Sad news to report today as ‘Iron’ Mike Sharpe, legendary WWF jobber icon and “Canada’s Greatest Athlete,” passed away over the weekend at age 64. Sharpe reportedly had been dealing with a number of health issues. “Injured forearm” was definitely one of them.
Sharpe is one of the most recognizable “enhancement talents” in wrestling history, alongside contemporaries like Barry Horowitz and The Brooklyn Brawler. If you’re making a Mt. Rushmore of wrestlers there to make their opponents look good, Sharpe is the George Washington. A second generation competitor trained by the late Missing Link, Sharpe entered the business in 1977 and made a name for himself in Gene Kiniski’s NWA All Star Wrestling. WWF came calling in 1983, and Sharpe — managed by Captain Lou Albano — was initially successful enough to challenge Bob Backlund for the WWF Championship. After that, it was mostly losing to people while Gorilla Monsoon deadpanned stories of Sharpe being Canada’s #1 athlete.
‘Iron’ Mike will be missed by anyone who grew up loving pro wrestling in the 1980s and paid too much attention to the folks on the losing end. I definitely count myself as one of them. If you aren’t familiar with his work, here are a few clips to get you acquainted. Rest in peace, Iron Mike. If they ever make a physical WWE Hall of Fame, I hope your forearm guard makes it in.