As wresting fans, we support our favorite wrestlers whether they are popular or not. But as supporters, we must pay our respect to those who have passed on. Some people have spotted this industry more than others.
Take Brian Reese for example. For those who don’t know much about him, he is one of wrestling’s biggest fans as well as women’s wrestling’s biggest supporter. A photographer by profession, a writer by hobby, and a fan through and through, he was well liked by the people in the wrestling industry. He never said anything bad about anybody or the wrestling industry, it was never his nature to do so. He was also an true Atlanta Falcons fan, routing for the team even in bad years and their good years. Sometimes he shows up at wrestling events wearing the late Steve McNair jersey, a tribute to Alcorn State’s greatest alumnus.
He had planned to go to SHIMMER in New Orleans in April, but he had issues with his health and later fighting pancreatic cancer, which he lost. He would have loved to meet some of the amazing talent of the independent wrestling scene and be amazed at what they can do in the ring. And now, the women’s wrestling world lost a great friend, one that can never be replaced. I know one thing is for sure; he is up there taking photos of Mildred Burke, The Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, and many others who have gone into the pearly gates.
And then there’s the story of Conner Michalek, a young boy who passed away this year after his bout with pediatric brain cancer. When he met WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan the young man made the YES! Man tap out. The next time he went to a WWE event in Washington and before the event happened, he was living a dream where everybody was cheering for him, and the highlight of his night was knocking out COO Triple H with just one punch. Connor made the trip to WrestleMania XXX to see the hero Daniel Bryan win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Batista and Randy Orton. But weeks later, he lost his bout with cancer.
And recently Jonathan Vela, better known as Aquaman in the San Antonio area, recently passed away from a stroke. Dressed in a classic Aquaman attire, he attended not only conventions as the character, but did ring announcing duties in River City Wrestling as well. One of the nice guys around, he was always generous to the fans no matter what they support. My prayers are with his family during this tragic time.
As fans who respect the industry, we all must pay our respects to those fans who passed away for respecting what we love about the sport. If someone says anything bad about this article or the fact the fans shouldn’t do this, ignore that individual. The more you respond the worse they become, but if you ignore them they will fade away.
Paying our respects to the superfans who passed on in this life is a good thing for any wrestling fan.
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