Grappling With Tragedy: Gary Albright

Brian Damage

Grappling with Tragedy is a series of articles that deal with unfortunate, tragic incidents that have occurred throughout the history of professional wrestling. It is unlike the ‘Wrestling with Sin’ series that deals more with the seedier side of wrestling like arrests, murders and suicides. Grappling looks more at particular tragic incidents that have in some instances altered pro wrestling in some way.

Gary Albright

Gary Albright was a standout amateur wrestler from the University of Nebraska. Albright set various records in the NCAA while attending that school as an amateur. After graduating, Albright made the decision to turn professional. He was trained by the likes of Lou Thesz, Danny Hodge, Billy Robinson and Stu Hart.

It was with Hart where Albright got his start as a pro competing in Stampede Wrestling under the gimmick of ‘Vokhan Singh’ and a member of the heel faction The Karachi Vice. Albright would remain in Calgary for a year before venturing out to various promotions. His biggest success of his career came while wrestling in Japan for All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Dubbed “The Master of the Suplex” Gary Albright wrestled all the top stars in All Japan. He won the tag team titles with both Stan Hansen and Dr. Death Steve Williams. Albright wrestled a match for ECW in 1996. Albright wanted to be closer to home in the United States after marrying into the famed Anoa’i family and starting a family of his own.

On January 7, 2000, Gary Albright wrestled for WXW (His father in law’s promotion) in Pennsylvania. He was wrestling Lucifer Grimm and was booked to win the match. During the match, Lucifer Grimm hit Albright with an Ace Cutter (Diamond Cutter/RKO) and Albright laid motionless on the mat. Feeling that something was wrong, Grimm draped Albright on top of himself to get the pinfall victory. Grimm and the referee immediately called for medical attention for Albright who was unconscious. Medical personnel began performing CPR on Albright and was rushed out of the ring.

Sadly, Albright was pronounced dead not long after being stretchered out of the ring. The autopsy revealed that Albright suffered a heart attack due to an enlarged heart and also unknowingly had Diabetes. Gary Albright was just 36 years old at the time of his death.

3 thoughts on “Grappling With Tragedy: Gary Albright

  1. Gary Albright was awesome. His work in Stampede, UWFi and AJPW is phenomenal. Plus, while in college for UNL, Gary Albright wrestled John Tenta, who represented LSU.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This one TRULY was a tragedy because there’s no telling how far Albright could’ve gone in his career. Makes sense to me that he’d be on Vince’s radar but I’m not that optimistic a run there would’ve worked out in his favor in the long run. Damn shame anyway you slice it.

    Liked by 2 people

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