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September 27, 2004 Observer Newsletter: Death of Jim Barnett, issues backstage for WWE


im Barnett, the last link to the beginning of television wrestling, and for most of the past 55 years, one of the most influential people in the industry, passed away on 9/17 at the age of 80.

Barnett and Sam Muchnick were considered the two most powerful promoters during most of the NWA's glory period, even though Barnett was actually never an official member until 1969, and for years, other promoters didn't even want him at meetings. Along with Vince McMahon Sr., and later Eddie Graham, they were the probably most influential men on the promotional end of the industry during the 60s and 70s. He was in the middle of many of the biggest deals and changes that shaped the real changes in wrestling history. He was a charming figure, and with the possible exception of Stu Hart, perhaps the most imitated man in the industry with his effeminate, "Tom, my boy," entree. 

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