Pampero Firpo, Wrestling Legend, Passes Away At The Age Of 89

Pampero Firpo

Photo Credit: Mary Fries

It’s being reported that wrestling legend Pampero Firpo (real name Juan Kachmanian) has passed away at the age of 89. The Argentinian-born Firpo wrestled from the 1950s to the 1980s was a featured star back in the territory days, wrestling the likes of The Sheik in Detroit and plenty of AWA names like Nick Bockwinkel and Mad Dog Vachon.

Firpo’s daughter Mary confirmed of his passing this morning, releasing a statement regarding her father.

“My beloved father, Pampero Firpo, (Juan Kachmanian), passed away today just a few months shy of his 90th birthday. As a professional wrestler for over 30 years, he thrilled fans around the world, wrestling in 21 different countries across 5 continents.

At home, he was loving, generous, and protective. He was faithful to God, devoted to his family, and made friends wherever he went. At the end, he expressed gratitude and peace for his extraordinary life well-lived.

Thank you to his fans, friends, and colleagues who have shared your memories, friendship, love, prayers, and support with my dad and our family. It means the world to us. God bless you. – Mary. 2 Corinthians 5:8.”

Firpo went by several aliases over the course of his career but his “Pampero Firpo” name was courtesy of legendary boxer Jack Dempsey. According to Mike Mooneyham of The Post & Courier, Dempsey thought he should take the name Firpo after a boxer he fought in the 1920s named Luis Angel “The Wild Bull of the Pampas” Firpo and provide the legend that he was the “The Wild Bull’s” son.

“It appealed to my dad because my dad’s (real) father was a real shooter,” said his daughter. “He was a contender for the Olympics. His parents were of Armenian descent and born in Turkey. His father ended up in Greece in an orphanage run by the British Red Cross.”

“My father grew up around boxing, but it never really appealed to him,” said Fries. “He told me he was in the ring one time, punched a guy and knocked him down, but then ran over to make sure he was OK. It just wasn’t for him.”

“He had a lot of respect for Jack Dempsey,” added Fries. “He met a lot of the boxing champions like Max Baer, Jimmy Braddock, Rocky Marciano and Joe Louis.”

Wrestling fans can credit Firpo for one of the most famous catchphrases in all of wrestling: Randy Savage’s “Ohhh Yeah” was a Pampero Firpo original, according to Randy’s brother, Lanny Poffo.

“We grew up in the wrestling business,” brother Lanny Poffo once told CBS Sports. “We were in Hawaii when ‘Handsome’ Johnny Barend foreshadowed a heel turn on ‘Gentleman’ Jim Hady. We remembered stuff like that. He (Randy) even did the ‘Ohhhh yeahhhhh!’ copied from Pampero Firpo. He did it differently because Firpo was an Armenian from Argentina, so he had his own unique accent. But still, we were influenced by that.”

We at WrestleZone would like to send our prayers and deepest condolences to Mary and all of Mr. Kachmanian’s family and friends during this time.

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