Marty Jannetty, Jim Ross, Bill Apter and Others Comment On Sherri Martel

— Marty Jannetty, who worked with Sherri Martel in the AWA and WWF, made the following comment on her passing on his MySpace page:

Sherri Martel….is gone. we’ve lost yet another great one.

I’m hoping that i wake up from a very bad dream, as now I loose a very close friend a special one to me and Shawn..Sherri Martel was found in her home dead today..I say I lost, but we all in the wrestling industry lost a great one…everyone loved Sherri…I am soo sorry ….cant think, gotta go….I love you Sherri..very much baby…RIP!

— Jim Ross has posted a new blog entry on his official website discussing the death of Sherri Martel. You can read it here.

— Dr. Tom Prichard remembers Sherri Martel in an article on WWE.com.

— Former WCW wrestler The Maestro posted the following comment on his official website regarding Sherri, “On a personal note, I will forever be greatful for all the advice she gave me during my time with WCW. My deepest thoughts , condolences , and prayers go out to the family and friends of Sherri Martel. Always and forever…God bless…. Stro”

— SHIMMER wrestling promoter Dave Prazak made the following statement:

Like so many individuals in the wrestling industry who have called me over the past several hours, and countless wrestling fans around the world who have read the news online, I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of “Sensational” Sherri Martel today.

Sherri was the first star performer in pro wrestling that I actually met as a fan prior to getting involved in the business myself. I was introduced to Sherri through mutual friend Marianne Ryan backstage at a live event in Chicago at the Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena). I was a big fan of Sherri’s work from just watching her do her thing on WWF television, and was quite excited to get to actually meet her in person.

Several years later, I would cross paths with Sherri once again, as Ian Rotten brought her in for some appearances in IWA Mid-South, including a bloody dog collar match against Debbie Combs back in the days when IWA ran the old K-Mart building in Louisville. I was just growing my hair long for the first time around that period of time, and, silly as it may sound, I still have the girly silver hair tie Sherri gave me that night in a drawer full of many of my wrestling mementos.

Sherri was the first “name” that I got the opportunity to feud with as a manager, and the first woman wrestler that I ever competed against in mixed tag matches. Both of those opportunities came through Carmine DeSpirito’s Mid American Wrestling promotion in Milwaukee. As CM Punk, Jason Kronan, and I were laying out Dino and Bobby Bambino one night, Sherri hit the ring and pulled off my pants to reveal smiley faced boxer shorts to the cheering approval of the drunken fans in attendance at the Knights of Columbus in West Allis. We’d later to go on to wrestle in a big intergender six person tables, ladders, and chairs match, which saw us crazily battle atop ladders, and put one another through tables. We wrestled against one another about a year or so later, once again at an MAW show promoted by Carmine, this time held at Kelly’s Bleachers in Wind Lake. Those matches were far from wrestling classics on my part, but they were nonetheless very fun times, and landmarks in my wrestling career which I look back upon quite fondly.

I always credit my increased interest in women’s pro wrestling to having worked with so many women on the independent scene during my time as a manager, and feeling that they were under appreciated and under utilized. A huge part of what made me go back and watch more old American women’s wrestling tapes and ultimately start promoting women’s events myself was the influence Sherri had on me over the years.

Not many people know it, because it never came to fruition, but Sherri was the only woman wrestler who I ever offered, or even really considered, to perform in the role of the SHIMMER Commissioner. She had to turn the offer down in early 2006, due to a combination of her constant back problems at the time which required very limited travel (she had been seeing a chiropractor regularly and was in pain on a daily basis), and she was just about to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and received a legends contract, which could have posed some issues with appearing on our DVD series in retail. The last time I spoke with Sherri I let her know that if she was ever up to it in the future, the SHIMMER Commissioner spot was hers, as I truly valued her contributions to pro wrestling over the years and felt she would be an excellent authority figure to “govern” the top women wrestlers that are active today. It’s a shame that it never came to be.

Sherri was an unbelievable heel, both as a wrestler as well as in her role as a manager. I remember watching television on Saturday mornings growing up and seeing Sherri with her crazy facepaint cutting the most intense interviews. She was a true pro wrestling manager, willing to get physical when need be, and got great heat from the ringside fans, all thanks to her history as a wrestler.

Our event in Inverness on 7/1 will be dedicated to Sherri’s memory, as her inspiration is a huge reason why the company exists in the first place. Thankfully, we have our old videotapes, as well as our memories over the years, to be reminded of Sherri’s tremendous contributions to our sport. Thanks for the everything, Sherri! You will be greatly missed.

Dave Prazak

— Magazine writer Bill Apter made the following statement regarding Sherri Martel:

ANOTHER SAD DAY IN PRO WRESTLING
By: Bill Apter
6/15/2007

My friend Sherri Martel has died. What a shame. She was a friend to so many of us in the wrestling business, and a face I would see so very often at Independent shows and Conventions. She was always upbeat and I just loved her sense of humor.

I first met Sherri in 1980 and was on many road trips with her in the old Verne Gagne AWA territory. We stayed in touch regularly througout her days in AWA, WWF, ECW, Smokey Mountain, WCW, and more recently the Indy Feds.

I spoke to her one week ago today. She called me looking for a telephone number of Bill Edy (Masked Superstar). I didn’t have it and told her to call my friend — photographer Eddie Cheslock. It was Eddie who called to tell me about her death.

Although her gimmick was, for much of her career “Scary” Sherri, she was a sweetheart of a lady that I will miss so very much.

Bill Apter–6/15/07

— Michael Weaver, Jr., who runs WrestlingUpdateOnline.com, conducted a shoot interview with Sherri for his website in 2002. Here is what he had to say regarding her passing:

The woman better known to wrestling fans as “Sensational” Sherri Martel has passed away. The sad news was announced via WWE.com earlier this afternoon. Sherri passed away at her mother’s residence this morning but no other details have been released.

Sherri captured the AWA Women’s Championship on four different ocassions. Two times in 1985, once in 1986 and once in 1999. She captured the WWE Women’s Championship in 1987. In 1991 she was awarded the Manager of the Year award by Wrestling Observer. It was just one year ago that Sherri went into immortality as she was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Ted DiBiase.

I had the opportunity to interview Sherri for WU Online in 2002. We spoke a few more times afterward and unfortunately lost track of each other. However, when I was in Chicago for WrestleMania 22 and I saw the induction of Sherri into the WWE Hall of Fame, it was almost like seeing my own child be inducted. I was so proud and so happy for her.

WU Online will have a full tribute to the original Queen of the WWE later tonight. If you would like to send in your own comments, pictures or anything else you’d consider a tribute to one of the greatest women in wrestling history, send it to wuonline@gmail.com.

Rest In Peace, Sherri. Rest in peace.

Love Always,
Michael Weaver, Jr.