Saturday, October 20, 2012
Former professional wrestler Mike Graham dead at 61
(September 20th, 1951- October 18th, 2012)
Former second-generation wrestler and promoter
(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,
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.
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.
he went back to Florida
to the newly renamed
Florida Championship Wrestling
and he teamed briefly with
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.
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 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,
and the family
of Mike Graham.