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Publication: Wrestling News Today
WWE Hall Of Famer Passes Away

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                WNT - Wrestling News Today
                Wednesday, March 14, 2007

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WWE Hall Of Famer "Big Cat" Ernie Ladd Passes Away
Story By: Daniel Pena
sources: Wrestling Observer, PWInsider.com

The News Star out of Monroe, Louisiana is reporting that 
WWE Hall of Famer "Big Cat" Ernie Ladd has passed away. 
Ladd had been battling colon cancer, which spread to his 
stomach and bones for the past three plus years. Due to 
knee problems, he'd largely been confined to a wheelchair. 
Here is their story: 

Ernie Ladd, NFL Hall of Fame football player and wrestler, 
has died 
By Nick Deriso 

Ernie Ladd, who rose to fame as a football player but made 
his name nationally as a wrestler, died overnight, accord-
ing to family members. 

Ladd, 68, had battled cancer — first in his colon, then 
later in his stomach and bones — since 2004. Born Nov. 28, 
1938, in Rayville, but raised in Orange, Texas, he worked 
through his final years as a pastor in the Louisiana town 
of Franklin. 

Funeral arrangements were still pending today, according 
to Roslyn Ladd, his wife of more than 45 years. 

Selected 15th in the American Football League draft by San 
Diego out of Grambling College, Ladd appeared in three of 
that now-defunct league's championship games, winning the 
1963 title. 

"We were like a family," Ladd told The News-Star in May 
2005. "We were one of the first integrated teams, with 
black players and white players as roommates." 

He had entered professional football as a heralded 1960 
first-team all-league defensive college lineman under 
former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson. There, Ladd helped 
GSU to its first-ever Southwestern Athletic Conference 

At 6-9 and 315 pounds, he was arguably the biggest GSU 
star to ever play for Robinson, who remains the all-time 
winningest football coach in Division I history. 

"The first year he was here, he taught me a lesson," 
Robinson once said. "He told me how good he was. Sure, 
I'd say. Then he hurt somebody. I'd feel sorry for the 
people he was tackling." Elected to four straight AFL 
All-Star Games from 1962-1965, he later played with the 
Houston Oilers and the National Football League's Kansas 
City Chiefs. While with the Chiefs, he reunited with 
future Pro Football Hall of Famer Junious "Buck" Buchanan, 
another Grambling product, and was on the roster for both 
of Kansas City's Super Bowl appearances. 

Ladd began wrestling as a sideline during his rookie AFL 
season, and found the payday and fame so alluring that 
eventually he gave up pro football. It was there that he 
picked up a nickname that would remain with him for life: 
"Big Cat." 

Ladd's storylines resonated during wrestling's earliest 
flowering as a national attraction, not to mention 
signature moves that included the "guillotine drop" and 
a boot to the face. Rivalries with Andre the Giant and 
Dusty Rhodes helped shape wrestling's 1970s persona. 

Today, he's the only person in both the American Football 
League and World Wrestling Federation halls of fame. Ladd 
is also a 1994 inductee into the Louisiana Sports Hall of 
Fame, and joined the San Diego Hall of Champions in 2004. 

Ladd's knees were so damaged — his first surgery came while 
still in college — that in his final years, he walked down 
long staircases backward. But Ladd's boundless spirit was 
unbowed by his body's failures, as he displayed a touch of 
humor even after that cancer diagnosis. 

"The doctor told me I had three-to-six months to live," 
Ladd said in 2005, then at the mid-way point in his nearly 
four year battle with the disease. "I told him Dr. Jesus 
has the verdict on me." 

Ladd was a father of four and grandfather to over a dozen 

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         Random News From The Wrestling World

Former Diva Returning To WWE?
Story By: Richard Gray

Former WWE diva Molly Holly has been living in Guatemala
for the past few months learning Spanish. There's an
article currently on WWE.com featuring Molly telling how
she was at a recent RAW house show in Guatemala. When
asked if she would ever return to wrestling she says
"never say never" but she does not plan to return right

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giving us step-by-step instructions on how to get under the
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TNA Lockdown Match Announced At Tapings
Story By: Devis Owens

Just announced live at the TNA iMPACT taping in Orlando, 
Florida. Team 3D will be taking on Latin American Exchange 
yet again, this time in an Electrified Steel Cage Match. 

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                      Reader's Forum

Unless Vincent Kennedy McMahon reneged on a secret promise 
to induct Owen Hart this year, Bret Hart's complaints have 
no merit. Most of Owen's accomplishments occurred only 
because he was Bret's brother, and VKM had elevated Bret 
to the top spot in the company. Owen may have been as great 
a guy as all of the wrestlers said he was (after the 
tragedy), but for most of his WWF career, I would consider 
him a 2nd tier wrestler, not a headliner. The Hall of Fame 
in all sports is reserved for the very best.
- Mike 

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