Jerry the King Lawler broke the news on social networking site Twitter, this morning that wrestling legend Ox Baker has passed away at the tender age of 80.
Baker, real name Douglas A. Baker was a massive wrestling star in the 1960's and 70's, wrestling just about everyone from Hulk Hogan to Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and even managed to have a storied rivalry with the late "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
He truly found fame in 1981 after he had retired from wrestling and landed the role of "Slag" the gladiator in 'Escape from New York.' He went on to appear in 'The Big Brawl' alongside Jackie Chan and a wrestling Sci Fi movie called 'Blood Circus.'
Ox returned to wrestling in 1988 when he went to AWA, not long after that he opened 'Ox Baker's wrestling school' and thus became a well renown wrestling trainer, some of his students include Mark Calaway (The Undertaker) and Bryan Clarke.
Baker stayed around wrestling in the 90's, and even provided commentary for some of the IWCCW events. After a few years off the radar, he made a shock appearance at Ring of Honor in 2004 during their At Our Best Show event. He confronted fellow Wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes twice during the show, much to the watching fans delight.
Three years later in 2007 at the ripe old age of 73, Baker made an appearance at CZW in Philadelphia during the Cage of Death 9 show as a guest before last year he made what would be his last wrestling appearance when he returned to CCW to be crowned champion after he was a surprise entrant in the 13-man rumble match in Ohio.
Ox will mostly be remembered for some of the greatest wrestling boats of the 60s and 70s as well as his acting career, but he was a man who loved the wrestling business and the sport played a major role in his life. He was never fan from a wrestling ring and he loved everything about the business and what it has become since he stepped between the ropes some 50 years ago.
Many personalities have already taken to Twitter to express their condolences:
Howard Finkel: "Sad to hear of the passing of Ox Baker.Met him on a few occasions; great guy.He had such a unique persona,and could deliver on the mike! RIP."
Tazz: "Sorry to hear of the passing of the legendary Ox Baker. He "set the table" for big nasty heels w/great promo skills. Met him once, good man."
Tommy Dreamer: "Sad to hear the passing of OX Baker. A perfect looking villian w/a deep loud voice. Watch Escape from New York to see. RIP."
Matt Striker: "Was just told that Ox Baker passed away. Legitimately scared me as a kid n was a sweet, kind man to me as I got to know him later. Rest well."
Eric Bischoff: "RIP Ox Baker. One of the great characters in the industry."
Wrestling has lost one of it's all time legends and hopefully WWE will pay tribute to him on tonights episode of Raw.