Don West, Pitchman and Impact Wrestling Commentator, Dies at 59
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Don Westthe former pro wrestling commentator who was one of the voices of Total Nonstop Action/Impact Wrestling for many years alongside Mike Tenay, has died following a battle with lymphoma. In 2021, West announced that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma of the brain and would be undergoing treatment. Though West fought to the very end, it was announced by Tenay on Friday that the television personality had died at the age of 59.
“Just heard from wife Terri that our brother (Don West) will be spending New Years in heaven,” Tenay wrote on Twitter. “Terri said D-Dub finally had to tap out from his match with lymphoma. We bonded as soon as we met, both as broadcast partners and friends. Years of great moments both on and off camera.”
A statement about West’s passing was also released by Impact Wrestling, formerly Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The statement acknowledged West’s important spot in the history of the wrestling organization, as he had been right there to call the action alongside Tenay for so many important moments that have happened in the TNA/Impact Wrestling rings.
“You can’t think about TNA/IMPACT without thinking of Don West,” the statement notes. “Don and Mike Tenay provided the soundtrack to so many iconic moments in company history. There was no more cherished member of the TNA/IMPACT family. Don was truly a one of a kind who brightened every room he walked into. He brought out the best in people and was an inspiration to all who crossed paths with him.”
West, who was born on June 20, 1963, had gotten into show business as a pitchman. In the early 1990s, he memorably appeared on the Shop at Home Network to pitch various products, including knives, Beanie Babies, and Pokemon collectibles. His unique style had gotten so much attention at the time that West was lampooned along with co-host Eddy Lewis by Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan in multiple episodes of Saturday Night Live.
The pitchman’s life changed in 2002 when the opportunity came by for him to serve as a color commentator for the newly established wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. He made his first appearance at the company’s inaugural pay-per-view show and would spend stay in that spot until 2009 when he switched to oversee merchandise sales, but he’d still make appearances on television. He returned to the commentators’ table in 2017 for the Slammiversary pay-per-view and was featured in a tribute video for this year’s Slammiversary honoring the history of Impact Wrestling.
Rest in peace, Don West.
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