Ethel Johnson, Early Black Wrestling Star, Is Dead at 83
Beginning in the 1950s, she and her two athletic sisters helped expand the demographics of the ring.
Shelly Adams and her siblings were playing in the basement of their home in Columbus, Ohio, with the television on in the background. Their mother was off at work. The children had only the vaguest idea what she did for a living, since she didn’t talk about her job much.
The children interrupted their play when they noticed a familiar-looking figure on the television screen.
“We stood there — ‘Does that look like Mom on TV?’” Ms. Adams recalled. Then came a close-up, “and we just started screaming.”
Ms. Adams tells that story in a new documentary whose title gives an idea of just how surprising the moment must have been. The film, by Chris Bournea, is called “Lady Wrestler: The Amazing, Untold Story of African-American Women in the Ring.”
Their mother, who wrestled under the name Ethel Johnson, was one of the stars of a professional wrestling circuit that, beginning in the early 1950s, put black women in the ring, capitalizing on the success of white female wrestlers like Mildred Burke.
Former NWA, AWA & WWF Superstar Rene Goulet Passed Away in May at 86 but not made public until now
It’s now been revealed my multiple source that former NWA, AWA and WWF Superstar Rene Goulet, who briefly held the WWF World Tag Team titles with Karl Gotch in the 1970s, passed away earlier this year on May 25 at the age of 86. After he retired from in-ring action in 1987, he worked as a road agent/producer for the WWF until 1997.
From Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, Rene Goulet got his start in professional wrestling in 1957, working the vibrant Quebec territory. In 1963, he joined American Wrestling Association (AWA), a territory he worked off and on until 1983. He also spent a great deal of time working various NWA territories during the 1970s and 1980s, including Pacific Northwest Wrestling, Championship Wrestling From Florida, and Mid Atlantic. From 1971-1972, he also worked for the then World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). A dependable journeyman, he gave Ric Flair the first loss of his career, in Flair’s second match, in 1972.
In 1980, he made his Japanese debut with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he would also work for several years, often tagging with Andre the Giant and Dusty Rhodes, before joining the WWF in 1983, where he worked the final years of his in-ring career. In 1981, he and Andre the Giant won the NJPW MSG Tag League (the precursor to the World Tag League). In 1983, he wrestled in the first WWF match to air on the USA Network, facing former tag team partner, Tito Santana.
Last Edit: Dec 11, 2019 22:38:57 GMT -5 by jimsteel
Colley competed in the World Wrestling Federation, where in 1981 he won the WWF Tag Team Championship with Moondog King (later replaced by Moondog Spot) as the Moondogs. In 1984, Colley had a WWF title shot against Hulk Hogan on the Canadian television tapings that aired on both Maple Leaf and All-Star wrestling.
On January 4, 1987, in Springfield, Massachusetts, Colley was repackaged as "Smash" in the new tag-team of Demolition, facing and defeating the Islanders  The following day in East Rutherford, New Jersey, he made his televised debut at a WWF Superstars taping. Despite having his hair trimmed, his beard shaved off, and wearing face paint, fans almost immediately recognized him and began chanting "Moondog" when he entered the ring. Following a third appearance, this time at a Wrestling Challenge taping, he was replaced by Barry Darsow. He later formed a masked team known as The Shadows with partner Jose Luis Rivera. They were primarily used as enhancement talent, and when the duo disbanded Colley left the company.
Colley had a long singles run on top in Mid South as the "Nightmare" and the "Champion" managed by both Eddie Gilbert and Sir Oliver Humperdink. His biggest career feud was in Memphis where the Moondogs had a series of wild, bloody main event matches with the Fabulous Ones. After Demolition ended for him in the WWF, he went to Continental where he worked as "Detroit Demolition". He was able to do this because he was co-creator of the original gimmick.
In the summer of 1990, Colley returned to WCW as Moondog Rex in singles competition. His first match was at a July 6 house show in Norfolk, Virginia, against El Gigante. His televised debut came several months later, when he appeared on World Championship Wrestling on September 29, and defeated Reno Riggins. Colley's highest profile match was losing to the Junkyard Dog at Halloween Havoc 90. Wrestling as Moondog Rex he continued to appear on televised programs and house shows into the spring of 1991.
In May 1991 World Championship Wrestling (WCW) created a stable known as "the Desperados" consisting of Dutch Mantell, Black Bart, and Colley, who played "Deadeye Dick". The Desperados were packaged with the gimmick of being three bumbling cowboys looking to meet Stan Hansen to go to WCW and become a team. Over the course of a few weeks, they were promoted through a series of vignettes in which they were beaten up in saloons, searched ghost towns, were jailed, and rode horses. Hansen reportedly wanted no part of the storyline and left for Japan, never to return to wrestle in North America. Without Hansen, the group were dissolved as a stable almost immediately, never appearing on television other than in their vignettes.
Former CMLL Heavyweight Champion Mr. Niebla Has Passed Away At 46
He had recently been hospitalized with a blood infection for a couple of weeks before being released in November.
Alcoholism has plagued him for many years, and that could have played a part in his death. In 2015 he was found unconscious in the locker room while working for New Japan. CMLL had to pay his hospital costs and would fire him. He did return and wrestle for CMLL again, but went to the ring in 2018 while intoxicated and fell out the ring. This resulted in his wrestling license being suspended, meaning he could no longer wrestle for CMLL.
For his wrestling career, his legacy will be that he was CMLL Heavyweight Champion for 543 days, plus one half of the CMLL World Tag Team Champions with Shocker.
Former Wrestler,Manager+Commentator Izzy Slapawitz passed away at 71
Izzy Slapawitz, is an American retired professional wrestler, manager and color commentator, best known for his time with International Championship Wrestling.
From 1978 to 1982, Smith led the Slapowitz Syndicate in the NWA's Mid-South and Knoxville territories as well as many "outlaw" promotions in the Southern United States. He also had brief stints in Georgia Championship Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions, Maple Leaf Wrestling, and the World Wrestling Federation. At various times his stable included Barry O, Bob Orton, Jr., Boris Malenko, Crusher Broomfield, James "Sugar Bear" Harris, The Mongolian Stomper, Randy Savage, Ray Candy, Rip Rogers and The Devil's Duo (Doug Vines and Jeff Sword)