WCM was saddened to learn of the passing of former GWF wrestler "Hardbody" Calvin Knapp last night at age 43. The news was broken online this morning by Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Weekly; according to James Beard (posting at Wrestling Classics), Calvin died of a heart attack.
We join all of Calvin Knapp's family, friends and colleagues in mourning his death. May he rest in peace.
Sadly, WCM has another untimely passing to report: as confirmed by Johnny Mantell on our Facebook page, Michael Richard, who worked occasionally as T. John Tibbedeux in Dallas-Fort Worth in the late '70s and early '80s (and as Mike the Big 'Un for Paul Boesch in Houston during the same period), died on September 17th at the age of 64.
T. John made his final appearances in D/FW rings at the very beginning of the World Class era, in May 1982. Although the cause of his death isn't yet known, he had apparently been suffering from major health problems in recent years.
We send our sincerest condolences to T. John's family, friends and colleagues. May he rest in peace.
We were saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Gene Petit (aka Gene Lewis), best remembered by WCCW fans in his 1983 stint as The Mongol.
Petit was billed early in his career as the "brother" of Dale Lewis, with whom he teamed in the Florida territory. Before his health began to decline in the early 2000s due to multiple sclerosis and diabetes, Petit had also appeared in WWE as Cousin Luke during the 1980s wrestling boom, and as the heel Midnight Rider (managed by Kevin Sullivan) who feuded with original "Rider" Dusty Rhodes upon his return to Florida.
WCM joins all who knew and loved Gene Petit in mourning his death. May he rest in peace.
From Longview, Texas circa 1954, this clip was rescued from station KTVE, which went off the air not long after the bout was filmed. Phelps, playing the heel role here, was one of the independent wrestlers who worked for Ed McLemore during the 1953-54 promotional war with Houston promoter Morris Sigel, and stayed on for a time after the dispute was finally settled; the referee is Big Humphrey Pennyworth (real name: Joseph Vitale). Despite the partially obscured view of the ring, this is a fascinating historical clip.