Much like the entire wrestling world, Les Thatcher is mourning the loss of the legendary Don Kernolde. The former NWA Tag Team Champion passed away yesterday and Thatcher, who is well-traveled in the world of the “one true sport,” commemorated his longtime friend on PWInsider:
It was so sad to hear of the passing of a long time friend Don Kernodle last night. I may have been the 1st person Don ever dealt with in pro wrestling as I was the guy handling the paper work for Bob Roop taking on challengers at the Raleigh, NC TV station so many years ago.
Don was a young grappler out of Elon College who wanted to take Bob on, and after asking several times if he really wanted to do this. He signed, met Roop, got hooked, later trained with Gene & Ole Anderson and had a very good career.
That night in Raleigh became a running joke between Don & I over the years. When he would spot me at a fanfest or reunion he would start pointing his finger and saying “It’s all his fault! Les Thatcher is the one that got me in all this craziness! All you had to do was tell me NO that night in Raleigh!”
Don was always full of life with a big smile for everyone. The wrestling business and I are better for our knowing “Noodle”, and being graced with his friendship. Go with God my dear friend and know that you will be remembered with Love & respect!
Dave Meltzer is reporting that Kernodle’s death was self-inflicted, but there are no further details at this moment. We at WrestleZone want to extend our thoughts, prayers and condolences to Kernodle’s family, friends and colleagues at this time.