Johnny Meadows, Pro Wrestler With a Tuneful Side, Dies at 59

Johnny Meadows, Pro Wrestler With a Tuneful Side, Dies at 59
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Johnny Meadows, Pro Wrestler With a Tuneful Side, Dies at 59

Johnny Meadows, Professional Wrestler With a Tuneful Facet, Dies at 59

This obituary is a part of a sequence about individuals who have died within the coronavirus pandemic. Examine others right here.

It’s 1991 in Chicago and a spandexed wrestler often called Johnny Meadows is getting into the ring of a rowdy area to battle an opponent referred to as Black Blood, who’s sporting an executioner’s masks. After struggling a gnarly physique slam, Meadows is writhing on the mat. Black Blood dramatically mounts a publish and leaps onto his fallen opponent.

For Johnny Meadows, it was simply one other day on the workplace.

Meadows, whose actual identify was John Condrone, misplaced lots of his matches throughout his profession as a fall man (often called a “job man”) within the heyday of old-school skilled wrestling, however he adored the garish theater of all of it.

“Dad spent most of his wrestling profession because the man who is meant to lose,” his son Chase Condrone stated. “However he had a lot enjoyable doing it. He was a showman and an entertainer. For him, life was about placing on a present.”

And he discovered some ways to placed on a present.

Mr. Condrone, who lived in Maryville, Tenn., turned an completed singer-songwriter in East Tennessee recognized for parody nation tunes like “The Clintons Went Right down to Georgia” and “Bubba Claus,” a few trailer park Santa. He sang Christian rock songs at his church, he performed weddings as a contract D.J., and he as soon as labored at Dollywood as a vendor and magician.

His remaining efficiency was an acoustic set in September on the Commodore Grille in Nashville. Mr. Condrone died on Oct. 20 at a hospital in Maryville. He was 59. The trigger was problems of Covid-19, his son stated.

John Albert Condrone was born on Nov. 16, 1960, in Hollywood, Fla., and grew up in Harriman, Tenn., the youngest of three brothers. His father, Joseph, labored as a boxer for a touring carnival (prospects paid to battle him) and later as a truck driver. His mom, Marie (Rizzoli) Condrone, died when John was 5. He graduated from Oakdale Excessive College.

Mr. Condrone began wrestling as Johnny Meadows round 1980 and rapidly turned a fixture on the Southeast’s regional wrestling circuit. When he started combating for World Championship Wrestling, his sweaty exploits have been beamed onto nationwide tv. Mr. Condrone battled stars of the period like Ric Aptitude, the Mongolian Stomper, Huge John Studd and Abdullah the Butcher.

“After I wrestled, he let me do what I wanted to get by way of,” Abdullah the Butcher (Larry Shreve in actual life) stated in a cellphone interview. “He was a very good performer. He was a job man, however he was a very good job man.”

By the mid-Nineties, Mr. Condrone’s wrestling period was getting edged out by World Wrestling Leisure’s closely branded celebrity “Angle Period,” and he was elevating a household, so he give up the ring. A longtime hobbyist musician, he turned extra severely concerned with songwriting.

He had married Karen Evans in 1992, and so they had twin boys. The couple divorced; two different marriages additionally resulted in divorce. Along with his son Chase, he’s survived by one other son, Chandler; a brother, Bruno; a half brother, Tim; a stepbrother, Butch; and his associate, Marie Owen.

Mr. Condrone took a job working for an automotive components provider in Maryville and stayed with the corporate for 15 years. He constructed a recording studio in his basement and obtained a web based diploma in audio engineering from Berklee School of Music in Boston. He did session work in Nashville, he helped host a neighborhood songwriter pageant, and he gigged at bars within the Florida Keys.

However he additionally saved his spandex on the prepared.

He appeared as Johnny Meadows at wrestling nostalgia occasions. His closet was crammed with pink leggings and zebra-striped jackets. And he wrote a track about his combating days referred to as “One Extra Mile.” It’s an acoustic ballad informed from the attitude of an ageing brawler reminiscing along with his outdated tag-team buddy.

“I bear in mind these loopy nights,” it begins.

All these fights.
We had a hell of a time.
I had your again and also you had mine,
Proper beside you in that ring.

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