Professional wrestling legend “Superstar” Billy Graham passed away on Wednesday at the age of 79. No reason was given, but he had been suffering from ill health for some time and was hospitalized in the intensive care unit on life support.
Graham, real name Eldridge Wayne Coleman, was a former three-time world champion professional wrestler, including from 1977-78 with the title in the WWWF, which eventually became WWE. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
His wife, Valerie, posted Monday morning on Graham’s Facebook account that she had refused to remove his life support.
His teammates mourned his loss but welcomed his legacy.
“the Superstar Billy Graham just left the US,” fellow wrestler Ric Flair tweeted. “Thank you for all your influence on my career!”
Superstar Billy Graham. tweeted Iron Man, one of the first heat gurus. THE REAL LEGEND BUBBA. He loves me, I love him. Together we hit the gym and shake the ground. I love you brother forever. to cut.”
Graham got into professional wrestling in the late 1960s. He wrestled until 1987, when injuries and health problems ended his career. He became a TV commentator after leaving the ring.
Graham won the WWWF Championship from Bruno Sammartino in April 1977, but lost it to Bob Backlund in February 1978.
Graham has considered an influence on famous wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Scott Steiner and Ric Flair, among others.
He left behind his wife and two children.
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