The Fox News Channel is now reporting on the death of former WWE manager Sherri Martel. It’s currently a front page headline on their website, with a big graphic posted as well. Furthermore, they just mentioned the story on Studio B With Shepard Smith. There doesn’t appear to be any new details regarding her death, although they are mentioning that there was a backstage incident involving Martel and the then-Nancy Sullivan in early 1996.
Reports of the incident say that an argument between the two escalated with Martel spitting on Nancy Sullivan. Martel reportedly was later fired. Fox News is getting all this information from the Pro Wrestling Torch, which is what they were reporting at the time. While that incident may have happened, in actuality, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is his obit on Sherri last week, she was let go by WCW in early 1996 because she “showed up in condition to work” at a TV taping. That also explains why her feud with Madusa, who crashed Sherri’s “wedding” with Col. Robert Parker, was suddenly cut off. In July 1996, Sherri was brought back to manage Harlem Heat again, but she was let go again a year later for reasons undisclosed.
Fox News is also saying that the Pro Wrestling Torch reported that Kevin Sullivan, then married to Nancy, tried to pair Martel up with Ric Flair as a play on the Nicole Brown/O.J. Simpson story at the time. That seems to be incorrect as Sherri herself said during her WWE Hall of Fame induction last year that she was going to be paired up with Ron Simmons. She said the storyline was nixed by the people at Turner because it would have been too controversial.
Here is the article from Fox News:
Another Mysterious Death
Alabama cops search for clues in death of ex-pro wrestler Sherri Martel, whose body was found June 15.
Another Pro Wrestler Found Dead Days Before Benoit Murder-Suicide
Thursday, June 28, 2007
A week to the day before pro wrestler Chris Benoit murdered his wife Nancy, former pro wrestler and manager Sherri Martel was found dead of unknown causes at her mother’s home.
Martel, a pro wrestler in the WWE Hall of Fame who later managed the likes of “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, was found dead in her mother’s home in McCalla, Ala., on June 15, according to published reports.
Linking the deaths of the Benoits with Martel is former pro wrestler Kevin Sullivan, a man once married to Nancy Benoit and who also was Martel’s friend and booker.
Martel, who wrestled under the name “Sensational Sherri,” was found dead by her husband, Robert Schrull, according to a report in the Tuscaloosa News.
Click here to read the Tuscaloosa News report.
Following World Wrestling Entertainment’s announcement of Martel’s death, wrestling Web sites quickly began speculating about case.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Live told his audience that she did not die of natural causes, saying “this was not a typical wrestler’s death,” according to reports. But Capt. Loyd Baker of the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit told the Tuscaloosa News that foul play was not suspected in her death.
“The cause of death is pending her autopsy and toxicology report,” he said June 19. An officer in the homicide unit told FOXNews.com that those results could take months to be finished.
Martel began her career in the early 1980s and later went on to manage more than 15 wrestlers including Ric Flair and Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
“Everyone respected her,” said Bruce Mitchell, a columnist for the Pro Wrestling Torch newsletter and Web site, told the Tuscaloosa News. “She was an attractive lady, but she wasn’t just eye-candy.
“She was really a pioneer and a trailblazer.”
One popular wrestling site, PWTorch.com, reports that Kevin Sullivan, then married to Nancy, tried to pair Martel with wrestler Ric Flair as part of a scripted Nicole Brown/O.J. Simpson ring drama, but that “work” was abandoned.
PWTorch.com writes that in early 1996, Martel became involved in a strange “work” — or scripted — feud between Sullivan and wrestler Brian Pillman. The match reportedly got out of hand, and spilled into a backstage confrontation involving Martel and the then-Nancy Sullivan. Reports of the incident say that the argument escalated with Martel spitting on Nancy Sullivan.
Martel reportedly was later fired.
Several wrestling blogs reported that Martel had a drug problem and had entered a 21-day rehab program, but investigating police would not comment.
PWTorch.com quoted her in 2005 saying, “I slip back every now and again, but I am trying my best.”
Check out pics of Sherri in WCW, WWF and in recent years (>>)