PWInsider - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE



By Mike Johnson on 2007-01-26 13:14:00

I am extremely sorry to report that Doug Gentry, a well-loved fixture of the Northeastern wrestling scene for well over the past decade and a major part of RF Video, ECW and the early days of Ring of Honor, passed away this morning.

Gentry, who was only in his early 30s, had been diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection of the heart several weeks back after several months of feeling fatigued. He had been undergoing antibiotic treatment in preparation for surgery on a heart valve that had been clogged due to the infection. Gentry was hospitalized last night after having trouble breathing, was diagnosed with pneumonia on top of everything else he had problems with and passed away this morning.

Gentry was the long-time best friend and business associate of Rob Feinstein of Pennsylania's RF Video. For decades, the two were inseparable as Gentry was considered Feinstein's closest confidante and most loyal employee.

Gentry was a major part of RF Video's business relationship with Extreme Championship Wrestling, often traveling across the country to events to handle RF Video's vendor tables or filming events for the company's ECW "Fancam" releases.

Gentry also quietly helped take care of international talent that came into the company, including Super Crazy, Yoshihiro Tajiri and Masato Tanaka, among others. Gentry was actually the first person to suggest Crazy and Tajiri to ECW for jobs, so if you are a fan of either worker, Gentry helped them get their first national break in the United States.

After ECW shuttered operations in 2001, Gentry and Feinstein began working with a number of Northeastern independent promotions while scouting talent. Gentry's work from scouting, creative and production ends were an integral part in the birth and development of Ring of Honor. Gentry headed up the company's production and editing for its home video end from the time of ROH's founding in 2002 to it's eventual split from RF Video in 2004.

The truth is, if it had not been for Gentry, Ring of Honor as everyone knows it simply would not exist today, in any form. By March 2003, ROH had been in the red for some time and things were looking bleak. Cary Silkin, a friend of Gentry dating back a number of years, approached ROH about coming on board as an investor. Without a doubt, had Gentry not cultivated that business relationship, ROH would have been another independent that had a solid run, only to fail. Had Gentry not known Silkin, ROH would have ceased to have existed following the Philadelphia event where Samoa Joe first won the ROH championship from Xavier.

In the wake of the NBC 10 Philadelphia incident involving Feinstein, Gentry was named the new President of RF Video and Ring of Honor. When Silkin (by then, the majority owner of ROH) made moves to split ROH completely away from RF Video, Gentry stayed loyal to his long-time friend Feinstein. They immediately began working on rebuilding RF Video and cultivating relationships with numerous Northeastern indy groups.

Of late, Gentry had been working on different video projects for RF Video as well as booking a number of independent wrestling companies including Pro Wrestling Elite and Ronnie Lang's Pro Wrestling Xplosion.

I first met Gentry way back in 1994 during the early days of NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling and the one constant that never changed when it came to him was that he was universally liked by everyone that came into contact with him. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone that would have anything negative to say about him. He treated everyone with the same respect and was deeply well liked by everyone that did business with him.

Gentry was the most easy going and mellow person you could ever hope to meet. At the same time, he was a friend that was fiercely loyal towards those he cared about. I once witnessed him tear across a Bayonne, NJ venue Jersey All Pro Wrestling was running after Feinstein was physically challenged by someone upset over RF Video selling a product they felt that had the exclusive video rights to use. The person in question flipped over Feinstein's table. Within 10 seconds, Gentry had run the entire distance of the venue with blood in his eyes. In the end, Gentry backed the person down.

I'd like to express my deepest condolences to all of Doug Gentry's family and friends during this sad time. There's no word at this time on memorial services.

If you enjoy you can check out the AD-FREE PWInsider Elite section, which features exclusive audio updates, news, our critically acclaimed podcasts, interviews and more, right now for THREE DAYS free by clicking here!