WWE Comments On The Passing Of Superstar Billy Graham

Superstar Billy Graham

Superstar Billy Graham sadly passed away on May 17th, 2023.

The star, real name Wayne Coleman is widely regarded as one of the most influential wrestlers that the industry has ever seen. Much of the great and the good of professional wrestling borrowed from Graham including Ric Flair, Triple H, Hulk Hogan, and many more. Hogan in particular went to great lengths to imitate the star, his signature look and promo style, “brother,” coming from Graham.

Following the tragic news tributes have flooded in from across the industry. In his own personal tribute, Paul Heyman referenced the fact that Vince McMahon decided that all of his wrestlers would be known as “Superstars” as he wanted them to appear larger than life like Graham.

WWE has also shared its own tribute on social media while there is also a rundown of Graham’s career on WWE.com.

“WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer “Superstar” Billy Graham has passed away. We extend our condolences to Graham’s family, friends, and fans.”

Superstar Billy Graham Starred For WWE In The Late 1970s And Early 80s

After finding success as a bodybuilder, Billy Graham started his wrestling career in 1969, making his in-ring debut in January 1970. From here the star featured heavily for a number of NWA territories before winding up in the WWWF in 1975. This proved to be a fleeting visit, as many were in those days, with Graham continuing to appear elsewhere before returning to the company in 1978.

After coming to terms with Vincent J. McMahon, Graham starred for the company, defeating Bruno Sammartino to win the World Championship, a title he would hold for over nine months. However, after losing the gold to Bob Backlund, Graham wanted to become a babyface, something McMahon was dead against, becoming disillusioned, Graham headed back on the road.

Superstar Billy Graham returned to the WWF on two more occasions before ending his in-ring career in 1987. The star was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.

Everyone at Inside the Ropes sends our best wishes to Graham’s wife Valerie as well as their family and friends during this difficult time.