that Crash didn't do anything of great value in the industry. Well, they couldn't be further from the truth. It was Crash that took the WWF Hardcore Title and made something out of it. Sure, I may not have been a fan of the 24-7 rule, but it was still a great accomplishment. Who didn't like to see what the WWF had planned next for Crash and the Hardcore Title? With a little more time, Mad Mikey could have been a huge TNA star. Michael Lockwood is a life that was taken far too soon.

There are so many others who passed away this year, but I can't really talk about them. It isn't that I don't expect their work, it's just that I don't have any real memories about them that touched me. Here's where I want you, the great Online World of Wrestling readers, to join in. Send in a comment to the site e-mail (don't send it to mine, I really suck at forwarding them to Brad) about your memories of these or any other wrestling personalities that have died this year. I really want to see this column become a great memorial to those who have left us in 2003.

by Emer Prevost

Brad Dykens remembers Moondog Spot & Dick Hutton:
Larry Booker (aka Larry Latham/Moondog Spot) passed away during a match in Memphis on November 29, 2003.. Larry Latham started out in Memphis, where he would eventually become an ICON in the territory feuding with the likes of Jerry "The King" Lawler, "Superstar" Bill Dundee, and the Rock'N'Roll Express. Before Larry became a Moondog though, he was one half of another dominant tag team called the Blonde Bombers, his partner was none other than Wayne Ferris (later known as The Honky Tonk Man). The early 80s saw the Moondogs take the WWWF by storm, winning the Tag Team titles, and later became a motivating factor in the angle between Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff. Some would say it was poetic justice that Spot passed away in the building where he worked and entertained fans for several decades as a top star. Wrestlers just don't share the same passion for the industry any more, and I can garantee you, this Moondog, will be sorely missed -- REST IN PEACE.

Dick Hutton (profile) passed away on November 24, 2003. Dick Hutton wouldn't be known to many wrestling fans today, but he was one of the many men who helped pave the road for this great industry. Imagine being HAND PICKED by the great Lou Thesz to win the NWA World title as Thesz was on his way out. Dick Hutton was a decorated amature wrestler before stepping into a professional environment. In 1949, he lost an NCAA tournament match to future pro great Verne Gagne in the finals on a controversial referee's decision. As wrestling fans, we should never forget those who laid the foundation for the sport we love so much. Dick Hutton is a true legend, and will be missed -- REST IN PEACE.

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