Dead Wrestler Wednesday: Crash Holly

WWE, TNA, Wrestling

Crash Holly: super heavyweight?

Mike Lockwood, better known to wrestling fans as Crash Holly, is fondly remembered for his work in the early 2000’s as part of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Hardcore division.  Holly captured the WWE Hardcore Title a ridiculous 22 times, earning him the nickname the “Houdini of Hardcore.”  Crash’s resume also listed reigns as European and Light Heavyweight Champion, as well as a Tag Team Title run with kayfabe cousin Hardcore Holly.

Lockwood first decided to become a wrestler in grade school when he was inspired by the acrobatic antics of Brady Boone, otherwise known as Battle Kat.  After training, the future Crash Holly toiled in the independents for a few years, gaining notoriety for a series of matches he wrestled with Vic Grimes.  His early career also featured a brief stop in ECW before he was signed to a WWE contract in 1999.  Upon his debut, Lockwood assumed the Crash Holly identity that would make him a star.

Crash and his “cousin” Bob Holly won the tag team titles shortly after Crash’s debut, earning the straps in a shocking victory over the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection.  Despite their title win, the Holly Cousins were often at odds, with additional strain added to their relationship due to competition over the Hardcore Title.  During Crash’s time as Hardcore Champion, he introduced the 24/7 Rule, which decreed that the title be defended at all times, not just within the confines of sanctioned matches.  This meant that as long as there was a referee present, the Champion could be challenged under any circumstances at all and his title would be at stake.  The rule led to Crash being forced to defend the title in a variety of unusual places (airports, hotels, in front of famous landmarks) against all types of challengers (road agents, referees, and even one of Godfather’s Hoes).

After his tenure in the WWE was up, Crash Holly jumped ship to TNA Wrestling as Mad Mikey.  Tragically, just four months after his debut, Lockwood passed away.  He died on November 6, 2003 at the age of 32 in fellow wrestler Stevie Richards’ home.  Although he was originally stated to have choked to death on his own vomit, the presence of empty prescription medication bottles nearby and the fact that he had recently been served divorce papers caused the his death to officially be ruled a suicide.

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