Make no mistake about the upcoming sentence: the world of professional wrestling would be a completely different place were it not for 'Superstar' Billy Graham.
Graham, real name Wayne Coleman, passed away on Wednesday night.
The reason why I opened today's post assuring you that professional wrestling wouldn't be where it is today is because of how many people Graham inspired.
I could run down a list of names who took, some might say 'stole', parts of Graham's character and created their own gimmick.
That list of names I could recount are full of Hall of Fame talent. That's how important Graham is to the history of the business.
Graham had retired from the ring shortly before I first became enthralled by the action served up by the World Wrestling Federation.
My earlyish interest in the WWF (now WWE) came at a time when Graham was at odds with the company during the steroid scandal.
The muscular Graham was one of the earliest grapplers to benefit from the performance enhancing drug in the cosmetic game of pro wrestling. Ironically, he also became a poster boy for the long-term damage that is attributed to abusing steroids.
I cannot count how many times, over the past twenty-plus years, that I read about Graham being in ill-health.
It seemed like he fought a strong battle in later life.
He leaves behind a legacy. A multi-faceted one at that.