The pro wrestling community has lost a clown, a lumberjack and a former Texas Heavyweight Champion today with the passing of Matt Borne, best known to modern wrestling fans as the original Doink The Clown.
Matt Osbourne, better known as “Maniac” Matt Borne, Big Josh and the original Doink the Clown in the WWF, has passed away.
Details on his passing are still developing. PWInsider.com can confirm Osbourne was found this morning in Texas, where he had been staying of late, by his girlfriend. Osbourne would have turned 57 next month.
A second generation star, Osbourne was the son of “Tough” Tony Borne, a star who challenged for the NWA World title during his career and was most prominently known in the Texas and Pacific Northwest territories.(via PWInsider)
Borne competed everywhere from World Class Championship Wrestling to the WWF and WCW, both in and out of the clown costume, and was part of ECW during its transition into a cult phenomenon in 1994. In semi-retirement since then, Doink passed on the mantle to a nation of substitute Doinks (yes, like Krusty the Klown was trying to do with Kamp Krusty) but still remained active on the independents and as a guest at comic book conventions.
We offer our condolences to his family and loved ones. And, uh, Dink. Here are a few videos to help you remember a truly unique performer.