PWInsider - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE

 
 

MIKE GRAHAM PASSES AWAY

By Mike Johnson on 2012-10-19 13:00:15
Michael Gossett, best known professionally as Mike Graham, the son of late Championship Wrestling from Florida promoter Eddie Graham, passed away today at the age of 61.  We don't have details at this time beyond that he was in Daytona, Florida for a motorcycle gathering with his wife and was found deceased. 

Graham, a tremendously gifted in-ring performer from a technical standpoint, was trained by Hiro Matsuda, Boris Malenko and his father in the early 1970s and had a long run as a babyface in the Florida territory but made appearances for the WWF, AWA and other promotions as well.    He had won just about every championship there was in the old Florida territory and had several stints as the AWA Light Heavyweight champion.

Graham closed out his regular in-ring career in the early 1990s for WCW before becoming a road agent for the company and was off and on with WCW as a trainer and producer until the company closed in 2001.

Graham was also involved in several start-up companies in the 1980s and 1990s, often trying to recapture the magic of the old Florida territory, most notably with PWF in Florida, which featured Dusty Rhodes returning to the State as its top star following his run as booker for Crockett Promotions, as well as talents like Dustin Rhodes, Big Steel Man (Fred "Typhoon" Ottman), and others.  He was also involved in Rhodes' Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling and Jimmy Hart's XWF.

 Graham, a staple in the Florida wrestling scene for his entire life, still appeared occasionally on legends events promoted by WrestleReunion and similar promotions and appeared on several of the early Legends of Wrestling roundtable discussion shows produced by WWE's 24/7 Video on Demand channel.  He accepted his father's posthumous WWE Hall of Fame induction over Wrestlemania 24 weekend, showcasing a large photo he was giving WWE of an old NWA convention gathering of promoters.

Graham was also involved in the training of a number of talents who broke in during the 1980s and 1990s.

Graham maintained ownership of the tape library of his father's promotion and refused to sell to WWE until he got what he wanted to, often commenting and advising others that he wasn't going to let anyone back a truck up and take his family legacy away for nothing.  In the end, he did sell the library with an alleged seven figure price-tag.  At the World Wrestling Legends 6:05 Reunion PPV, where Graham wrestled, JJ Dillon quipped on the mic that he looked like someone who thought "he won a million dollars", a reference to the pricetag.

Our deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Mike Graham.  We'll have more details as we receive them.