Don West, a former Shop at Home Network pitcher who later became a commentator for Total Nonstop Action and Impact Wrestling, died Friday. He was 59 years old.
Mike Tenay, West’s partner on the Impact Wrestling broadcasts, revealed that the commentator battled lymphoma. The company also released a statement on West’s death.
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«Don was truly one of a kind and lit up every room he walked into,» Impact Wrestling executive vice president Scott D’Amore said in a statement. «He brought out the best in people and was an inspiration to everyone he came across. He was one of the first people I met upon arriving at TNA Asylum for the first time, and Don instantly made me feel welcome. His warm heart and legendary sense of humor made every day at work something to look forward to.»
The rest of the world of professional wrestling paid tribute to West on social media.
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West hosted «Sports Collectibles» on the Shop at Home Network and later threw knives at shoppers from his couch. He was with the network from 1991 to 2001, when he left to start a local sports show in Nashville. In 2002, Jeff Jarrett had offered him a spot on Total Nonstop Action (TNA) as a color commentator alongside Tenay.
TNA was born from the ashes of WWE’s purchase of its competitor World Championship Wrestling. Jarrett, a longtime member of WCW who got his start in WWE, then known as the World Wrestling Federation, founded TNA. The company later changed its name to Impact Wrestling.
West worked for the company until 2012 and then returned in 2017 to call one more match at the company’s Slammiversary XV show.
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West was on the call for some of the company’s most famous moments. AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Christian, and Rhyno were some of the more well-known names to have been with the company at one point or another.