– The following comes from PWInsider and James Guttman of WorldWrestlingInsanity.com yesterday afternoon, Thursday:
I just got off the phone with Erik Watts, who called to let me know about the sudden passing of GCW star and former WWE developmental wrestler Damien Steele this morning.
Damien had been wrestling for Georgia Championship Wrestling, which many readers of my site may know from Bull Buchanan’s audio reports. But besides that, fans may be familiar with Damien’s work in WWE’s developmental system where he teamed with Ray Gordy (Jesse from Jesse and Festus) as “Ebony and Ivory.” The team’s gimmick was that Ray played a white street tough while Damien portrayed an African American preppy character.
TV viewers got see Damien team with Ray on an episode of Smackdown in September 2, 2006 in a match against Kid Kash and Jamie Noble. Throughout his career, Steele worked with and against some of the top stars in the business. Outside of wrestling, he was a personal trainer and strong family man. The news of his shocking passing has left many who knew him in stunned.
As of now, the reasons for his death are still unknown and an autopsy is being performed. Steele wasn’t feeling well yesterday and said he was experiencing flu-like symptoms. He had told many he was feeling better, but passed away a short time later. He was found this morning in his home.
While Steele wasn’t a Superstar in the eyes of fans not familiar with his work, he was one in the eyes of many who knew him. My personal thoughts and prayers (as well as all those here at WorldWrestlingInsanity.com) go out to Damien’s friends and family.
There is currently talk of doing a charity event for the children that Damien left behind. Of course, we’ll have all the details on that as they come through. Damien Steel will be missed.