WWE Hall of Famer 'Chief' Jay Strongbow Passes Away at the Age of 83

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IApril 3, 2012

Photo: freelance-help.com
Photo: freelance-help.com

According to PWInsider.com, WWE Hall of Famer Joe Scarpa, known as "Chief" Jay Strongbow, has passed away at the age of 83.

The site has not released any details on the cause of his death, but noted that Jim Ross mentioned it earlier today on his official Twitter account. 

But according to SLAM! Sports, Scarpa suffered a serious fall in late 2011 and had to be hospitalized, never recovering from that injury.

Scarpa had a long and storied career in professional wrestling and was a huge fan favorite. 

He began his career in 1947 in the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) and was well known throughout the Georgia and Florida territories, winning several championships there.

Throughout the 1960s, Scarpa had been involved in some high profile matches with Lou Thesz and Buddy Rogers for the NWA World Heavyweight Title and held numerous NWA Tag Team Championships with Jose Lothario, Don Curtis and others.

In 1970 at the age of 42, he moved to the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation) where he adopted the "Chief" Jay Strongbow persona.  He had several big feuds with "Superstar" Billy Graham and Jimmy Valiant.  He held several WWWF Tag Team Championships with Sonny King and Billy White Wolf.

His most well-known feud was with Greg "The Hammer" Valentine in the late 1970's. 

The two wrestled throughout the WWF and wrestled in an "Indian Strap" match in 1979 at Madison Square Garden.

Scarpa retired from professional wrestling in 1985, but continued to wrestle on occasion. 

He became a WWE road agent after his retirement, and in 1994 he was inducted by Gorilla Monsoon into the WWF Hall of Fame.

His last appearance on WWE TV was in 2008, when Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley introduced him to the audience at a RAW show in Atlanta, Ga.

Scarpa was truly a legend in professional wrestling. 

The Bleacher Report staff would like to extend condolences to Scarpa's family.


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