Wrestler 'The Assassin' Jody Hamilton Dead at 82

Legendary professional wrestler "The Assassin" Jody Hamilton died on Tuesday, his son, Joe Hamilton Jr. (also known as WWE referee Nick Patrick Jr.) announced. He was 82 years old. PWInsider reported that Hamilton entered hospice care earlier that day.

"It is with heavy heart that I make this post," Hamilton Jr. wrote on Facebook. "At 2:16 today my father took his last breath on this earth. He passed comfortably, surrounded by the people that love him. Now our attention has to shift over to taking care of my mom. I want to thank everyone that sent out prayers and support for my family. I will put more information about pop out, but right now I'm kinda numb."

WWE released a statement once it heard the news. "WWE is saddened to learn that Jody Hamilton, known to fans as 'The Assassin,' passed away at the age of 82," the statement read. "Following in the footsteps of his brother Larry 'The Missouri Mauler,' Hamilton transitioned from amateur boxing and broke into the world of wrestling in the 1950s. By 1958, The Hamilton Brothers had risen up the ranks of the New York-based Capitol Wrestling and battled Antonino Rocca and Miguel Pérez in the main event at Madison Square Garden. Just 19 years old at the time, Jody became the youngest grappler to ever co-main event at The World's Most Famous Arena."

Hamilton would team with Tom Renesto to form The Assassins and was one of the top tag teams in the southeastern United States. The duo became a top draw in Georgia Championship Wrestling, winning the NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship 12 times. After Renesto retired, Hamilton would carry The Assassins' name with Ernie Ladd and "Hercules" Hernandez and would continue to win tag team title across the country. As a singles competitor, Hamilton won the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championship, the Deep South Heavyweight Championship three times and NWA Alabama Heavyweight Championship, just to name a few.

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Hamilton was forced to retire due to a back injury. He then opened the official training center for WCW, the Power Plant, which produced WWE legends such as Kevin Nash, Goldberg and the Big Show. When WWE bought WCW in 2001, Hamilton trained wrestlers in Deep South Wrestling.