Skip to main content

Corporal Kirchner passes away at 64 years old

kirschner.jpg

Michael James Penzel, best known as Corporal Kirchner in the WWF and later in Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling as Leatherface, has passed away at the age of 64.

It was reported by FMW archivist BahuFMW that Kirchner had passed away. The Loflin Funeral Home in Liberty, North Carolina has posted an obituary.

Kirchner started his career in 1980 training under Verne Gagne and first started working in the World Wrestling Federation as a preliminary wrestler. Kirchner soon adopted the name Corporal Kirchner, highlighting his experience as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army. He feuded with Nikolai Volkoff in 1986, leading to a match at WrestleMania 2 where he defeated Volkoff in a flag match. Kirchner left the company in 1987.

After a tour in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Kirchner adopted a new gimmick, Leatherface (and later Super Leather), based on the character from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film franchise. He would wrestle under the gimmick in Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling through 2002, when FMW closed down.

WWE.com had reported in 2006 that Kirchner had died. The story was taken down after Kirchner contacted WWE saying that he was still alive.