WWE is saddened to learn that Jodie Hamilton, known to fans as “The Killer,” has passed away at the age of 82.
Following in the footsteps of his brother Larry “Missouri Mauler”, Hamilton made the transition from amateur boxing to the world of wrestling in the 1950s. By 1958, the Hamilton brothers had risen to the ranks of New York’s Capitol Wrestling and battled Antonino Rocca and Miguel Perez in the main event at Madison Square Garden. At the time, Jody was only 19 years old, and he became the youngest wrestler ever to compete in a major competition at the World’s Most Famous Arena.
Hamilton continued to team up with Tom Renesto to form the masked duo “Assassins” and amass sales crowds in the southeastern United States. The tandem became the strong point of the Georgian wrestling championship and held the NWA Georgia Tag Team titles 12 times.
Following Renesto’s retirement, Hamilton led the Assassins’ Relay with Ernie Ladd and then “Hercules” Hernandez and won a number of Team Championship titles in the Central States and the Mid-South Wrestling Promotions.
The injury forced Hamilton out of the ring, but with sports in his blood, the veteran blazed a new path with The Power Plant for WCW. Hamilton was instrumental in the development of legendary competitors such as Kevin Nash, Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page and The Big Show.
Following the WWE acquisition of WCW, Hamilton will continue to train future superstars through Deep South Wrestling. His son Nick continued the family tradition as a judge for the Georgia Championship Wrestling, WCW and WWE.
WWE expresses its condolences to Hamilton’s family, friends and fans.