NEW YORK - MARCH 18: The World Wrestling Entertainment logo hangs on a wall at a media conference announcing the all-star lineup of WWE WrestleMania XIX at ESPN Zone in Times Square March 18, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)

Wrestling legend “Superstar” Billy Graham has died at the age of 79 due to “various health issues.”   An innovative personality in the squared circle, Billy Graham was WWE World Champion in the 1970’s (back when it was the WWWF) and, in his prime, paved the way for many others.



In fact, Hulk Hogan himself has credited “Superstar” for his unique, hyperbolic, interview ability with influencing Hogan on how he delivered a promo.   Graham really perfected the art of exaggeration and impossible boasting when he was on the mic…and became an inspirational performer to future wrestlers because of it.



Perhaps Graham’s greatest rival as WWE World Champion was the great Dusty Rhodes.   Before the Rock ever existed, Dusty was the true People’s Champ…Dusty’s charisma, popularity, and likeability factor were through the roof.   Dusty was insanely over with the fans…and was a perfect opponent for the braggadocios Graham.   The two legends matched up in Madison Square Garden in 1977 for a Texas Death Match that is still talked about to this day.



“Superstar” also influenced many wrestlers to work on their physiques like never before.   Graham introduced intensive, weight-lifting workouts and body-building techniques that inspired a ton of the larger guys wrestling fans saw in the ’80’s.   He mentored the likes of Hogan, Jesse “The Body” Ventura,  Ric Flair, Scott Steiner, and more…setting up a golden era for wrestling in the next decade of the 1980’s.   The man was simply ahead of his time…and became an all-time wrestling legend because of it.   He will be missed.

– Davey Mac



For more wrestling talk, news, and analysis…check out The East Side Dave and Son Wrestling Show on this site or wherever you get your podcasts.   Rest in pace, Mr. Graham.

East Side Dave and Son



"East Side" Dave McDonald. Co-Host Of The Morning Rat Race (6 to 10 AM). Digital Content Coordinator & Producer.

Sign me up for the WRAT email newsletter!

Join ClubRAT for access to all the perks delivered right to your inbox from Jersey's Concert Connection! Get exclusive presale codes for upcoming shows, the latest updates with your favorite rockers, contest info, and more.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.