13 Wrestlers Who Died In The Ring

2. Moondog Spot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kUB02lukk4 WARNING: The video above is taken from local TV news reports the following day and briefly shows the incident described below, which some readers may find distressing. Larry Booker was a veteran of the wrestling industry who had two distinct periods of his career under different gimmicks. As Larry Latham, he was able to compete in rival promotions in Tennessee, in Nashville and Memphis. Here he formed the vicious heel tag team of The Blond Bombers with Wayne Farris (who later found worldwide fame as The Honky Tonk Man in the WWF). They became widely acknowledged as the first people to popularise what later became known as hardcore wrestling following their wild concession stand brawl with Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee in Tupelo, Mississippi. Booker disappeared from wrestling for several years and re-emerged, a lot heavier, under a new gimmick of Moondog Spot, part of the interchangeable Moondogs stable that featured in Memphis and then in the then WWWF. In fact, Moondog Spot replaced Moondog King as part of the team while they were WWWF World Tag Team Champions in 1981.With his ruffled long blond hair, straggly beard, large gut and tattered jeans, while carrying a large bone to the ring (which was often used as a weapon), he was a sight to behold. Spot even made it onto one of the WWF's first ever ventures into pay-per-view in November 1985 at the Wrestling Classic tournament, where he defeated Terry Funk before losing a battle of the canines against The Junk Yard Dog. He was still wrestling on the independents in 2003, and had even had a brief stay in TNA that year. On November 29th 2003, on a show to celebrate Jerry Lawler's 54th birthday that day at the famous Mid South Coliseum in Memphis, The Moondogs (Spot and Puppy Love, another addition to the Moondogs) were featured in a four way concession stand battle royal with The Rock 'n' Roll Express, The Lifeguards and Alan Steel & Mike Money. It was a typical Memphis brawl, during which fans noticed that Spot was slumped in the corner, not moving. Everybody in the ring just assumed that Spot was selling a weapon shot, when in actual fact, he had suffered a heart attack in the ring. Once his partner realised that something was wrong, he went to check on him and the match went straight to the finish. The other three teams hastily left the ring, leaving the Moondogs, their manager and medics in the ring, as the audience was asked to stay in their seats and were told that this was not part of the show. Other wrestlers came out and Spot was wheeled away on a gurney as the audience applauded. An intermission was called, during which the audience were told that he was still breathing. The show continued, and after the main event, it was announced that Spot had died and a ten bell salute and silence was held for him. He was 51 and had been suffering from diabetes for some time. Again, the lack of regulation in independent wrestling meant that an overweight man in his 50s with existing health issues was allowed to wrestle in a physically strenuous environment.
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Dean Ayass is a well known name to British wrestling fans. A commentator, manager, booker and ring announcer who has been involved in the business since 1993, Dean's insight into the business is second to none.