WWE Legends Pay Tribute as 'Superstar' Billy Graham Dies at 79

"Superstar" Billy Graham (Pro Wrestling Unlimited YouTube Channel screenshot)

Only days after his wife, Valerie, called for prayer for the health of her husband, Word Wrestling Entertainment legend "Superstar" Billy Graham passed away at the age of 79 from acute kidney failure and dehydration.

A Christian, Valerie Graham said doctors wanted to remove her husband from life support on Tuesday. He finally succumbed to his health failures on Wednesday, media reports said.

He had been dealing with a myriad of serious health issues, including organ failure. He had been hospitalized for over four months and lost 80 pounds while dealing with an infection in his ears, skull and sinus cavity.

Graham had a celebrated career in the former World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.

Born Eldridge Wayne Graham, he began bodybuilding at an early age. He dabbled in boxing and pro football, but got his first taste of notoriety when he was featured in a Muscle and Fitness magazine spread with then-fellow body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 1969, he entered the world of professional wrestling and adopted the name Billy Graham as a tribute to the famous evangelist of the same name. In 1972, he took on the "Superstar" moniker when he joined Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association.

WWE legends and wrestlers paid tribute on social media to the beloved star Graham:

  • The Superstar Billy Graham Just Left Us. Thank you for all your influence on my career! – "Nature Boy" Rick Flair
  • There wouldn't be a Jesse "The Body" Ventura without the in-ring success and trailblazing showmanship of Superstar Billy Graham. One of my proudest wrestling memories was having the honor of being inducted into the same WWE Hall of Fame class as Graham. Rest in Power Superstar. – Jesse "The Body" Ventura
  • Superstar Billy Graham. One of my first teachers of the heat. The real legend, Bubba. He love me. I love him. Together we hit the gym and shock the earth. I love you forever, brother. RIP. – The Iron Sheik {eoa)

Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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