Friday, October 19, 2012

WWE Roundtable About African-Americans in Wrestling!

I happened to find this video on YouTube.  If you notice, the first post on this blog was my interview with legendary wrestler Claude "Thunderbolt" Patterson.  That was by design because I really felt that his contributions as an African-American wrestler were legendary and needed to be noted.

Recently, I came across a wonderful roundtable discussion that the WWE did about the role of African-Americans in the wrestling business and I was interested to learn that Patterson wasn't the most appreciated black wrestler in this business -- and that includes by other black wrestlers and performers.

That was just one of the many things that learned watching this EXCELLENT roundtable discussion that is part of the WWE's "Legends of Wrestling" series.  It first aired during Black History month and was called simply "Soul."  The moderator is Jim Ross and the guests are "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, "Mr. USA" Tony Atlas, Teddy Long and Cowboy Bill Watts.

RIP Mike Graham!

I know I haven't done much with this blog but every now and then I will be posting something.  Many times, it will be in tribute to someone who has left us.  Such is the case with this post.

I received word that former Florida great Mike Graham was found dead today in Daytona Beach, FL.  He was 61 years old.  Graham was the son of the legendary hall of fame wrestler and promoter Eddie Graham -- one of the Golden Grahams along with Dr. Jerry, Crazy Luke and Superstar Billy.  Where the Grahams weren't brothers by birth, Mike was indeed Eddie's son.

I didn't see a lot of Mike Graham during his career but I read a lot about him in the magazines, especially in moments like these:

This was when Graham (right) was the co-holder of the United States Tag Team championship in the Florida territory alongside his long-time tag partner Steve Keirn.  This was probably in the mid-to-late 70's prior to Keirn's legendary tag team with Stan Lane -- The Fabulous Ones -- in Memphis and the AWA in the 80's.

Graham followed in his father's footsteps as a promoter when he took over the Florida Territory in the 80's just before the WWE's national expansion.  He also trained and worked with many of the superstars of wrestling in the 90's up until today.

There are also reports that Graham may have followed his father in another, more tragic way.  Eddie Graham committed suicide in 1985.  Reports say Mike Graham may have done the same.