Balls Mahoney has died at 44. This according to his wife, who confirmed the news through his longtime friend Tommy Dreamer.
The sad word of his passing first came to light via a tweet from Jonny Candido, brother of the late Chris Candido, saying, “At a loss for words, love you brother, you’ll be missed, rip Balls Mahoney.”
Mahiney is best remembered for his time in ECW during the late 1990s and early 2000s, where he gained a decent following due in large part to his name and fondness for taking more chair shots than any sane man should. Mahoney also had a brief run as part of WWE’s revamped version of ECW in the late 2000s, where strangely enough he was part of romantic storyline with Kelly Kelly of all people.
Foley, who worked with Mahoney in Smokey Mountain Wrestling, posted the following on Facebook.
John Rechner. Even among larger than life characters in pro-wrestling, he was one of those guys who stood out – who made you laugh, smile, or just walk away, shaking your head in disbelief, knowing you had another Balls Mahoney story to share with the boys.
RIP my friend. You brought us some great memories. My prayers will be with your family and friends – especially the little boy you loved and doted on at so many shows over the years.
I met John in October, 1994 when I did a series of TV tapings and matches for Smoky Mountain Wrestling, including their big Thanksgiving and Christmas day shows. My goal during this time in the storyline was to pry Rechner’s gullible but kind-hearted Boo Bradley away from the evil clutches of real-life best friend, but consummate on-screen heel Chris Candido. So we waged our wars throughout the Smokies, with the powers of good finally winning out over Candido – and in my final act as part of#SMW I gifted a pair of Cactus Jack tights to my new friend Boo Bradley. Months later, Jim Cornette told me he wore those tights every night. I’ll never forget those times, or those tights – or the man. God Bless you John – in earning your nickname, you gave so much to so many.