Billy Graham Health Update + WWE Referee Speaks Out


Superstar Billy Graham’s agent, Scott O Epstein, released the following statement on Graham’s health:

“In case you are not aware of the post Wrestlecon/Mania trip Billy went on a well deserved “vacation” with his lovely wife of forever Valerie in her new car, as Billy had never seen the Grand Tetons and this was part of his bucket list with a painting of them at a later date. They traveled approximately 1000 miles from home, are on the Utah/Wyoming border and Billy gets sick in multiple ways…..first possible blockage in colon, ER admitted him as the liver plays tricky stuff with your body. Upon having a bout of Reflux syndrome, it went back down not the esophagus but into the lungs causing pneumonia. This is particularly dangerous because acid reflux going into lungs way different than water has much bacteria …… discovery is that Billy is bleeding internally and they have to find out from where. He is not feeling very well nor doing very well and Valerie is naturally very stressed. I may go there to help her if the air fares come down from outrageous prices.

This is not a very good scenario and far more crucial than the bout her had recently before WM and the ones he gets every so often due to the compromised immune system. Asking all fans, friends, colleagues to seriously pray. I know he is strong as an ox but this time I am actually frightened.

Scott O Epstein, agent and friend”

Epstein also released a picture of Graham in the hospital.

— Kayfabe Wrestling Radio recently interviewed WWE referee and new author Jimmy Korderas about how he was discovered as a photographer, working with Jack Tunney, and much more. Below are some highlights:

Korderas on writing his book and what made him want to do it: “Well, to make a very long story short, it began with my wife, Audrey. She was the one who kept saying after I left the WWE, ‘You know what, you’ve got so many of these great stories to tell; you should write a book.’ And I’m thinking to myself, ‘Yeah, but nobody wants to read a book about fun stuff.’ In my mind, I’m think everyone wants to read about dirt, you know, that whole ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas mentality’. They want to hear what happens in Vegas, you know what I mean? I’m thinking I don’t know, and then I got together with Arda Ocal and we started doing our wrestling radio podcast and that sort of stuff and working on the ScoreTV up here in Canada. We’d hang around and I’d tell him stories and he’d say ‘You know, you should put that in a book. It’s kind of funny and some fun stories.’ And I’m thinking to myself the same thing. Eventually, he kept notes on his phone and he forwarded an e-mail to me with a whole bunch of stories on it and said ‘This stuff should be in a book’. So he’s the one who contacted me with ECW Press and we met with them and pitched it to them and they liked the idea and it ran from there.”

Korderas on asking for help on how to be a better referee: “I did that all the time and I even asked the boys ‘Hey, if I do anything wrong, please let me know’. The problem for me is, and maybe I’m overly critical; I hated watching myself back because I am my own worst critic. Even the smallest little thing, I’d go ‘Why did I do that? Why did I move like that? Why did I look over there?’ I was never really happy with myself. You always strive to be as close to perfect as you can be because there’s no such real thing as perfect. Again, I would find flaws with everything that I did and it got to the point where maybe I shouldn’t be watching myself anymore. But it is kind of cool to see yourself on TV, I have to admit, let’s be honest.”

On if he was ever awe struck by anyone in the ring: “Almost all the time. It’s so amazing; I consider myself lucky to have been there for different eras. Like you said, the Golden Era with the Andre the Giant’s and the Hulk Hogan’s and the Randy Savage’s, and then Next Generation with Bret Hart and the Shawn Michael and that era and the Kliq, and then the Attitude Era, which people to this day still talk about and living through that, and moving onto the next generation with John Cena, Batista and porbably my favorite of all time in The Undertaker. Honestly, I consider myself really blessed to be able to say that I actually got to work with all those guys.”

Korderas on being the in-ring referee during Owen Hart’s accidents and how it was almost deadly for him: “It is one of those things your try to put out of your mind, but it’s there; it’s always going to be there and I just have to come to terms with the fact that this is something that’s going to live with me and it’s something I can’t get out of my mind completely. Part of the process of writing the book too, when I was writing the chapter on Owen, I was hoping that it would be a little cathartic, maybe ease part of the pain for lack of a better word, that still lives with me today because, like you said, six inches to my right and I may not be here talking to you today. It did help a little bit (writing the book), ease some of that pain, but not completely. It’s going to be one of those unfortunate things that I won’t forget, but that I have to live with, I guess.”

On the post-WrestleMania Raw crowd at the IZOD Center: “I’m two schools of thought here: 1) I appreciate the fact that the fans who paid their hard-earned money come and enjoy themselves and they cheer and boo and chant for whomever they want. They only issue I had with the post-WrestleMania Monday night crowd was it got a little bit crazy and overboard where they did it to amuse themselves as opposed to being entertained with what was going on inside the ring. So, it was almost like ‘We don’t care what’s going on in the ring, it has nothing to do with what’s going on in the ring; we’re going to start chanting and almost kind of hijacking the show to some extent. And I get it, I would never say to the fans ‘Don’t do what you’re doing. Don’t go out there and have a great time’; it’s just to me, it didn’t feel like it fit with the actual presentation of the show. The other thing is it seemed like the majority of the crowd were probably from overseas. It just felt like an overseas crowd, like you’d see in London, where RAW coming up from London, England next week. That’s the type of crowd it felt like, you know; with the soccer chants, the ‘Ole, Ole, Ole’ and that sort of stuff. But you know what, they were having fun and I guess that’s what the main objective is. I just thought, like you said, it was more to entertain themselves than to be entertained by the festivities.”

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