John Rechner – better known to wrestling fans worldwide as Balls Mahoney – has passed away.
His death was reported by WWE last night, with official cause of death yet to be announced. Mike Johnson of PWInsider has reported that according to those he has spoken with, Rechner recently suffered a bad hip injury following a fall.
Most synonymous with ECW, he spent four years with the promotion, two of which was with partner Axl Rotten as the Hardcore Chair Swingin’ Freaks. Following their split, he stayed with the company until its closure in 2001.
He made an appearance at WWE’s ECW One Night Stand show in 2005, before returning on a permanent deal in 2006 when WWE decided to relaunch ECW. Outlasting most – if not all – of his fellow ECW Originals, Balls would stay with WWE for three years, before being released from his contract.
Following a one-off appearance for TNA during their ECW tribute period, he floated around the independent scene, including several appearances in Ring of Honor. His last match was on 6 December 2015, defeating Shaunymo in a Flaming Tables Match for DFC.
Rechner was well-liked in the industry, and always considered himself fortunate to have a successful career thanks to wrestling. When ECW closed and the drawn-out legal issues over unpaid wages went on, Mahoney was famously one of the few men who refused to claim any unpaid fees due to him, believing that if it were not for ECW, he would not have had a career.
Mahoney is survived by his wife and son.