Monday, February 12, 2007

R.I.P. Jim Melby

I was deeply saddened to hear that Jim Melby passed away yesterday at his home in Minnesota. Melby, along with Norman Kietzer, published Wrestling Revue magazine, as well as arena programs for many of the major wrestling offices in the 70's.

Jim was a true gentleman and one of wrestling's great historians. Long after Wrestling Revue went away, Melby published numerous record books on major stars, compiling years and years of match results. He also wrote a book on the history of wrestling in Minnesota.

I first met Jim at one of The Fabulous Moolah's LIWA conventions in Las Vegas, where he regularly attended and often refereed some of the matches on the women's cards they would hold as part of the convention.

Jim was very supportive of the MAT MARKETPLACE newsletter I used to publish and furnished photos and facts on a number of occasions.

Jim was one of those people I would never have met had we not had that common interest and passion for professional wrestling. His love of the grappling game was pure and true. Here was someone who published an important publication and wrote thousands of articles, but if you ever saw him in the presence of one of wrestling's legends, his reverence for those men and women was always evident.

There are a select group of individuals who over the years have kept and complied the photos, clippings, publications, facts and stories of the rich history of professional wrestling. They are guys like Steve Yohe, J. Michael Kenyon, Fred Hornby, Scott Teal, Dave Meltzer and Jim Melby, whose love for professional wrestling never faltered. They have done us all a great service by preserving something truly unique and truly an American cultural phenomenon.

My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Jim Melby.

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