The wrestling world has been brought to prominence thanks to the efforts and contributions of talented in-ring performers. However, it is always sad to hear these incredible athletes who have mesmerized us for years suddenly leave us. Most recently, former AWA star Kenny “Jay” Benkowski passed away this week at the age of 85.
Kenny Jay performed for AWA on a regular basis. He was an undercard talent for Verne Gage’s promotion during the last stage of the promotion’s run, proving to be an asset in general for the company.
The sad news of Kenny Jay passing this week by presented by announcer Mick Karch. Being a close companion of Jay in real-life, Karch claimed that it was the toughest announcement he ever had to make.
“My friends, this is one of the most difficult announcements I have ever had to make. Our dear friend Kenny Jay passed away this morning. I am crushed and devastated. The world has lost a beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Kenny, and I cherish the years of friendship.”
The former AWA star was born in March 1937 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, excelling in shot put and football during his high school days. He even served time as an officer in the United States military.
Right after that, Kenny Jay began his wrestling training with Verne Gagne and Bob Hawkins. He would then appear on AWA’s weekly TV tapings and events, making several appearances as an enhancement talent.
The man known as ‘The Sodbuster’ whose job was to make newcomers look strong and dominant to give them an initial push might no longer be with us, but he will always remain in the hearts of various fans and his loved ones.
Ringside News extends its condolences to Kenny Jay’s family as they recover from this tragic loss. You can check out some videos below to look back at the great talent we lost. RIP.
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