Legendary manager Gary Hart passes away

Legendary manager Gary Hart passes away

WWE is mourning the death of legendary wrestling manager Gary Hart, who guided the careers of several icons and was one of the creative forces behind World Class Championship Wrestling. Hart passed away over the weekend.

Hart's career, which spanned four decades, began in 1963, when he made his debut as an in-ring competitor in wrestling territories in Illinois and Wisconsin. However, "Playboy" made his greatest impact as a manager and creative mind in WCCW, guiding the careers of legends such as The Great Kabuki, The Great Muta, Bruiser Brody, Terry Funk, One Man Gang, "Gentleman" Chris Adams, Abdullah the Butcher, WWE Hall of Famers "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Big John Studd and the "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes and countless others.

Hart played a pivotal role in the iconic rivalry between the Von Erichs and The Freebirds, which helped propel WCCW to national and worldwide prominence in the 1980s. He also managed Adams during his wars with Kevin and Kerry Von Erich, and spearheaded the J-Tex Corporation (which included Funk, Muta, Dick Slater, Buzz Sawyer and Dragonmaster) in their memorable rivalry with Flair and Sting in 1989.

Hart spent much of the last decade involved in many Texas-based promotions and was a much sought-after historian in wrestling autograph sessions and memorabilia shows. His son, Chad, carried on his legacy when he made his in-ring debut on independent wresting scene in 2004.

Funeral plans have yet to be announced. WWE sends its condolences to Hart's family and friends. Whether as a hated manager or as a creative genius, Gary Hart will live on in the hearts and minds of his friends, family and fans and colleagues.

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