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WRESTLER & PROMOTER WALT MCDONALD AKA CRYBABY WALDO & BIG SLAM VADER PASSES AWAY

By Mike Johnson on 2020-07-28 13:51:00

PWInsider.com is sad to report the passing Walt McDonald, who performed under several names over the course of his career on the independent scene, including Crybaby Waldo and Big Slam Vader before promoting his own events under the Slam Championship Wrestling banner.  According to a post on his wife's Facebook page, McDonald had been dealing with health issues, specifically COPD, congestive heart failure and kidney issues for some time.  His health had taken a turn for the worst after a bad fall a month ago and he had gone from being hospitalized to a rehab facility before going into hospice several days ago.  He was only 54 years old but

McDonald initially broke into the business in the late 1980s as part of Joel Goodhart's Tri-State Wrestling Alliance, training at the TWA school and performing as Crybaby Waldo, carrying a giant baby bottle and dressed in white, working against the likes of JT Smith, Ted Petty (under a mask as Cheetah Kid), The Sandman and others, including a short program with Mr. Anthony (Brian Anthony).  He also appeared on a number of events promoted by Tod Gordon's ECW in Philadelphia, working undercard matches.

McDonald rechristened himself Big Slam Vader in 1994, more than obviously a takeoff of Leon White's Big Van Vader and worked all over the Eastern Seaboard from Pennsylvania and Virginia down to the Carolinas, wrestling names like Wahoo McDaniel, CW Anderson, Christian York, 911 and the Tom Brandi version of the Patriot.  McDonald and Brandi were extremely close and worked a lot all over the independent scene.

McDonald was a regular fixture for the IPWA in Virginia in the 1990s as Slam Vader.  Later in his career, he worked a lot in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey wrestling scene later in his career, often working shows he was also promoting.    He even worked the undercard of the first-ever CZW Cage of Death event, facing Jon Dahmer.  I believe his last in-ring appearance was a TWA reunion event in 2009 where he reprised the Waldo persona.

McDonald was well liked by those who worked with in the business and was known for giving chances to a lot of younger talents on his shows.  He was considered quite the character in the locker room as well.  Former ECW and WWE star Brian Heffron aka The Blue Meanie, paid tribute to McDonald in the wake of his passing:

On behalf of everyone at PWInsider.com, we'd like to express our deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Walt McDonald.

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