WWE wrestler “The Superstar” Billy Graham has passed away at 79 years old, as fellow wrestling legend Ric Flair announced on Twitter, saying, “The Superstar Billy Graham Just Left Us 🙏🏻 THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR INFLUENCE On My Career!”
The Superstar Billy Graham Just Left Us 🙏🏻 THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR INFLUENCE On My Career! pic.twitter.com/YH0eT2NM4p
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) May 18, 2023
Commenting on the post, fans of Flair and Graham said things like:
“ICON! Had a childhood love/hate passion for this guy. Back in the days when they used razor blades to cut themselves to show blood for the audiences. We knew it wasn’t real but it was always damn good entertainment for HOURS as kids. RIP Icon”
“one helluva in ring competitor too, always putting on the show for the fans, Entertainment before it became a trend in pro wrestling.”
“When I first started watching professional wrestling, Superstar had just lost the then WWWF Championship belt to Bob Backlund.”
“Horrible news, just like losing Bruiser Brody, Dusty Rhodes, Black Jack Mulligan and Roddy Piper. It’s never easy to say goodbye. R.I.P. Superstar Billy Graham. You are truly a LEGEND. GOD BLESS YOU, My Condolences To Your Family.”
“A heartbreaking day, his influence amongst the superstars and fans will and has lasted for generations. Thank you Superstar”
“I don’t think there is anyone in wrestling today that wasn’t influenced by this man. If it was his direct influence, it was the influence he passed on!”
Fellow WWE champ “Triple H” tweeted about Billy Graham’s passing as well, saying, “The most imitated man to ever step in the ring… but there was only one “Superstar” Billy Graham. RIP my friend…..My thoughts are with his family, friends and fans.”
The most imitated man to ever step in the ring… but there was only one “Superstar” Billy Graham.
RIP my friend…..
My thoughts are with his family, friends and fans. pic.twitter.com/Va5ed7NJsH
— Triple H (@TripleH) May 18, 2023
Fox News Digital, reporting on Graham’s passing and his career as a pro-wrestler, said:
Graham, whose real name is Eldridge Wayne Coleman, was both a bodybuilder and a Canadian Football player before getting into professional wrestling in the late 1960s.
He made his then-World Wrestling Federation debut in 1975 and was a three-time world champion in various wrestling promotions.
Graham’s last fight took place in 1987, and he followed that up by working as a commentator for the next year.
The wrestler was in a feud with Vince McMahon after he hung up the boots, and has been outspoken about steroid use, but he returned to the WWE in 2004 where he was named to the company’s Hall of Fame ahead of WrestleMania XX. He made several other appearances with the company through 2009 before not returning again until 2015.
A GoFundMe was created to help Graham pay for the treatments for his myriad health problems. It said:
“Friends, Wayne (Billy) has had a very rough run lately. He coded, but God decided that it was not his time to go, and brought him back to us! He is going on over three weeks in the Mayo hospital ICU, checked into a rehab center, and is now back at the Mayo. He is dealing with a myriad of very serious health issues: a major infection in his ears and skull that may take six months of intravenous IVs, congestive heart failure, diabetes, hearing loss as a result of the infection, and the list goes on. He is facing a long period of rehab, and his insurance will only pay a portion of this. He is facing at least two months in a skilled nursing facility, once he is stabilized and released from the Mayo hospital. Wayne has lost 45 pounds in the last three weeks.
“Wayne’s wife Valerie is doing the best she can to work full time, while also doing all she can for her husband. They are facing mounting long term medical related bills. Any amount would be greatly appreciated.
“God Bless you and thank you. Prayers would be much appreciated!”
The most recent update to it added:
It has now been four months since Wayne has not been home, he has either been at the rehab center, or in the hospital. Due to ongoing issues from his lack of appetite he has now lost 80 pounds and subsequently continues to struggle with extreme weakness. The Osteomyelitis infection in his ears, skull and sinus cavity remains his greatest challenge. He’s on strong IV antibiotics 3 times a day to treat this and the infectious disease doctor says he will need to be on them for at least 3 more months. As a result of this infection, he is currently completely deaf. We’re praying this is temporary, and will resolve as the infection is treated. He has intermittently also suffered with kidney issues, and been on dialysis. This in addition to Billy having heart and lung concerns, sores from being in bed for 4 months and depression.
The financial situation has become dire as Insurance is only covering part of this treatment. His rehab copay care is costing $200 a day, out of pocket. Unfortunately, both Wayne, and his wife Valerie, contracted Covid 2 months ago. And unfortunately In Valerie’s case she continues to struggle with what is now Long Covid and as a result she has had to extend her LOA, consequently this has left them with absolutely no income. The emotional strain of not being able to visit her husband, due to Covid, along with the deep concern over his health as well as their financial difficulties is heart-wrenching and very stressful for them both.
Anyone who could find it in their heart to donate any amount, would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. Please help, and pray for the superstar to recover, and get back home where he belongs. God Bless you all, thank you. He is in the fight of his life.
Featured image credit: By This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published in the United States between 1928 and 1977, inclusive, without a copyright notice. For further explanation, see Commons:Hirtle chart as well as a detailed definition of "publication" for public art. Note that it may still be copyrighted in jurisdictions that do not apply the rule of the shorter term for US works (depending on the date of the author's death), such as Canada (50 p.m.a.), Mainland China (50 p.m.a., not Hong Kong or Macao), Germany (70 p.m.a.), Mexico (100 p.m.a.), Switzerland (70 p.m.a.), and other countries with individual treaties. – https://www.ebay.fr/itm/INSIDE-WRESTLING-MAR-1975-magazine-BILLY-GRAHAM-wwe-tna-FP-WRITTEN-ON-COVER/382624865618?hash=item5916381d52:g:xPgAAOSwQbJbnST3:rk:28:pf:0, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77298046
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