After what has already been a tragic year in the WWE, the organization is again, today, mourning the passing of another legendary wrestlers.
The Cauliflower Alley Club, as reported by Wrestling Inc., this morning revealed that Nick Bockwinkel had passed away at approximately 8.40 pm on Saturday evening at the age of 80.
Bockwinkel was considered a groundbreaking wrestler during his heyday and was a central figure in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) right through the 1970s up to the 90's. With details of his passing still unclear, the wrestling world has been paying tribute today - including Triple H and the WWE themselves.
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The WWE, in an official statement released today, went on record to express their sadness at Bockwinkel's death. In it, the organization describes Bockwinkel as a wrestler with "great in-ring skill and intelligent interviews," concluding:
"It was only fitting that his great career be capped off by his 2007 induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, where he will forever be enshrined as one of sports entertainment's all-time greats."
You can read the full statement via this link.
Winning four AWA World Heavyweight titles, Bockwinkel was hugely respected by his peers during his career, and stars of today and yesteryear have been quick to pay tribute to the WWE Hall of Famer via social media.
Here are just a few of those paying their respects today:
Bockwinkel clearly left a mark on the wrestling industry, and having gone up against the great and the good, such as Hulk Hogan and Jerry Lawler in his time, it is only right that the wrestling community is remembering such a legend of the business.