Pro Wrestling World Pays Tribute To “Superstar” Billy Graham – The pro wrestling world is paying tribute to WWE Hall of Famer “Superstar” Billy Graham, who passed away on Wednesday night at the age of 79.
Graham’s doctors wanted to take him off life support earlier in the week, but his longtime wife Valerie refused. Graham had dealt with numerous health issues over the years, and had been away from home, either hospitalized or at a rehab center, for going on 6 months. The former WWE Champion underwent emergency surgery on May 10 due to an infection in his left hip, and organ failure. He was completely deaf due to the infection, and was suffering from kidney issues, heart and lung concerns, sores from being in bed for months, and depression, according to his wife. Graham’s passing was confirmed by WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair last night.
WWE issued a lengthy statement on Graham’s passing, which you can see below.
NWA President Billy Corgan issued a statement on Graham’s passing, writing on Twitter, “The NWA is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the legendary Superstar Billy Graham; who singularly embodied a spirit that forever changed the sport and stood as a transcendental figure in all of media. Our condolences to all who loved and revered him.”
AEW tweeted a graphic in memory of Graham and wrote, “AEW joins the wrestling world in mourning the passing of Superstar Billy Graham. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans.”
Nick Aldis remembered Graham as possibly the biggest game-changer of all-time.
“RIP Superstar. Quite possibly the biggest game-changer of all time. Because of Billy Graham, we got Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, not to mention countless others who made fortunes borrowing from this man. Say his name and remember him,” he wrote.
Paul Heyman also commented on how “Superstar” influenced the industry.
“Before Billy Graham, performers in WWWF / WWF/ WWE were known as professional wrestlers. After Billy Graham left his mark, Vincent Kennedy McMahon decided everyone would be a WWE Superstar. A most heartfelt RIP to the man of the hour, the man with the power, too sweet to be sour!,” Heyman wrote.
WWE Hall of Famer Jesse Ventura said there would be no “The Body” without Graham.
“There wouldn’t be a Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura without the in-ring success and trailblazing showmanship of Superstar Billy Graham. One of my proudest wrestling memories was having the honor of being inducted into the same WWE Hall of Fame class as Graham. Rest In Power Superstar,” Ventura wrote.
Vince Russo commented on how far ahead of his time Graham was.
“There was no wrestler in the HISTORY of the Business that was so Far Ahead of His Time than ‘SuperStar’ Billy Graham. If you weren’t around to see him—you really missed something. He was it, man. He was it,” Russo wrote.
Natalya paid tribute and recalled how her grandfather, WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart, always spoke highly of Superstar.
“It was in 1970 that Superstar Billy Graham ‘broke into the business’ through Stampede Wrestling. He trained with my grandfather Stu in the Dungeon after playing in the CFL. Stu always spoke so highly of Billy Graham, particularly about his work ethic and his drive to succeed,” she wrote.
Pro Wrestling World Pays Tribute To “Superstar” Billy Graham