Former WWWF Tag Team Champion Passes Away

Feb 28, 2021 - by James Walsh

Wrestler Dean Ho, whose 20-plus career included a run with the WWWF World Tag Team Championship, has reportedly passed away. Referee Kevin Jefferies, a longtime friend of Ho’s, posted to Facebook to reveal that Ho passed away on February 20th due to CTE related to his football days. He was 81.

Ho, real name Dean Higuchi, had a career that included stints in the National Wrestling Alliance and WWWF. Born in Honolulu, Ho began a career as a bodybuilder and finished sixth place in the 1956 Mr. America competition. He opened a gym in 1957 that was frequented by several pro wrestlers including Karl Gotch, Rene Goulet, and Don Muraco. Ho himself entered the business in the early 1960s and worked in Pacific Northwest Wrestling as well as Big Time Wrestling in Hawaii, moving to the mainland in late 1967 where he started working for NWA All-Star Wrestling in Vancouver. There he feuded with the likes of Gene Kiniski and had multiple tag team title reigns with different partners including Moondog Moretti, Sonny Myers, George Wells, and more.

Ho would go on to the WWWF in the mid-1970s, where he and Tony Garea defeated Toru Tanaka and Mr. Fuji for the WWWF World Tag Team Championship in November of 1973. They would hold the titles until May 1974, when they lost to the Valiant Brothers. Ho would continue to work for the company until leaving in the summer of 1975, when he left and wrestled in Georgia for a while and then returned to Vancouver for another NWA Canadian Tag Team Championship reign. He worked in San Francisco where he had a couple of runs with that region’s version of the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. He would return to All-Star Wrestling in the early 1980s, retiring in 1983. He sold his gym in 1990 and retired from that, owning a deli and doing social work.

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