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Hawaiian Wrestler Oni Wiki Wiki Passes Away

Keelan BaldersonJune 26th, 2008Wrestling Deaths0 Comments »

Old school Hawaiian wrestler Oni Wiki Wiki has passed away at 88 years old. WWE announcer Jim Ross discussed the news on his blog …

“Wik” was an amazing athlete who was one of college football’s greatest kickers at the University of Hawaii. He was featured in the Guinness Book of World records for his barefoot kicking as a collegiate football player. I rode hundreds of miles in the old “Oklahoma Territory” with men like Wik, Dan Hodge, and Scandor Akbar teaching me the ropes. I am forever indebted to them and so many more, especially The Big Cowboy, for being patient with me and for being mentors. Even though most won’t remember Oni Wiki Wiki’s wrestling career, trust me when I say that he was one of the great “Island Wrestlers” to ever migrate to the mainland. And an even better, kind hearted but tough as nails athlete/human being.

oni wiki wiki

Cowboy Bill Watts also shared his memories …

The bell tolls again for another ‘pro-wrestling great’… Oni Wiki Wiki… the ‘barefoot Hawaiian’… real name: Wallace Lam Ho… transitioned at age 88 this Monday…

Wow… another good friend… a person who was important in my life and career… and I am not trying to ’say that selfishly’… but because when I was first ‘breaking in’… he was one of the first who told me that “I was going to be a big star in this business”…

And I can tell you… when you are a ‘rookie’ … for someone who is a seasoned veteran to ‘encourage you like that’ is so important and empowering… (and he would also ‘mentor me’ in his own quiet way)…

I also knew he had another great’s friendship… he and Danny Hodge were friends… so that translated into respect for me too… that I could see that bond between them…

As a ‘newcomer’ or ‘rookie’ in a sport or venture…our own ‘internal belief system’ is looking for re-enforcement and encouragement… and someone who has ‘been there and done that’ to give us that ‘praise’ and to ‘validate our own hopes and dreams’… is awesome and very important…

And you know… maybe clear back then… it was NOT the ‘biggest thing in the world’… maybe I did NOT even realize how it ‘impacted my psyche’ at that immediate moment… but as you can read this now… I certainly realized at some point in my life… how Oni Wiki Wiki encouraged me… and how important that was to me…

as we all should remember… if we can encourage someone from our hearts… how that too may so empower and encourage them… it may even make a difference at a very critical time…

He was still wrestling some…back in 1962… but also was the ‘front man’ for Leroy McGuirk in Shreveport… when I was first getting started… way before I became McGuirk’s partner too in the promotion in 1970… this was clear back in 1962 or ‘63…

And Wiki too… would ‘put me into situations in Shreveport’ that showed his confidence of ‘who I was’ and ‘who I would become’… (and possibly a little friction or criticism in the office in Tulsa)…

Years later… Wiki was still working in Leroy’s office when I ‘bought in’ and became a partner… and he did all kinds of those ‘odd jobs’ someone had to do…

And I NEVER heard him complain or bitch…

And he would still wrestle too… barefooted… Hawaiian style… and realize when he grew up … in Hawaii… they even played football barefooted…

And I never saw Wiki ‘back down from anyone’… and he was strong… and tough… a quiet tough… not a load or demonstrative tough… and now that I see his age at his ‘transition’… and he is almost 20 years older than I am now… MY ADMIRATION goes UP A NOTCH… because he was ’still tough’ at such an advanced age…

A true ‘good guy’… one I could ‘count on’… and ‘trust’… he could ‘keep a confidence’… I always trusted his advice…

And his two sons… Lee and Chilton… I truly enjoyed… Lee even wrestled for LSU… and Chilton was a much better than average HS wrestler here in the Tulsa area… but both of them were ‘formidable bouncers’ in the ‘wild and wooly Tulsa bar scene’… and my own sons often would regale me with stories of how ‘the Lam Ho boys had kicked some serious butts’ at the local ‘hot spot’… I promise you… they were ‘wrecking machines’… ;>)

I saw Lee recently at a mma event…

I spoke with Oni Wiki Wiki a couple of years ago… and he was ‘battling dementia then’… but that day on the phone… he seemed fine…

So… today… I will mourn my friend… and write this… as a small and insignificant tribute to a guy who meant a lot to me… my friend Oni Wiki Wiki…

Let the ring bell toll… another ‘champion has left the building’…



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