Former WWE superstar, Matt Osborne, better known for his ring persona “Doink the Clown,” passed away Friday at the age of 57 WWE.com reports.
WWE.com released a statement on their website concerning Osborne’s death stating:
“Reports indicate that Matt Osborne, aka the original Doink the Clown, has passed away. A rugged brawler in promotions like Mid-South Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling, Osborne made a major impact in WWE under the greasepaint of a prankster named Doink — one of the most enduring personas of the early ’90s. WWE is saddened by the news of Osborne’s passing. Our deepest condolences go out to Osborne’s family, friends and fans.”
Although Osborne never held a WWE title in his 35 year career in Wrestling, he did win the Texas Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight title, and the Wrecking Ball Wrestling title. He also had multiple successes in tag team competition, winning the NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team titles with Buzz Sawyer and winning the USWA World Tag Team titles twice with Jeff Jarrett.
After a one year stint in WCW (World Championship Wrestling), Osborne left the company in 1992 and debuted in the WWF, competing in dark matches before he was introduced as Doink The Clown. Doink was most known for his villainous actions against wrestlers and sometimes even fans, In 1993 Doink began feuding with Crush, attacking him with a prosthetic arm during an episode of Superstars of Wrestling.
The attack led to a match at WrestleMania IX, where Crush was attacked by a Doink Double wielding a prosthetic leg. Doink ultimately won the bout after having his double hold Crush while he beat him over the head with the foreign object a few more times for good measure before going for the pin.
Doink continued his feud with Crush through the spring of 1993, causing him to lose his Intercontinental title match with Shawn Michaels, when Doink and his double attacked Crush allowing Shawn Michaels to retain his title.
Doink was then employed by Jerry “The King” Lawler at “SummerSlam to face Bret “The Hit Man” Hart. Bret ended up winning the match after Lawler interfered, causing the disqualification. A short time later Osborne was let go by WWF for repeated drug issues.
In 1994 Osborne spent a short time in ECW, before wrestling the independent circuit until 2013.
Osborne was more than just a comic relief character, he paved the way for future gimmick superstars to come into the WWE and make their own place in the history of the business. If Doink never was a character in WWE, I doubt Hornswoggle, Fandango, and The Boogeyman would have been either.