Legendary WWE announcer Howard Finkel passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 69.
The wrestling world took to social media to show their appreciation for Finkel, including Vince McMahon and Roman Reigns. Even Madison Square Garden showed its appreciation for the legendary announcer.
ECW original and one of Finkel’s close friends, Tommy Dreamer, spoke to Busted Open Radio on Thursday where he revealed Finkel was suffering from a genetic brain disease. Dreamer said that Finkel’s love for wrestling never wavered even when his health began to deteriorate.
“A lot of people said Howard had a stroke,” Dreamer said. “Howard did not have a stroke. Howard had a rare genetic brain disease. His brain was shrinking and I hate that because the whole out think the Fink and he was slowly losing his mind. He had stroke-like systems but he kept falling because of his brain. I didn’t post pictures of us on social media. I took them all the time I would visit him, but Howard had such pride. He didn’t want the people to know that he was sick. He didn’t want people to feel sorry for him. He was literally just sitting there watching the Mets game until it was time to watch wrestling.
“I posted a picture last night on social media and everyone kept hitting me up about the note over my shoulder. I went back and I looked, and this was when Howard was in a bad state. Howard couldn’t, sadly, use a cell phone anymore because of his hands. If you handed him the phone, which is what I would do every time I would visit, I would FaceTime with Justin (Credible). Howard’s medical note above my shoulder said, please put channel 43 on at 8 p.m. on Monday Nights. Wrestling is on. That was his medical note. He loved us. We were his family. That’s all he had. He loved performing in front of the fans and he loved us, unconditionally.”
Finkel began working for WWE, then known as the WWWF, in 1977. He was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2009.
Chris Siggia contributed to this article.