WWE Hall of Fame Star Billy Graham Dead at 79

The Hall of Famer – whose real name was Eldridge Wayne Coleman – passed away this week aged 79 after being in hospital for weeks with various health issues.

“Superstar” Billy Graham achieved prominence in the 1970s. Born on June 7, 1943, in Phoenix, Arizona, Graham became known for his flamboyant personality, muscular physique, and charismatic promos. He was one of the earliest wrestlers to popularize the “heel” or villainous persona, often engaging in provocative and boastful behavior.

Ric Flair announced his passing on social media and thanked him for influencing his career as a heel world champion.

Graham’s wrestling career spanned from 1969 to 1988, during which he competed in various promotions, most notably with the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), which later became the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and then the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). He won the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1977, defeating Bruno Sammartino.

Graham’s unique style, which included colorful attire, bleached blonde hair, and his signature “Superstar” pose, made him a popular figure among fans. He was influential in inspiring future wrestlers, such as Hulk Hogan and Jesse “The Body” Ventura, with his charismatic and larger-than-life persona.

Following his retirement from professional wrestling, Graham faced several health issues, including hip replacements and liver transplant surgery due to steroid use during his career. Despite the challenges, he remained a revered figure within the wrestling industry, often making appearances at conventions and events.

Superstar Billy Graham’s impact on professional wrestling is recognized to this day, and he is remembered as a trailblazer in terms of his character work, physique, and mic skills.

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