News on these two deaths coming in from WresltingInc.com/www.wrestlinginc.com
(We were alerted to these two events/wrestling deaths, by local wrestling historian Rick Chong.)
“The Masked Assassin” Jody Hamilton, the father of former WCW/WWE referee Nick Patrick….Also with Jody Hamilton/”The Masked Assassin, you have the former tag-team partner of former Winston-Salem wrestling school operator and wrestling promoter, Ken Spence…Ken always used to tell us that he was a tag-team partner with Jody Hamilton/”The Masked Assassin, back in the days of Georgia Championship Wrestling…That is what Ken Spence told us, and I am not here to dispute what Ken was telling us, but others in the past have….
We have the local Ken Spence connection for you, and we remember when Bert Prentice was promoting wrestling locally, here in our area back in the day….Bert lived here in Greensboro briefly back in the 90’s and he booked a big local wrestling show, featuring Ricky Steamboat vs. Tully Blanchard at the Rockingham County Armory…They had to turn fans away from that event, as the building was SOLD OUT….Bert Prentice was different, but he was well thought of in the professional wrestling industry…I met him one night up at the old Plato’s Crash Landing, and he was there for the Jimmy Valiant match that night, and that just happened to be the night the wrestling ring broke in half….It just split apart, and the night was nearly done….Prentice told me that I needed to come to Memphis and work for him and Jerry Lawler, and I did not see any guarantees in a move like that, so I stayed put here in the Triad….Bert Prentice formed a union, for a period of time, with our local legend of wrestling promoters, Barry, “The Big Bear” Cohen….In the end, Barry was getting to hold the bags, but Bert Prentice was smart enough to have and carry the bags that were holding the money….
WWE and the NWA have issued statements on the passing of “The Masked Assassin” Jody Hamilton.
As noted, the legendary Hamilton passed away on Tuesday at the age of 82, right after entering hospice care. Hamilton’s son, former WCW/WWE referee Nick Patrick (Joe Hamilton Jr.) announced his father’s passing on Facebook.
“It is with heavy heart that I make this post. At 2:16 today my father took his last breath on this earth. He passed comfortably, surrounded by the people that love him. Now our attention has to shift over to taking care of my mom. I want to thank everyone that sent out prayers and support for my family. I will put more information about pop out, but right now I’m kinda numb,” he wrote.
The NWA remembered Hamilton as a legend whose legacy will live on forever.
“Sending condolences today to the family and friends of The Assassin, Jody Hamilton. Truly a legend in this business whose legacy will live on forever,” the NWA wrote.
WWE issued a lengthy statement to remember Hamilton, noting how he once ran the Deep South Wrestling promotion that operated as a WWE developmental territory. DSW operated as a WWE developmental territory until 2007, but shortly after that DSW ceased operations, and Hamilton filed a lawsuit against WWE over their working agreement for the developmental territory. The suit was settled out of court in early 2010, but terms were never revealed.
You can read WWE’s full statement below:
“The Assassin” Jody Hamilton passes away
WWE is saddened to learn that Jody Hamilton, known to fans as “The Assassin,” passed away at the age of 82.
Following in the footsteps of his brother Larry “The Missouri Mauler,” Hamilton transitioned from amateur boxing and broke into the world of wrestling in the 1950s. By 1958, The Hamilton Brothers had risen up the ranks of the New York based Capitol Wrestling and battled Antonino Rocca and Miguel Pérez in the main event at Madison Square Garden. Just 19 years old at the time, Jody became the youngest grappler to ever co-main event at The World’s Most Famous Arena.
Hamilton would go on to team with Tom Renesto to form the masked duo The Assassins and drew sellout crowds throughout the southeastern United States. The tandem became a force in Georgia Championship Wrestling and held the NWA Georgia Tag Team Titles a record-breaking 12 times.
After Renesto’s retirement, Hamilton would carry on the torch of The Assassins with Ernie Ladd and then “Hercules” Hernandez and claim a collection of tag team championships in the Central States and Mid-South Wrestling Promotions.
An injury forced Hamilton to step away from the ring, but with sports-entertainment in his blood, the veteran would blaze a new path with The Power Plant training center for WCW. Hamilton was instrumental in the development of legendary competitors such as Kevin Nash, Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page and Big Show.
Following WWE’s acquisition of WCW, Hamilton would continue teaching future Superstars with Deep South Wrestling. His son Nick continued the family tradition as a referee for Georgia Championship Wrestling, WCW and WWE.
WWE extends its condolences to Hamilton’s family, friends and fans.
Hamilton was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame in 1994, and inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013.
CLICK HERE for a Jody Hamilton photo….
Longtime indie wrestling promoter and Memphis wrestling star Bert Prentice has passed away at the age of 62.
Prentice had been running his USA Wrestling promotion in Tennessee in recent years, and was still active as recent as yesterday. Prentice noted on Facebook on Monday morning that his sister Marilyn was to take over the USA Wrestling day-to-day operations so he could focus on his cancer treatments and rehabilitation.
“Effective today my sister Marilyn will manage the day to day operations of USA wrestling. As I continue to manage my cancer treatments and rehabilitation. I so appreciate all USA staff and talent, fans, and thousands of friends who have reached out to me with care and love,” Prentice wrote on Monday morning.
Prentice’s family announced on his Facebook page today that a public viewing for fans and friends will be held on Sunday, August 8 at the George Smith Funeral Chapel on North Highland Road in Jackson, Tennessee, from 4-6pm. A private family service will be held at a later date.
Bert originally debuted for USWA back in 1991. He’s worked with numerous legends and WWE Hall of Famers over the years, including Jerry Lawler, Owen Hart, Bret Hart, Jacqueline Moore, and many others. Bert also played a big role int he early days of TNA/Impact Wrestling.
Impact released a statement on Bert’s passing today and recalled how he co-hosted Xplosion with Jeremy Borash.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Bert Prentice – who was involved in the very early days of TNA and was the host of Xplosion alongside Jeremy Borash. We offer our sincere condolences to his friends and family,” Impact wrote.
Borash, who works for WWE these days, also issued a statement on Prentice, and remembered him as a wonderful friend and a pure joy to work with.
“Bert was a wonderful friend and a pure joy to work with. Always made me laugh. The years we worked together hosting Xplosion during the early days of TNA are great memories. My condolences to his family on this loss,” Borash tweeted.
Former TNA President Dixie Carter remembered Prentice on Twitter today.
“I’ve not been able to get Bob Ryder off my mind today, and now to hear about Bert. Bert was a staple at the #Asylum in our early days. Rest easy Bert, and thanks for all you did for @IMPACTWRESTLING. Sending love and prayers to your family. #rip [broken heart emoji] [folded hands emoji],” Dixie wrote in her statement.