Monday, 1 September 2014

13 Wrestlers Who Died In The Ring 10

by Unknown  |  at  06:02

10. ‘Iron’ Mike DiBiase

Long before ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson was even born, there was another ‘Iron Mike’, Mike DiBiase. If the name looks familiar, it’s because he is the patriarch of the DiBiase family. His adopted son, Ted, enjoyed a hugely successful career, most notably as The Million Dollar Man during the WWF’s boom period. Ted’s son, Ted Jr, also had a brief run in the WWE a few years ago but has since left the wrestling business. Even Mike’s wife, Helen Hild (Ted’s mother), was a professional wrestler herself. Wrestling well and truly ran in the family’s blood.
After becoming the national collegiate amateur wrestling champion at the University of Nebraska, he debuted as a pro in 1950 after only ever watching a handful of professional wrestling matches, DiBiase was already working 45 minute long matches less than one month into his career. It’s fair to say that he was a natural. DiBiase travelled the country, visiting different territories and picking up titles throughout his career. He won a version of the World Heavyweight Championship in Los Angeles, as well as the NWA World Junior Heavyweight title in NWA Tri-State (based in the Louisiana and Mississippi region, where Ted would first become a star), as well as countless regional titles.
His most high profile match was a boxer vs wrestler contest with former World Light Heavyweight Champion, Archie Moore. In his final ever fight, Moore triumphed with a third round knockout. Under more conventional circumstances, DiBiase’s most legendary match was a Texas Death Match against Dory Funk Sr. It lasted for one hour and 44 minutes, having taken in 16 falls before Funk was declared the winner.
DiBiase’s final match was on July 2nd 1969 in Lubbock, Texas, where he took on Man Mountain Mike, who weighed over 600 lbs. DiBiase suffered a heart attack during the match. Harley Race, who was also on the bill, rushed to the ring to perform CPR, and accompanied DiBiase to the hospital in an ambulance, but tragically, DiBiase was pronounced dead on arrival at the age of 45.
In an interview many years later, Ted DiBiase confirmed that his father had a huge cholesterol buildup and was genetically predisposed to heart disease, so while the match itself did not kill him, participating in a wrestling match was his final activity.


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