AS I SEE IT 9/10: Remembering two very different people
AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
First…to remember Brian Hildebrand.
It will be 19 years yesterday. September 8 marked the 19th anniversary of Brian Hildebrand’s passing after fighting a two year battle against stomach and bowel cancer. There are few people within wrestling who were held in such universally high regard at the time of their passing. When people eulogized Brian, the words they used weren’t the kind that social obligation or courtesy often require. Lots of people become posthumous heroes. Brian was one for the two years of his fight, and was an inspiration to many within wrestling for all the years her worked within the business long before that.
The words used by all who knew him, worked with him, and were fans of him, were deep and heartfelt, epitomized by Mick Foley, when he said about Brian in his best-selling book Mankind: Have A Nice Day: “Brian brought out all the better angels of our nature”.
Back at the time of his death, it was said that there were only two people in the entire wrestling business without enemies: Brian Hildebrand and Owen Hart. Neither are with us today. Brian was such a special person that he inspired everyone who knew him…whether friends, family, fans, or co-workers… to frequently share our feelings on such a funny, dedicated, committed individual who was and always will be an inspiration to live each day of our lives to their fullest… and to follow our dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem.
Then, there was Nathan Kehner, known by all in wrestling as Nate Hatred, who was killed last week in a car accident. Hatred was best known in the 2000s as part of the H8 Club with Nick Gage, who were three times CZW Tag Team Champions in 2001, 2002, and 2004.
In gimmick, Hatred looked like the type of person you warn your kids about, or becoming. The entrance to “Voodoo” by Godsmack added to the whole illusion. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
He was known as being very loyal. After being out for years with a back injury, he came back, working shows including the first Nick Gage Invitational in May 2015, and always included Dewey Donovan, who managed H8 Club in CZW. He never forgot people.
People knew it and loved him for it. In a touching moment even on WWE’s 205 Live, Drew Gulak wore “Hatred” on his wrist/arm tape and made sure it was seen. He was also remembered at this weekend’s CZW Chris Ca$h Memorial Show and GCW’s Nick Gage Invitational shows.
But well beyond the psychopathic looking wrestler, Nate had a second degree black belt, Kehner was a talented artist and, believe it or not, studied tap and jazz dancing.
As seems to always be within wrestling, behind a monster, is a very real human being, who won’t be forgotten.
His family has a GoFundMe to help defray the costs of his funeral, with visitation will be held tomorrow night from 7:00-9:00 pm, and again on Wednesday from 9:00-10:00 am at the Pagano Funeral Home, 3711 Foulk Road in Garnet Valley, PA. It will be followed by a Funeral Liturgy on Wednesday at 10:00 am. Interment will follow at S.S. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield, PA.
Please contribute to it if you can.
Until next time….