Thursday, September 24, 2015

RIP Frank Iadevaia

Rest in peace
Photo via Facebook
"Fat" Frank Iadevaia, the founder and head of Jersey All-Pro Wrestling, has passed away. He was 43 years old. The cause of death is unknown at this time, although he was said to have passed away in his sleep. Although he was not listed as the nominal owner of JAPW anymore, he was still actively involved in the planning of the promotion's upcoming show on November 14.

Iadevaia trained as a pro wrestler in the early 1990s, but it was as a promoter where he made his mark. He founded JAPW in 1997, at time when Extreme Championship Wrestling was still in its salad days. He used his connections with ECW talent to help get JAPW rolling, and the promotion arguably became the first name super-indie on the East Coast. Its foundation preceded that of Combat Zone Wrestling, Chikara, and Ring of Honor. He was also the first promoter to bring in New Japan Pro Wrestling talent, even going so far as to co-promote NJPW's 2011 North American tour.

JAPW's bookings became irregular in the past few years, but he was still held in very high regard by anyone who knew him. He gave countless wrestlers their big breaks on the top-level independent stage, including Trent?, Jay Lethal, and Dan Barry. To pass at such a young age adds even more layers of tragedy to an already sad passing. Iadevaia's impact on professional wrestling can't be measured in mere statistics. He was a true giant. May he rest in peace.