Matt Borne, the original Doink The Clown, has been found dead at the age of 55-years-old.
F4WOnline.com and PWInsider.com have both confirmed that Borne (full name Osborne) was found dead on Friday by his girlfriend he had been staying with in Texas. No reason for the cause of his death has been announced as of yet.
The WWE have issued a statement regarding Borne’s passing;
“Reports indicate that Matt Osborne, aka the original Doink the Clown, has passed away. A rugged brawler in promotions like Mid-South Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling, Osborne made a major impact in WWE under the greasepaint of a prankster named Doink — one of the most enduring personas of the early ’90s.
“WWE is saddened by the news of Osborne’s passing. Our deepest condolences go out to Osborne’s family, friends and fans.”
Osborne, by far the best performer as the infamous crazed clown, portrayed and originated Doink in the early 1990s. Despite being lumbered with the worst possible gimmick any young wrestler could hope for after impressing wrestling as himself in dark matches (he went to WWF after making little impact in WCW), Osborne gave the character everything, maximising the weak gimmick to its fullest potential possibly greater than any other superstar in the company’s history, with the exception of The Undertaker and Kane. That’s basically why the character managed to have as much longevity as it did, having successful runs as both heel and face.
Osborne was the innovator behind the mannerisms of Doink which many have imitated over the years when they have been asked to play Doink. Personally speaking, I was a huge admirer of him when I first started watching wrestling in 1993. One of the earliest feuds I can remember was a dastardly Doink vs the Caribbean Crush which eventually culminated in a WrestleMania IX blow-off match. Osborne made the character so memorable that the “duel Doinks” and the character hiding in the crowd during those feuds are cemented in my memory… and in my older days when I understand what made sports entertainment tick, it was clear his energy was the reason why.
After being fired from WWF for personal problems, he joined Paul Heyman’s Extreme Champion Wrestling in 1994, a company which had previously denounced Doink as one of the key reasons fans should watch ECW over WWF. The character didn’t last and despite shaking things up with the Bourne Again character which had success playing on the real life problem of Osborne being type-cast in the role, personal problems saw him soon leave that company. He then spent the rest of his career in and out of the indie circuit, his personal troubles never fulling going away.
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This article was first posted on June 28, 2013