Bob Ryder, who was one of the founders of TNA Wrestling and still worked for Impact Wrestling more than 18 years later, was found dead today by police at his home in Nashville.
Ryder, who has battled cancer for years, had not attended a live show in a long time due to intense chemotherapy.
Ryder suffered a fall yesterday and was unable to get up, but apparently texted people that he was okay. But after that, no phone calls or text messages to him were answered. The company sent someone who knew him to his home and knocked on the door and got no response. They then called police and found that he had passed away.
Ryder was a pioneer of websites with 1wrestling.com in the 90s, and did web radio and worked for WCW where he was close with Eric Bischoff. After the folding of the company in 2001, Ryder and Jeff Jarrett, who were not hired by WWF, convinced Jerry Jarrett to start TNA Wrestling with the idea of it being a PPV-exclusive promotion.
The initial idea didn't work and both Jarretts were close to filing for bankruptcy when Dixie Carter, who they had hired as their publicity director, informed them she was from a wealthy family and got her father to buy the promotion. Eventually the company was sold to Anthem Entertainment.
Ryder worked handling the travel along with numerous other duties for the company.