Man Mountain Mike
|Born||September 15, 1940|
|Died||April 30, 1988
South Berwick, Maine
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Man Mountain Mike|
|Billed weight||623 lb (283 kg)|
|Trained by||The Great Bolo|
Gary Fletcher, (September 15, 1940 – April 30, 1988) was an American professional wrestler who was best known by his ring name, Man Mountain Mike.
Fletcher was discovered by Al Lovelock, who wrestled as The Great Bolo. Lovelock trained Fletcher as a wrestler, and Fletcher made his wrestling debut in 1968.
Mike was wrestling with "Iron" Mike DiBiase on July 2, 1969 in Lubbock, Texas, when DiBiase suffered a fatal heart attack in the ring during the match. DiBiase was pronounced dead at the hospital. DiBiase's death was not related to professional wrestling; he died as a result of high cholesterol.
Mike later wrestled in British Columbia, where he had a series of matches against Don Leo Jonathan in 1970 and 1971. Mike wrestled for Championship Wrestling from Florida in the early 1970s. He participated in many battles royal and, because of his size, was difficult for opponents to throw over the top rope and eliminate. As a result, the promotion billed him as "the acknowledged king of battles royal" and promoted many of these matches as "featuring Man Mountain Mike". On one occasion in 1972, his participation led to a feud with Buddy Colt, as Colt caused Mike to be eliminated from a battle royal.
While competing for NWA Hollywood Wrestling, Mike won the NWA Americas Tag Team Championship with tag team partner Butcher Brannigan on August 31, 1974 at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. At that time, Brannigan was feuding with Porkchop Cash, Cash teamed up with Victor Rivera to face the champions, who dropped the title belts to the challengers.
Man Mountain Mike toured Japan as a wrestler in 1975. He had a series of matches against Antonio Inoki. Mike was unable to defeat Inoki in singles matches or in tag team competitions. He later wrestled for the World Wide Wrestling Federation. He competed in both singles and tag team matches, which included teaming with Crusher Blackwell on February 20, 1976 in a loss to WWWF Tag Team Champions Louis Cerdan and Tony Parisi.
Retirement and death
While working as a bus driver in 1988, because he was a large man, he had to put his seat all the way back, but that day, he banged the back of his leg on the seat track and his leg was cut open. Along with diabetes stemming from his size, he developed a staph infection in the cut on his leg, causing blood clots, which killed him on April 30 at the age of 47.
The ring name Man Mountain Mike was later used in the Canadian Maritimes by Mike Shaw, who also competed for the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling as Bastion Booger and Norman the Lunatic, respectively.
- Finishing moves
Championships and accomplishments
- Davies, Ross (2001). Haystacks Calhoun. Rosen Publishing Group. p. 87. ISBN 0-8239-3435-7.
- DiBiase, Ted (1997). Every Man Has His Price: The True Story of Wrestling's Million-Dollar Man. Multnomah Publishers. p. 57. ISBN 1-57673-175-8.
- Truitt, Brandon. "Shoot Interviews: Ted DiBiase". Kayfabe Memories. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- Melby, James. "Don Leo Jonathan". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- "$9001 Up in Big Battle Royal!". Championship Wrestling from Florida. 1973-03-27. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- "Wrestler: Man Mountain Mike". Championship Wrestling from Florida. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- "Brisco, Jones Meet in Tonight's Main Event". Championship Wrestling from Florida. 1972-10-24. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- "NWA Americas Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- "Wrestler Profiles: Butcher Brannigan". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- "Antonio Inoki - Match Results: 1975". Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- "Ring Results: 1976". The History of WWE. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
- "Wrestler Profiles: Man Mountain Mike". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- Oliver, Greg. "SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Makhan Singh". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-04-16.