November 8: Today’s Wrestler Birthdays & Deaths

One limitless man, one legacy, and one legend at age 31.

 

BIRTHDAYS

 

 

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NXT’s own “Limitless” Keith Lee is 34 today. PWI ranked him #59 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2018. He’s a former Pro Wrestling Guerilla World Champion. He signed with WWE earlier this year and made his NXT debut in July. Happy birthday Keith.


 

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Ted DiBiase Jr. is 36 today. He debuted in World League Wrestling in 2006 and signed with WWE in 2007. In FCW, he became a member of the Next Generation Hart Foundation faction alongside Harry Smith, TJ Wilson, Nattie Neidhart, and Teddy Hart. Due to injuries, he competed sporadically before making his WWE debut in 2008. He and Cody Rhodes won the World Tag Team Championship in DiBiase’s first match, forming The Legacy. The group, which also later included Randy Orton, dissolved in 2010.

DiBiase then  was given possession of the Million Dollar Championship and access to a trust fund by his father, and Virgil returned to work for him. You see where this is going. Then he became a face and started holding tailgating parties before events for his “DiBiase posse”. The rest of his career was littered with various feuds and injuries until his contract expired on September 1, 2013. Happy birthday Ted.


 

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Kazuchika Okada is 31 today. He’s never wrestled for WWE, but he’s one of the best and most popular wrestlers in the world today.  A four-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Okada’s fourth reign at 720 days is the longest in the championship’s history and it also holds the record for most successful title defenses at 12. Happy birthday Kazuchika.

 



 

DEATHS

 

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Don Fargo had a career that spanned from 1952-86. During that time, he held over 55 championships including 14 reigns as NWA World Tag Team Champion, most famously with Jackie Fargo as part of The Fabulous Fargos. He was a mainstay for various territories throughout the United States including NWA Mid-America, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Western States Sports and Big Time Wrestling.

He was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in 2014 and the NWA Wrestling Legends Hall of Heroes in 2009. In the year preceding his death he had been battling cancer. He died on November 8, 2015 at the age of 85.


 

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Enrique Navarro Camargo wrestled in Mexico under the name of El Satanas and held the Mexican Middleweight title in 1950. In 1974 Enrique established the first sanctioned Wrestling School in the United States known as PWS (Professional Wrestling School). He died on November 8, 2007 at age 78.


 

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Blimp Levy was a major attraction on the wrestling circuit in the 1930s and 40s. Regarded as the largest wrestler of his time, the Boston Globe stated, “there’s no one challenging his claim to being the world’s biggest”, while the New York World-Telegram called Levy “the most meat which ever stepped into a ring”. In his heyday, promoter Jack Pfefer stated that “no living wrestler today can outdraw the human Blimp.”

Though famed for his massive bulk, fellow wrestler Paul Boesch stated in his autobiography that Levy was surprisingly agile for his size. Boesch recalled a story of Levy successfully kicking a metal can which was dangling approximately six feet off the ground. Levy was able to tap the can with his foot while standing, which impressed his fellow wrestlers, many of whom could not do the same without falling.

Levy wrestled throughout the US territories, defeating wrestlers such as Tor Johnson, Nature Boy Buddy Rogers and Gorgeous George. Manager Jack Pfefer also pitched Levy to promoters in Australia, stating in 1948 that “all that you have to do is use him as an extra few minutes exhibition and I am more than sure that the Blimp will sell out every arena… as he has proven that in this country”.

He died on November 8, 1961 in his Alabama trailer park home at the age of 56, reportedly weighing 900 pounds.


 

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Besides his in-ring accomplishments, from Mid-South to Global Wrestling Federation, and having a part in the education of the likes of Booker T and Stevie Ray, Tugboat Taylor could lay claim to being one of the few pro wrestlers who ever made the pages of Sports Illustrated.

That would be the June 15, 1998 issue, with Michael Jordan on the cover. In it, Houston-based writer Randall Patterson heads to Taylor’s gym, which the headline calls the “Actors Studio for WWF wannabes.”

Getting past the traditional “is it fake?” storyline quickly, Patterson offers up a vivid description of Taylor: “His voice sounded as if he were chewing rocks. When he smiled, his mouth turned down at the corners. There are 370 pounds of Tugboat. Even at 51, he says, he’s still the meanest of the mean and the toughest of the tough.”

Tugboat Taylor’s School of Professional Wrestling was in downtown Houston, not far from the jail, and was sparse, with the warehouse containing “one exercise bike, one couch and one wrestling ring.”

He started wrestling in 1980 and had one match from the WWF, losing to Bob Orton at a house show in 1985. Taylor died on November 8, 2017 at age 71.

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