Wrestling great Nick Bockwinkel dead at 80
Professional wrestling has lost another legend. Nick Bockwinkel, a star for decades, died Saturday night.
"WWE is saddened to learn that Nick Bockwinkel, a WWE Hall of Famer and four time AWA World Heavyweight Champion, has passed away at age 80," the WWE said in a press release.
Bockwinkel was a football player at the University of Oklahoma. His career took a detour after a knee injury and he wound up becoming one of the greats of the ring.
He began his career in 1955 and during the 32-year ring run won numerous championships.
The cause of death has not been released.
Social media reacted to the loss of the great.
So sad to hear of Nick Bockwinkel's passing last night at age 80. Nick was 1 of best ever. 2007 @WWE HOF. Came to OU to play football.
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) November 15, 2015
I DRIVE ALL CROSS MID WEST WITH THE NICK BOCKWINKEL HE TEACH ME EVERYTHING. HE SO SMART HE SO GREAT MAN IM GOING TO MISS HIM
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) November 15, 2015
RIP Nick Bockwinkel – a great champion and a true gentleman. I very much enjoyed my conversations with Nick. pic.twitter.com/CgtnotFAt2
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) November 15, 2015
Sadly, another GREAT has left us. RIP to the awesome legend #NickBockwinkel – had ever intangible to be a Main Eventer, and he always was.
— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) November 15, 2015
The spirt of a champion is immortal. Rest peacefully #nickbockwinkel
— John Cena (@JohnCena) November 15, 2015
Great friend and consummate professional. Rest in Peace my long time friend Nick Bockwinkel pic.twitter.com/Qm3t3SmeBY
— Gene Okerlund (@TheGeneOkerlund) November 15, 2015
Nick Bockwinkle was a living edifice of eloquent elocution. Rest in power sir. https://t.co/UNvOeVLAr6 via youtube
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) November 15, 2015
Sad to hear about the passig of Nick Bockwinkel. What a performer and an even better man. #FIVE
— King Kong Bundy (@RealKKBundy) November 15, 2015
Sad about the passing of Nick Bockwinkel. He was such a nice gentleman. Had a blast with him on a tour of Japan in 2006. A real champion.
— Steve Corino (@KINGCorino) November 15, 2015
Just want to say Nick Bockwinkel was such a special person in this industry and someone who played a big part in my life.Really really sad
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) November 15, 2015