Death Of a Wrestling Superstar: A Tribute to Old School

Rodney SouthernCorrespondent IMay 4, 2009

Wrestler Ric Flair on the sidelines before the NFC Championship  game as the Chicago Bears host the New Orleans Saints Jan. 21, 2007 at Soldier Field, Chicago.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Old school wrestling to me and my buddies was all about the NWA and early WCW days. The best wrestling buddy I ever had shared those years with me back then, and they were glorious.  

He died not long ago, and as a writer, I have been searching for the proper platform to write his tribute.  Given that our greatest passion as friends was the squared circle, the Bleacher Report Wrestling section and their passionate wrestling fans, B/R seemed the only real choice.

I wanted to post this somewhere where people could truly relate to just who he was, and what we loved.  I know you guys won't let me down on that end as you are the most passionate wrestling friends and writers that I have.

Memories flood into my brain like a pile driver as I think back on our years of wrestling glory together.  We watched more matches in the old Greensboro cracker jack box than I could ever dream of counting.  They always seemed to bring the A-game when they came to Greensboro.

Guy Rayle loved wrestling more than he loved anything with the possible exception of women.  (I forgave him for that and understood)  He knew every finisher, and every title history, going back to the earliest days of the NWA.  

Guy was one of those old school guys that refused to buy into the whole fake thing. He knew, I am sure, but he never admitted it to a soul, including myself.  He was the dude that would literally bruise your arm if you sat beside him at a match, and you did not even care because he made it all that much more exciting.

Guy was a little boy in a man's body, and his exuberance rubbed off on anyone around him.  He simply loved wrestling, and the wrestlers that put their health on the line for us every single day.

The one memory that stands out to me was when Magnum TA had his car wreck.  It was a Saturday morning when we both heard the news, and Guy literally had tears in his eyes.  One might be inclined to make fun of him if it were not so obvious that he meant it.  

That was my friend, and my wrestling buddy.  I will miss him every single time I see a wrestling match, and every Saturday night I head to Greensboro for the matches. He was one hell of a wrestling fan, and one hell of friend.  

I miss you buddy, and I will always hold a seat open for you man.  Somebody has to bruise my arm during the matches.

Old school has gone to heaven, and the next generation is coming along.  I hope they will learn a few things from the people that built like my buddy Guy.

Rest in peace brother.