When I was a kid, my father would take me out to the Greensboro Coliseum to watch Jim Crockett promotions put on the best professional wrestling show in town. Back then, wrestling was not nearly the spectacle it is today. Despite this, the wrestlers were still larger than life. One wrestler in particular seemed to be the biggest in my mind as a child and that was the Mighty Igor. This guy was the strongest and funniest of all the wrestlers back then and I looked forward to his appearance more than anyone.
On January 7, 2002, this fine wrestler quietly passed away with no fan-fare whatsoever. In fact, I did not even know it until nearly a decade after the fact. It did not make any headlines or shake the wrestling world as it should have. The Mighty Igor became a name in an endless sea of names that have passed on far too soon over the past twenty years. To me, however, it was a big deal.
The Mighty Igor was so entertaining back then that he inevitably would get the loudest reactions from the fans. He had this gimmick that would get me every single time as a child. He would come out in crazy outfits that clearly showed he was nuts, but he was always innocent and harmless except to the men that he faced. Even they were carefully handled by the powerful Igor unless he was angry. He would come to the ring carrying what appeared to be sausage and share it with the fans. The kids all loved him and the adults did as well. He gave one hundred percent to the match no matter how many were in the crowd and nobody left unhappy from a card that included him.
The Mighty Igor was not a guy that I knew personally, nor do I know all that much about his personal life. I simply knew him as a wrestler that clearly loved what he was doing. He made wrestling special for me growing up and it cultivated a wonderful love for the business that I keep to this day. Seeing that he passed away without my noticing shook me, as he was a big part of my childhood. I thought it would be proper to remember him here.
Despite the silly gimmicks and cliches, Igor was still a very talented athlete and entertainer. He could do things that the average person could not, or at least he was very good at making us think he could.
Igor is missed and I hope that he knows exactly how important he was to some no matter where he might be.
*Southern is a huge fan of TNA, WWE and old-school NWA wrestling. He believes that the old Jim Crockett days were the glory days with the Attitude Era close behind them. He loves spending time with his twin daughters watching wrestling and debating why The Miz is the greatest of all time.
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