It’s one thing when a wrestler passes away, it’s another when three performers move onto the next life. Former professional wrestlers Brian Christopher, Brockhouse Brown and Nikolai Volkoff all passed away on July 29.
All three wrestlers live made their respective marks on the industry.
Brown wrestled during the territory days, mostly under Southwest Championship Wrestling – Joe Blanchard’s promotion and wrestled his first match with no training. He would later learn under Eddie Graham and Terry Funk and wrestle in various territories. He spent some time in World Class Championship Wrestling, where he held the Texas Heavyweight Championship and was in a racially-charged angle with Robert Fuller in his Stud Stable – it was the 1980s, we’ll leave it at at – and even worked some tapings for WWE.
He the first recipient of the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Courage Award during the 2018 ceremony.
Fans will remember Volkoff for being tag team partners with The Iron Sheik, who paid tribute to his friend on social media. Who can forget the chorus of fans booing as Volkoff tried to sing the Russian National Anthem before a match.
What many fans might not realize is Volkoff was trained by Stu Hart and wrestled in numerous territories in his career. A fan like myself who watched WWF in the early ‘90s remembered his low-key babyface run where he was a liberated Lithuanian – this was right after the fall of the Soviet Union – and he was in an angle with an Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter. My apologies for bringing up that time period and those memories.
Outside of the ring, Volkoff was said to be one of the nicest human beings in the business. He was married for 35 years and worked with youth.
Christopher passed away after being hospitalized. He was rushed to the hospital after he attempted suicide in jail. According to a report from Wrestling Inc., the family has not disclosed a statement regarding his passing.
Of the three wrestlers who had passed, Christopher is the one I’m most familiar with. I first watched him as “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher where he played an arrogant heel and was a foil to the talented Taka Michinoku when WWF was starting their light heavyweight division. He tagged with Scott Taylor and the two would later gain popularity as “Too Cool,” even winning the WWF Tag Team Championship. He also teamed with Steve Blackman for a bit.
While Too Cool was popular during WWF’s Attitude Era, the team didn’t last and Christopher never reached past lower mid-card status as a singles star. Part of this could be attributed to him being the son of Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler. Second-generation wrestlers always seem to be in the shadow of their parent and have that hill to climb when they start their career.
Christopher also had his bouts with drug abuse and recently run-ins with the law. People who abuse drugs and alcohol struggle and battle with their issues every day. Struggling with these issues, combined with other factors can lead to someone wanting to take their own life. All we can hope is that he has now found peace.
Inside Pro Wrestling offers condolences to Brown, Christopher and Volkoff, as well as all of their family and friends. To steal a phrase from film director Kevin Smith, a big bucket of win for all three wrestlers.
As a final note, I wanted to say that if you feel like you want to harm yourself or take your own life, please reach out for help. There are numerous resources for you to contact and people who want to talk to you. No matter what you are struggling with, you are not alone and you are loved.
For a list of crisis hotlines, follow the link.
NXT UK Premiers on WWE Network October 17
WWE has officially announced the premier of NXT UK on the WWE Network, in a Twitter post that appeared on Wednesday morning.
Per the announcement, the UK division of the NXT brand will debut on October 17th at 8pm BST and will air weekly, featuring male and female wrestlers in the UK.
BREAKING: #NXTUK, a new weekly episodic series featuring the greatest male and female competitors from the UK, will stream on @WWENetwork on Wednesdays beginning 17th October at 8pm BST. pic.twitter.com/L8wVJquMdF
— WWE UK (@WWEUK) October 11, 2018
NJPW Talent Considering Departure, Upset with New Management
It appears that the new management heading up NJPW, led by Harold Meij, is rubbing talent the wrong way, upsetting their wrestlers so much so that they are considering a departure from the promotion, eyeing WWE as the next destination.
According to Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, Meij is also receiving backlash.
“The initial reaction was that the feeling was that he talks down to the wrestlers, he then continued to say many of the wrestlers are concerned he has no history in the business as well.
There are people who in the past had never even considered WWE who are thinking about it, and others who were completely committed to staying who are probably still leaning that way, but are considering the WWE option.”
Kaitlyn Discusses Mae Young Classic
Following her recent return to professional wrestling, former WWE Diva’s Champion Kaitlyn is back in WWE for the Mae Young Classic and is hoping that the tournament can give her a boost to the RAW or Smackdown roster.
Kaitlyn took a hiatus from wrestling following her release from WWE in 2014, and she believes that given her WWE experience, she won’t need to go through NXT to get to the main roster.
“Now that I’ve been there and done it, the stakes are higher, the level of competition is higher, so I see myself just going through it, going through the Mae Young Classic, going through NXT, going through the SmackDown roster, going through the Raw roster” Kaitlyn said, during an interview with ESPN. I know I’m capable of it, and I think the Mae Young Classic is just the beginning.”
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