Three very different people passed away in the world of professional wrestling: legendary star Chavo Guerrero Sr, WWE Hall of Famer George “The Animal” Steele, former world champion Ivan Koloff and former bodyguard Nicole Bass.
My memories of all 4 are very few since my acquainting with them was brief.
Chavo Guerrero Sr
Chavo Guerrero Sr was the more prominent figure in terms of in-ring stardom. My fondest memories of him were as Chavo Classic and his time on WWE SmackDown.
I remember being entertained by his antics and charisma, even when he became the WWE Cruiserweight Champion. I’ve been equally entertained by the few matches like the 6-man tag he was in with his brothers Mondo and Hector against Cactus Jack and the Rock & Roll RPMs at SuperClash III.
Nicole Bass was a much different case. I remember her watching her as a fan when she debuted at WrestleMania XV and through her brief WWF tenure.
I would meet her many years later in 2014 when I wrestled on the Scott Epstein Memorial Event that PWS ran. Like many other big names and small-time indy wrestlers, my only interaction with her was introducing myself.
I read Ivan Koloff’s book and wrote about the lessons I took from it. My memories of Ivan Koloff come from the aforementioned Scott Epstein Memorial Show where he was a guest timekeeper for a match. My interaction with Koloff was unique in that I was carrying in a piece of the ring and Koloff gave me the right of way with a smile. My hope is that he saw my effort to pay my dues.
George “The Animal” Steele
I read George Steele’s book and wrote about what I learned from it. I remember Steele as a little kid, specifically his match at WrestleMania II against Macho Man Randy Savage and his appearance at WrestleMania III during the famed Savage/Steamboat match.
They all had health issues leading to their passing, but it doesn’t make their deaths less sad. My condolences to their family and loved ones.