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 the Dec. 30 episode.
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."— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 30, 2022
Read @ScottDAmore's full statement on the passing of Don West: https://t.co/GqsA127otR
Rest in Peace and Power Don West:— Jeff Jarrett (@RealJeffJarrett) December 31, 2022
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
We reminisced, laughed, and I got the final opportunity to tell him I loved him and that I will see him again one day!— Jeff Jarrett (@RealJeffJarrett) December 31, 2022
The 1st picture is from the last time we were on stage together — Chicago Starrcast.
I will miss my buddy…
Love ❤️ ya D-Dub! pic.twitter.com/G0X0WjucQg
I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Don West. He was a fun loving guy & very passionate guy. Condolences to his family, friends & fans. pic.twitter.com/dzm1nPeLTn— taz (@OfficialTAZ) December 30, 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 of 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 is not having your amazing spirit around anymore is all of our loss! Today I will celebrate the man you where 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. 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.— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) December 30, 2022
Love this clip of Don expressing his passion for the biz. pic.twitter.com/m8XGZbGDnS
The 1st time I met Don West— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) December 30, 2022
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 FN FUN & walked out
Mike goes WELCOME
Room erupts w/laughs
He was awesome pic.twitter.com/D8vs1H9Bh5
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.— Josh Alexander (@Walking_Weapon) December 30, 2022
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
RIP DON WEST! An absolute legend!!! You will be missed!!! https://t.co/YK6VjYpqKI— Matt Cardona (@TheMattCardona) December 30, 2022
One of the greatest of all time, and one of the reasons I loved TNA growing up.— Death Machine (@TheSamiCallihan) December 30, 2022
RIP DON WEST. pic.twitter.com/ogacGKt9Br
AEW joins the wrestling world in mourning the passing of Don West. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans. pic.twitter.com/JFlu82f607— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 30, 2022
R.I.P Don West— Jerry Lynn (@itsjerrylynn) December 30, 2022
Had so many laughs together!
Miss him so much! pic.twitter.com/DbSJNgbksH
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 devastating illness, that personality shone through. God speed DW. RIP. pic.twitter.com/LE3WAtLyPr— Nick Aldis (@RealNickAldis) December 30, 2022
The world lost a great one today. Don West was a national treasure - and an incredible man. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/38BHvVGL8j— Conrad the Mortgage Guy (@HeyHeyItsConrad) December 31, 2022
Don West was a huge voice in my childhood man.— ᵂⁱˡˡ ᴼˢᵖʳᵉᵃʸ • ウィル・オスプレイ (@WillOspreay) December 30, 2022
I called @IMPACTWRESTLING’s Slammiversary PPV w/ Don West and it was one of the biggest thrills of my career.— Robert Flores (@RoFlo) December 30, 2022
Don was so kind and helpful. His enthusiasm on the mic elevated every event he called. Thank you Don.#RIPDonWest
It’s telling that so many of the tributes include personal anecdotes, and are generally just more than a simple “R.I.P.” 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.