Pro wrestling legend “Superstar” Billy Graham died Wednesday.
He was 79.
Graham, whose actual identify Eldridge Wayne Coleman, had been coping with well being points for many years earlier than issues took a nasty flip in February.
Ric Flair broke the information of Graham’s demise, which was confirmed by TMZ
“The Superstar Billy Graham Just Left US,” Flair tweeted. “THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR INFLUENCE on My Career!”
Graham had been on life help within the ICU to cope with quite a few infections, organ failure, diabetes and different illnesses that required emergency surgical procedure earlier this month.
His spouse Valerie posted Monday morning on Graham’s Facebook account that the medical doctors wished him faraway from life help however (*79*) that time she had refused.
Graham is a three-time former world champion skilled wrestler, together with a 1977-78 title run within the WWWF, the New York territory promotion that ultimately grew to become WWE. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
“SUPERSTAR BILLY GRAHAM. ONE OF MY FIRST TEACHERS OF THE HEAT,” the Iron Shiek tweeted. “THE REAL LEGEND BUBBA. HE LOVE ME I LOVE HIM. TOGETHER WE HIT THE GYM AND SHOCK THE EARTH. I LOVE YOU FOREVER BROTHER. RIP.”
A bodybuilding pal of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Graham acquired into professional wrestling within the late Sixties with Stew Hart’s Stampede Wrestling in Calgary and wrestled till 1987 till accidents and well being points pushed him out of the ring.
Graham, who moved right into a commentary function, wrestled for AWA, WWWF, NWA and WWF throughout his profession.
He was dubbed “Superstar” throughout his time within the AWA.
Graham received the WWWF championship from Bruno Samartino in April 1977 and held the belt for 9 and a half months — shedding the title to Bob Backlund in February 1978.
Graham’s look and charisma influenced generations of wrestlers to return, together with Hulk Hogan, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Scott Steiner and Flair amongst others.
He was recognized for utilizing the phrase “brother” in promos, one thing that grow to be of staple for Hogan his total profession.
Graham, who was a steroid person grew to become a loud voice in opposition to medication, particularly throughout the 90s when Vince McMahon was embroiled in federal steroid trials — inflicting a rift between him and the WWE boss.
Fences had been ultimately mended for his Hall of Fame induction.
He is survived by his spouse and two kids.