It always hurts to write about someone dying. It hurts even more when you were friends with the person and shared lots of good times and creative business times as well. I had that kind of relationship with Mike Graham who has died.
I first met Mike back in the early 70′s when I reported and photographed the matches in Florida. Mike’s father Eddie was the promoter who made sure the “Sunshine State” was always booked with compelling wrestling that made it a hotbed of the sport.
Throughout the years I saw Mike go from rookie status to a mature athlete who honed his craft night-after-night and became a fine-tuned professional. Although he was small in size (5’8) he could grapple with opponents much larger than he and hold his own against them
Beside holding many Junior Heavyweight titles, Mike was also an expert tag team wrestler holding so many tag belts with several different partners.
Mike trained wrestlers, worked as a talent agent for the WWE, was a broadcaster, and so much more. He really was someone who did everything in pro wrestling.
I was pleased to work with Mike and several other Florida alumni in October 2011 to reminisce about the “good old days” for a DVD called “Greetings From The Sunshine State.” Mike was in his glory telling stories about his dad and all the talented workers who came through Florida.
Mike Graham was only 61 years old — much too young to die.
I’ll miss you my friend!–Bill Apter 10/19/12