We are sad to learn about the passing of Mike Penzel, better known as Cpl. Kirchner. He was also known as Super Leather in Japan. He was 64-years-old and passed away after suffering a heart attack.
According to FMW archivist BahuFMW, Peznel died of heart attack yesterday. Penzel worked as a bouncer after serving in the military as a paratrooper when he met Hulk Hogan, who introduced him to Verne Gagne. He was then taught to wrestle by Gagne.
Mike Penzel also known as Leatherface/Super Leather/Cpl. Kirchner passed away from a heart attack today. His wife tried to save him, but couldn’t.
Following various appearances as an enhancement talent, Penzel had a brief stint in the WWF. His run lasted from from 1985 to 1987 as Cpl. Kirchner. The gimmick replaced Sgt. Slaughter as the company’s patriotic figure.
After leaving WWF in 1987, he had a long run in Japan for different companies, including W*ING, FMW and IWA. He wrestled under a mask as Leatherface (and also billed as Super Leather), including a run as the FMW Brass Knuckles Champion.
In an odd twist of fate, WWE incorrectly announced Kirchner’s death in 2006. The announcement was later removed when Penzel’s mother contacted the company. She informed them that they were wrong about the identity of the person they identified performing as Kirchner.
Penzel’s popularity grew as a result of the circumstances, and he began appearing at conventions and returning to the ring as Super Leather for Juggalo Championship Wrestling. In 2009, he wrestled for the last time.
We’d want to extend our heartfelt sympathies to Penzel’s family, friends, and fans during this time.
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