Nelson Frazier Jr., Former WWE Star Big Daddy V, Passes Away at Age 43

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2014


Nelson Frazier, a former WWE wrestler better known for his stage names Mabel, Viscera and Big Daddy V, passed away Tuesday at age 43 after suffering a massive heart attack. 

WWE.com's Staff confirmed Frazier's passing, stating:

WWE is saddened by the news that Nelson Frazier Jr., aka Big Daddy V and Mabel, has passed away. A larger-than-life Superstar, Frazier was a former World Tag Team Champion, Hardcore Champion and the 1995 King of the Ring.

As the dark, formidable Viscera, he was also a member of Undertaker's faction, The Ministry of Darkness. Frazier's colorful personality made him a memorable competitor throughout the Attitude Era.

Our deepest condolences go out to Frazier's family, friends and fans.

The circumstances surrounding Frazier's death are unclear at this time. The news was first reported by Frazier's agent, Eric Simms, who had received word from Frazier's wife on Tuesday. 

Billed at 6'9" and 487 pounds, Frazier was not the type of wrestler who needed to goose his measurables for kayfabe purposes. He was a mammoth, imposing force in the ring, towering over his opponents with a garish, intimidating gaze.

In other worse, in the size-obsessed wrestling culture, Frazier was always bound to shine bright. He began working the independent circuit in his early 20s, finding success in the United States Wrestling Association before moving to WWE (then-WWF) in 1993 not long after his 21st birthday.

Working under the original character Mabel, Frazier didn't have to wait long to wear WWE gold around his waist. As part of the tag team Men on a Mission with Mo, Frazier captured the Tag Team Championship in 1994. Even in the days before WWE's NXT and other developmental programs, the ascent of Mabel as a character was too obvious for Vince McMahon's creative team to not give him a push.

After breaking away from the Men on a Mission to become more of a single's competitor, Mabel famously won the 1995 King of the Ring tournament. But, for reasons to remain unknown, Frazier was gone from WWE programming by 1996, starting a string of starts and stops with the promotion.

Following his first departure from WWE, Frazier again bounced around the independent circuits for years hoping to get another shot. That came a little more than two years after his departure, and McMahon had dreamed up a new character. 

Named Viscera, WWE began taking advantage of Frazier's inherent size and intimidation factor by pairing him with The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness for a short period. After a falling out with The Undertaker's stable, though, inertia again struck Frazier's career. Never quite the most agile or versatile in the ring, WWE again had trouble finding the right one and again left the company.

That was the overarching theme for Frazier's career. All the right size and intimidation, without the perfect vehicle. When he returned to WWE for his third and final stint from 2004-08, the company outfitted him in pajama pants and called him the "The World's Largest Love Machine" before again switching his name to Big Daddy V. 

Though Frazier never quite found his character inside the ring, it's obvious he made an indelible impact outside the squared circle. Upon hearing of his passing, well-wishes for Frazier's family and expressions of grief poured in from the wrestling community via social media:

Since leaving WWE for the final time, Frazier hopped across different independent outfits sporadically but never quite stuck for long. Todd Grisham of ESPN, who used to work with WWE, indicated Frazier had settled into a post-wrestling life in his hometown of Memphis with his wife. 

For most around the wrestling community, Frazier the person proved the stark difference between on-screen character and off-screen personality. While intimidating and imposing inside the squared circle, Grisham noted he was one of the kindest and warm-hearted people in the business once the bell rung.

Outside the ring, Frazier also made brief appearances as an actor. He was in the straight-to-video movie Wrong Side of Town with fellow wrestlers Dave Bautista and Rob Van Dam, and also made an appearance in the comedy The Legend of Awesomest Maximus

Gone too soon but obviously not forgotten, Frazier is survived by his wife.

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