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By Mike Johnson on 2021-09-03 11:24:00 is saddened to report that Darryl Gower, who performed as Steve “The Brawler” Lawler for decades out of the Georgia area, passed away after a battle with COVID-19 pneumonia this past week.  Gower had been in a medically induced coma in recent days.  Gower was only 56 years old.

Gower was a journeyman who worked just about every major Georgia promotion you could think of from the late 1980s on, including Jody Hamilton’s Deep South Wrestling (where he held the Brass Knuckles Championship), Jerry Blackwell’s SCW, Joe Pedicino’s Georgia All-Star Wrestling and many others.  

Gower broke into the business in the late 1980s and was active through 2013 when he initially retired.   As a wrestler, he feuded locally with the late Nick Busick, Outlaw Joel Deaton and Tommy Rich, among others.  He teamed with Dino Minelli as Thunder & Lightning, holding the SCW Tag Team titles twice for the Blackwell promotion.  Gower also teamed with Jon Michaels and The Nightmare as Bad Company.  

For a time in Florida, he also worked under the Adrian Steele ring name.

Gower was a regular for Dusty Rhodes’ Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling when it ran regularly in 2000 and 2001, initially as "Desperado" Liberty McCall but then reverted back to the Lawler ring name.  He was regularly used as a main event heel foil for Dusty, Larry Zbyszko and others, sometimes teaming with names like Barry Windham and Scott Hall.

As a trainer, Gower was involved in breaking in a number of stars including Buff Bagwell, Disco Inferno, Ray “Glacier” Lloyd and Murder One, among others.  He was absolutely a mentor to many who came through the Atlanta independent scene over the years.

In recent years, Gower had been living in Panama City, Florida, where he was working as a business manager for a local Kia dealership.  He had recently come out of retirement, wrestling for Freedom Force Wrestling.

A Go Fund Me campaign has been launched to assist Gower's family at this link. sends our deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Steve "The Brawler" Lawler, Darryl Gower.

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