Broadcasting Icon Larry King Passes Away At 87; How He Helped Grow Pro Wrestling's National Reach

Unfortunately, the broadcasting world has lost an iconic voice and wrestling has lost a great supporter, as Larry King has passed away at the age of 87.

Over the 25 years that his CNN show, Larry King live, was on the air, Larry helped give pro wrestling coverage on a national scale in ways that some outlets were apprehensive about, because of the stigma that can sometimes surround pro wrestling.

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During times of hardship for the WWE, Larry always provided a platform for WWE to share its point of view such as in 1992, when Vince McMahon appeared on the program to address the sexual misconduct allegations that were brought against the company.

Larry King also allowed several performers to share their point of view during the summer of 2007 when the entire industry was processing tragic double murder-suicide that took the lives of Chris, Nancy, and Daniel Benoit.

After his show ended in 2010, Larry King began a new series, Larry King Now, which featured modern wrestlers such as The Miz & Maryse.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2018, King discussed the entertaining aspect of professional wrestling and how he felt that the medium was always ahead of its time.

“They are incredible athletes, their fan following is amazing, but their results are never in the paper,” said King, who saw a gaping hole in wrestling’s national coverage despite its popularity. “I remember watching Antonino Rocca from Argentina bang off the ropes and jump into the air, and it was incredible what wrestling was to early television. Pro wrestling and [early TV star] Milton Berle made early television.

“Wrestlers are very serious but also entertaining,” added King. “They answer the questions you ask, and wrestling’s growth is an incredible story. It’s a multi-million dollar franchise.”

Larry King was also the subject of two WWE parodies. One came in 1996 as “Larry Flint” hosted “The Huckster” and “The Nacho Man” ahead of their big “match” on the free-for-all before WrestleMania 12.

King was then parodied in 2005 during the build-up to Shawn Michaels vs.
Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam.

WWE, who also featured Larry King on a 2012 episode of Monday Night raw, released a statement regarding the passing of the broadcasting legend.

From WWE:

WWE is saddened to learn that Larry King passed away at the age of 87.

The talk show titan reimagined possibilities in the world of television with his iconic “The Larry King Show.” Prominent figures from the entertainment, sports and political worlds graced his show nightly, but King made a special impact on the national coverage of wrestling.

“They are incredible athletes, their fan following is amazing, but their results are never in the paper… To me, if someone is interesting, then I am curious. And wrestlers—and wrestling—are interesting,” King once told Sports Illustrated.

When “The Larry King Show” debuted on Ora.TV in 2012, King featured a special WWE Superstars episode that included John Cena, The Miz & Maryse, Big Show and more. After being named Social Media Ambassador for Raw, King would bring his legendary show to the red brand in 2012. It was an eventful night for two-time Peabody Award winner, as the A-Lister memorably couldn’t help but crash his set and King also provided some life advice to Daniel Bryan.

WWE extends its condolences to King’s family and friends

King had been hospitalized in early 2021 due to complications from COVID-19. As of this writing, his official cause of death has not been revealed.

Fightful would like to extend its condolences to Larry King's family, friends, and fans.

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