Remembering Wrestlers & Personalities Who Passed Away in 2020 (2/2)

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In 2019 he was diagnosed with leukemia and sadly passed away to it a year-and-half later. Being trained by the late Axl Rotten and Corporal Punishment, he passed on his knowledge as a trainer to current stars like Lio Rush & The Velveteen Dream.

“The Samoan Beast” Michael Faith, 36 (November 17th)

Courtesy of Alliance Wrestling: “The Largeador was a bigger than life talent. He was 350 lbs, but did moves that seemed nearly impossible for a man of his stature to do. Trained by Tom Jones and Rocco Valentino, the 6’5 wrestler achieved international success in Japan, wrestling for the short-lived Big Van Vader promotion. Later he would join the All Japan Pro Wrestling roster (as a member of the Voodoo Murderers) in 2009, regularly teaming with Lance Hoyt.

In between tours, he would work with Ken Taylor’s NWA Southwest. He would become NWA Texas Champion by first defeating Kevin Northcutt for the title. He would be stripped of the title, only to win it back the following year by defeating his former tag team partner Chad Thomas. After 21 days he would lose the title to Charlie Haas.


Faith would get back into title contention by becoming the NWA Oklahoma Champion. when he would defeat Brad Michaels, Dane Griffin (who was champion) and the Modern Day Hero Kevin Douglas for the title on September 17th 2010. He would lose the title to a future NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Tim Storm on June 11th 2011.


Faith would still be active in the NWA in Texas even with new management, but he would also begin to work with River City Wrestling. He would become the RCW Heavyweight Champion defeating Hotstuff Hernandez and Steve McEnroe, and would go on to win the title one more time. Faith was also a part of Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling, where he would compete as the “Samoan Beast” and would win their heavyweight title in 2014.”

Wrestlers Who Passed Away in 2020
Sylvano Sousa (right), 66 (November 18th)

Posted by John Arezzi, he wrote a tribute to his friend Sylvano Sousa, who passed away due to complications with COVID-19. He worked as an enhancement talent for the WWWF, but he was more than that, as illustrated here: Mat Memories: Recalling Sylvano Sousa, my tag team partner

Cameron Wellington, 19 (November 19th)

This one hurts because of how young he was. Cameron Wellington of Walsall, England, had a whole life ahead of him, and had just sank his teeth in to a piece of the wrestling pie.


But like so many others, it doesn’t matter how old you are, there is always a chance you can pass away after contracting the COVID-19 virus. He had no known underlying health conditions and had been wrestling regularly for two years: Wrestler, 19, who caught Covid told mum he was fine – but died a week later



Wrestlers Who Passed Away in 2020
Colt 45, 29 (November 20th)

Yet another deathmatch wrestler passed away long before his time. LWOS shared the following on his career: Deathmatch Wrestler Colt 45 Passes Away At The Age of 29

Bob Ryder, 64 (November 24th)

Bob Ryder was instrumental in helping WCW in the Attitude Era, and founding TNA Wrestling with his announcing, administrative, and online skills. He was one of the first to use the internet to conduct an interview, when he questioned WWF talent Shawn Michaels & Kevin Nash in 1995. He was also the founder of 1wrestling.com and ECW’s website. As a close friend of Eric Bischoff, he was always ensured a job with WCW, but when it closed, he urged Jerry & Jeff Jarrett to start TNA so WWE wouldn’t have a complete monopoly.

He also played a part in some of my early work. While researching for my piece titled “The Death Of WCW – Who Was Responsible?”, I came across an interesting page. This archived web page includes a detailed explanation from Bob Ryder on what he believed is sabotage by Time Warner executives to sell WCW to the WWF.

It makes so much sense I cannot dispute it, but the information often flies under the radar because it’s easier to point the finger at Kevin Nash, Vince Russo, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and others for the demise of WCW. In reality, there were a lot of shady things going on behind the scenes, and WCW had plenty of backers who had the money to keep it afloat, yet the WWF acquired it for a fraction of its price: Bob Ryder calls for ‘criminal investigation’ of WCW sale

In his last few years, Ryder battled multiple myeloma, and passed away in his home while working for Impact Wrestling.


Wrestlers Who Passed Away in 2020
Klaus Kauroff (November 24th)

Kauroff was one of the last real German Catch wrestlers, who was also well known for his time in the British Wrestling scene. The biggest match I could find of his was against Bull Power, otherwise known as Big Van Vader.

He fought with UK names William Regal. Orig Williams, Dave Taylor, Roy St. Clair, and teamed with Giant Haystacks & Colonel Brody. In wXw, he managed the late Karsten Beck.


Bobby Lee, Carlos Alvarado González, 70 (November 26th)

Incredibly known in Mexico and in wrestling circles, as he can be once quoted as saying:

“I have had contact with people in the WWE and they themselves are surprised to learn who i was, Big Show, CM Punk, Triple H, Randy Orton, Mr. John Cena said: why are you taking pictures with him? But Triple H said to him: shut up, you still weren’t training when this man was world champion, John Cena asked “who is it?” Triple H said: He is Bobby Lee, have match against Tiger Mask in Japan and working with Antonio Inoki”.


As one of the legendary El Santo’s biggest rivals, Bobby Lee deserves to be remembered as a pioneer in the history of Lucha Libre. From Luchawiki.com:

Exciting rookie who took off with the creation of the UWA and cemented his status as a legendary name by being the first person to lose his mask to El Santo in the Palacio De Los Deportes. He followed it up by losing his hair to Santo less than a month later in the same building. Still had some name value in Mexico and ended up being asked over to New Japan Pro Wrestling for a feud with the original Tiger Mask whom he lost his mask to… except this time while wrestling as The Masked Hurricane.

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