Don West died recently, a year and a half after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. The 59 year old was a staple of TNA Wrestling’s first decade. Whether he was serving as Mike Tenay’s announcing partner or a merchandise pitchman, his infectious enthusiasm about the product & wrestling in general made a lasting impression and earned him a spot in our hearts.
That love was evident in the hours after Tenay shared the news of his friend’s death, including on WWE television where SmackDown’s Michael Cole offered a goodbye (with a slick allusion to the promotion West was synonymous with) before the first match on Dec. 30 episodes.
Not everyone got to express their thoughts & feelings about West on FOX, but that doesn’t make the outpouring on social media any less impactful…
“Today we mourn the loss of a special person, but let’s also stop and celebrate the amazing life of our friend and brother, Don West.”
Read @ScottDAmore‘s full statement on the passing of Don West: https://t.co/GqsA127otR
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 30, 2022
Rest in Peace and Power Don West:
When I received the text from Don’s wife, Terri, earlier today on his passing I had an overwhelming feeling of mixed emotions—so happy and relieved for him that he was out of pain and his cancer was gone; but, the finality of his death was..(1/3) pic.twitter.com/7a9r39Kr2t
— Jeff Jarrett (@RealJeffJarrett) December 31, 2022
We reminisced, laughed, and I got the final opportunity to tell him I loved him and that I will see him again one day!
The 1st picture is from the last time we were on stage together — Chicago Starrcast.
I will miss my friend…
Love ❤️ ya D-Dub! pic.twitter.com/G0X0WjucQg
— Jeff Jarrett (@RealJeffJarrett) December 31, 2022
Rest In Peace Don West. You were an incredible person to work with, and I thank you for the excitement you brought to calling our matches. You will be missed.
— Christopher Daniels (@facdaniels) December 30, 2022
RIP Don West. Truly devastating news. A great friend and someone who had one of the most infectious personalities I’ve ever known. A true joy to be around all the time. I cherish the laughs, conversations and fun times we had together. Godspeed my friend.
— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) December 30, 2022
RIP Don West! A great man in every sense of the word! LOVE YOU BROTHER!!! The world lost another amazing person to this terrible disease, not having your amazing spirit around anymore is all of our loss! Today I will celebrate the man you are and the legacy you left!
— Eric Young (@TheEricYoung) December 30, 2022
This is the epitome of what Don West was like all the time. His energy, positivity and love for wrestling was always shining when we worked together. What a voice, what a man… you will always be missed Don. Today is a sad day #RIPDonWest pic.twitter.com/qv05a1cnzb
— Gail Kim-Irvine (@gailkimITSME) December 30, 2022
Saddened to learn about the passing of Don West. I had great experiences every time I interacted with him. Don was one of the good guys, who was overflowing with passion & enthusiasm. My condolences go out to his family.
Love this clip of Don expressing his passion for the biz. pic.twitter.com/m8XGZbGDnS
— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) December 30, 2022
The 1st time I met Don West
I was in a room w/ @OfficialTAZ & @RealMikeTenay
Don burst in cutting profanity laced promo stops
Says HEY nice to meet you
There’s a bunch of idiots here but you will have FUN & walked out
Mike goes WELCOME
Room erupts w/laughs
He was awesome pic.twitter.com/D8vs1H9Bh5
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) December 30, 2022
Saddened by the loss of Don West. During his most hyped moments in TNA he’d yell “OH MY GOD!” Its my hope that in eternity he’ll be able to say that phrase w/a greater joy & excitement the likes of which he’s never known before. RIP DW, You’ll be missed my friend. #RIPDonWest pic.twitter.com/fbUM2pj4Xm
— Elijah Burke (@DaBlackPope) December 30, 2022
So very sorry to hear that my old friend Don West has passed away. In the early days of TNA, he and his wonderful wife Terri were gracious enough to let me stay at their home in Nashville. Such a kind person. So many laughs. My thoughts are with his family today. #RIPDonWest
— Shark Boy (@SharkBoy24_7) December 30, 2022
The voice of TNA/@IMPACTWRESTLING passed away today.
So many iconic moments & calls forever burned into my memory in his voice. I never met the man, but he’s loved by everyone I’ve met that knew him. He made a mark & will never be forgotten.
RIP Don West
— Josh Alexander (@Walking_Weapon) December 30, 2022
RIP Don West. An incredibly fun, thoughtful and caring man. So many great memories. You will be missed my friend.
— SONJAY (@sonjaydutterson) December 30, 2022
The NWA is saddened to hear of the passing of legendary wrestling broadcaster Don West. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and the wrestling community. pic.twitter.com/MZsrxCD3yr
— NWA (@nwa) December 30, 2022
Don West was a force of nature. He threw his whole being into everything he did. We’ve been able to talk on the phone with D-Dub a few times in recent months, and even as he was battling a devastating illness, that personality shone through. God speed DW. RIP. pic.twitter.com/LE3WAtLyPr
— Nick Aldis (@RealNickAldis) December 30, 2022
Don West was a huge voice in my childhood man.
— ᵂⁱˡˡ ᴼˢᵖʳᵉᵃʸ • ウィル・オスレイ (@WillOspreay) December 30, 2022
I called @IMPACTWRESTLING‘s Slammiversary PPV w/ Don West and it was one of the biggest thrills of my career.
Don was so kind and helpful. His enthusiasm on the mic elevated every event he called. Thank you Don.#RIPDonWest
— Robert Flores (@RoFlo) December 30, 2022
It’s telling that so many of the tributes include personal anecdotes, and are generally just more than a simple “RIP” Don West seemed to touch the lives of those around him the same way he reached many of us on the other end of a television broadcast .
No wonder we wanted to watch wrestling with him.