STAMFORD, Conn., April 13 (UPI) — Former WWE and ECW star Balls Mahoney, real name Jonathan Rechner, has died at the age of 44.
“WWE is saddened to learn of reports that Jonathan Rechner, best known for competing in ECW as Balls Mahoney, has passed away. WWE extends its condolences to Rechner’s family, friends and fans,” WWE said in a statement Tuesday.
Currently, there is no information on the cause of death. Rechner had just celebrated his 44th birthday on Monday according to Fox Sports.
Known for putting on some of the most hardcore matches in ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) history, Rechner joined WWE in 2005 where he competed under the company’s relaunch of the ECW brand. He was let go in 2008 but continued wrestling on the independent circuit afterwards.
“John Rechner. Even among larger than life characters in pro-wrestling, he was one of those guys who stood out – who made you laugh, smile, or just walk away, shaking your head in disbelief, knowing you had another Balls Mahoney story to share with the boys,” WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley wrote on Facebook Tuesday alongside an in-ring photo of Rechner.
“RIP my friend. You brought us some great memories. My prayers will be with your family and friends – especially the little boy you loved and doted on at so many shows over the years,” he continued.
Rechner is survived by his wife and son.