Saturday, October 20, 2012

Former professional wrestler Mike Graham dead at 61

(September 20th, 1951- October 18th, 2012)

Former second-generation wrestler and promoter
Mike Graham
(real name Michael Gossett)
has passed away
on Thursday, October the 18th
in Daytona Beach, FL.
He was 61 years old. 

Various reports indicate that his wife
had found him dead
on Friday morning
(October the 19th),
a self-inflicted gunshot wound
to the head.
Preliminary reports conclude
that Graham's death
was a suicide.

Mike Graham is the son of
legendary professional wrestler and promoter,
the late, great Eddie Graham.



Michael Gossett started wrestling
in 1972 in his father's promotion
Championship Wrestling from Florida,
a territory of the National Wrestling Alliance.
He was trained by his father,
Boris Malenko
and Hiro Matsuda.
During that year in 1972,
the highly esteemed,
world renowned wrestling publication
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
had voted and named Mike Graham
as their Rookie Of The Year. 

Mike Graham teamed with his father
upon his arrival onto the wrestling scene,
but he also formed a successful team
with Kevin Sullivan.
Sullivan eventually turned on Graham
to form his "Satanic Cult"
called "The Army Of Darkness".
Graham then teamed
with Steve Keirn
and Barry Windham
to feud with the faction
and captured several team team championships
over the years.

In 1981,
Mike Graham wrestled in
the American Wrestling Association
and he feuded with
Buck "Rock N' Roll" Zumhofe
over the AWA Light Heavyweight Championship     
for two years.

Graham headed back to Florida in 1983
and primarily wrestled as a singles wrestler.
He then started teaming with Steve Keirn again
in the late 1980s
and wrestled in NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions
briefly with Keirn
until the Florida Championship Wrestling territory
had been bought out in 1987.

Graham went back to the AWA in 1988
where he won
the AWA Light Heavyweight Championship.
In 1989,
he went back to Florida
to the newly renamed
Florida Championship Wrestling
and he teamed briefly with
Dustin Rhodes.

By 1990,
Graham was an infrequent in-ring competitor
and later became a road agent
for World Championship Wrestling
until it had folded in 2001.
Along with Paul Orndorff, Pez Whatley
and DeWayne Bruce,
Graham worked as a trainer in WCW
as part of the WCW Power Plant.  

In the early millenium (2000s), 
Graham was a road agent again, 
this time for the short-lived 
Xcitement Wrestling Federation 
and for Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling.
He made occasional appearances 
for the revived 
Florida Championship Wrestling. 

Graham worked with 
World Wrestling Entertainment in 2006
where he contributed to the Dusty Rhodes DVD, 
also appearing on WWE's 
24/7 Legends Of Wrestling Series 
as part of a panel 
which discussed famous pro wrestlers 
of the 1980s. 
He hosted classic episodes of 
Championship Wrestling from Florida 
on WWE's 24/7 Classics.     

Grahams' father Eddie was inducted 
into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2008. 
Mike represented his late father 
at the ceremony 
& the following night at WrestleMania 24.

Mike Graham,
as well as his late father Eddie Graham
has left a lasting impression 
on the professional wrestling business,
most especially an indelible mark
in the state of Florida
and their impact will be felt 
for decades to come.

Mike Graham will be remembered
as a valiant champion, 
a trainer,
a road agent 
as well as a great man 
who had a lifelong love 
and a tremendous passion
for the professional wrestling business.

All of us here at Wrestling News Center 
would like to express 
our most sincere condolences 
to the wife, 
the friends 
and the family 
of Mike Graham.   


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