Byron “Tech IX” McKinney 1977 – 2008

Byron “Tech IX” McKinney 1977 – 2008

Remembering a passed friend

Byron “Tech IX” McKinney
1977 – 2008

Its been one year since the passing of my friend Byron Tech 9″ Mckinney, a socal pro wrestler that I broke in the business with in North Hollywood back in 1994. Byron was a natural in the ring, very athletic, handsome, and a jacked 220lbs. I saw him as someone I was gonna have to keep up with. Byron and I would train for over a year together in a small warehouse with low in ceilings in a what seemed like a toy 12×12 ring. Then later we would wrestle each other all over Southern California from San Diego to Tulare, CA.! Byron and my brother Angel would always talk Mustangs. Byron and Angel had the common hobby of building, taking apart and rebuilding 90’s era Mustangs.

Byron would move on to winning many singles championships and tag titles with his partner Crayze-1. Tearing up the SoCal indy scene gaining a great following. I later met up with Bryon in XPW, when the office was pushing Byron as their top guy, which he well deserved. He had a new name, Kristian Blood, but was better then I remembered. About this time give or take a year or two. Byron lost his love for pro wrestling. I really wish I was part of his life in his last years. I wish I could have helped him. I wish I was there for him. My heart goes out to him, his family and friends and everyone that knew him. Rest in peace my brother. I love you, and will never forget you.

~Joey

 



Byron past away last year on 11.18.2008
Here are the thoughts on some of the boys that passed thru Byrons life in his Wrestling career and personal life.

-California Observer writes:
Byron was a kind ,quiet , funny , compassionate , giving and smart guy. He was an excellent athlete . He had a rough time the last few years and he is in a better place. Sad news

-Ric Drasin writes:
11-20-2008, 04:34 PM
I’ve known Byron for years since he was a kid. I used him on my AWF shows and he had great potential then to become one of the best in the business. Byron had a lot of ‘demons’ that confused and upset his life for years. His Dad, Bill Mc Kinney, well known actor from ‘Deliverence’ and all the lint Eastwood films works out with me every morning.

Byron came by my place many times over the years and wanted to work out in my ring and make a return to wrestling. At first I let him and then after a period of time, I began to talk him out of it. He was beginning to get injured almost every time he stepped into the ring and I didn’t want him to have a serious accident.

Over the past few years he still toyed with the idea of going back into the business but the wrestling game went forward and left Byron behind. All the great moves he had, were being used and even bigger ones by the newer breed and Byron was falling out of shape. There was no light at the end of the tunnel any longer and this could really ruin some ones hope who had the eye of the tiger years back.

We all reach a point in life where we can no longer do what we did and have to realize it’s time to move on. I’m sad and upset to hear this news and I feel for his Father, being a Dad myself. It’s a horrible thing to lose a parent, but when your child dies before you do, there is nothing worse.

My heart and soul go out to Byron and his Dad and I hope this is a better place for him. He was a ‘brother’ to all of us in Wrestling and that will never change.
-Ric Drasin

-Bill Judd writes:
I think Ric D. put it best. There is not much more I can add to this except that I hate what this business has done to so many of my friends. When will it end? Who will be left to grow old with? This is precisely why I quit the business 5 years ago and have no desire to ever set foot inside a ring again. It has become a perversion of the great sport we all fell in love with as young men! Byron was truly a one of a kind and will be missed.
I was with him last Saturday night. We were supposed to watch the UFC Pay-per-view but his converter box broke. He forgot to call me and tell me, so I showed up with food and drinks like normal. I spent 3 hours there alone with him just talking about the old days, and I thank god that I had that chance to see him one last time and end the night on a good note. A lot of guys would have a problem telling the world that they love another man (even as a close friend) but I have no problem saying it loud and clear for every soul on earth to know that I LOVED BYRON!!!!

-Johnny Webb writes:
Sad to hear…
I remember back in the olden days when Byron and Rob worked Lester and Joey (what seemed like) 100 times, up and down the coast. He was amazing; so talented. He was also sometimes guarded and aloof to people he barely knew. I think about how the biz teaches you the etiquette of smiling and shaking hands with total strangers you meet at every booking. It was probably hard for him to put on a false face like that all the time. The last time i saw him was at Dynamite D’s funeral, and he didn’t say a word then, either.
Byron always had a “Take Care Business” demeanor; he even wrestled that way. Crayz was the mouthpiece and Byron was ‘strong, silent-type’ dude. Seeing a NaybahHoodz match was like watching “the anvil” and “the hitman” wrestle in different bodies.
I’m glad he had guys like Bill Judd to open up to, and regret that i couldn’t have known him better.

R.I.P

-Dirty Dan Hanson writes:
Man last month, I was going through a bunch of old video tapes and came across a compilation tape of matches with Rob & Byron going against Lester and Joey from Colton I believe. Some great matches from when we were all young in the business. I remember the first time I met Byron. It was at an EWF show in San Bernardino when Dick Danger cracked his head on the floor after a botched moonsault. Anyways, when all of us boys were doin’ the IWF thing in Simi, I remember Byron wanting to be involved so much that he’d show up to the shows so he could work ringside with Rob and refusing to take a payday because he was hurt at the time. He had such a passion for wrestling and was by far one of the most talented guys in SoCal at the time. It’s hard to believe he’s gone.

It’s been 10 years since I talked to him last but, to me, it feels like it was just the other day. When I told my daughter of his passing, she cried so much because she was such a fan and to this day, she still remembers him protecting her at ringside when she was only 3 years old and accidentally got to close to the ring during one of mine and Robs matches. Byron will always be remembered by me as being a stand up guy and a brother.

To all my other brothers from that time, Webb, Brandon, Rob, Jess Ballin, Ryan McBain, Phil Lander, Red, Gary Key, Bo Cooper, Pete, Bill Judd, Patrick Hernandez, Ryan McGonagle, The Haystacks, Bobby Bradley, Navajo, Ballards, Dan Farrin, Danny Wolfe, Al Burke, Trent, Lester, Joey, Hussein, and all the others I should mention, I love you guys and remember those days as the best time in my life. With all the promotions and places I’ve wrestling before and since then, that short time in Simi Valley is what I’ll remember most fondly. Which ever guys are on this board I want to thank you all for being part of the best time of my life and no matter where you are or how long it’s been since I’ve seen you, you’re all considered family. I love you guys.

-Robb Courtney writes:
Its been a few days since I learned of the passing of my friend Byron.. Its hard to put into words how I felt when I first learned, I just sat there in my chair and thought how I should have helped him or talked to him.. Ya see I really hadnt seen of talked to Byron in over 3 years. The last I saw or spoke to him he and I had changed a lot, I had got married and had my son.. And he was still having a good time and. well just being Byron. He stopped calling all together and I also never picked the phone up ( im guilty of moving on ) . For those who know I trained or broke in a few guys here like Byron , supreme , kaos , ryan mcbain .. and helped a lot of other guys over the years . I remember meeting Byron in a small beat up shit hole with a ring in north Hollywood where we trained at the time , he wanted to be Owen hart , all those guys caught on so quick ( and truly have always been better than me ) .. maybe not mcbain .. but thats another story . I was lucky enough to be able to get ECW in 96 before it was on TV here in l.a.

And we fell in love with the public enemy when there were bad ass guys feuding with the gangstas . and I was working for a small fed called golden state championship wrestling in san Bernardino ( ran by eric stud and scott basio ( who died 3 weeks ago ) and guys like primetime Peterson, jack studd , Jason Redondo and Rick sadist worked ) . I was jobbing and wanting to move up they had no tag teams so , Da Naybah Hoodz ( looking like P.E thought we were black gangstas ) were born . I asked supreme and kaos if they would like to work there too . and the feud that lasted 4 years was born ( as webb said we worked everywhere and anywhere , for little or no pay ( I have so many of these matched on tape they look the same !! ) It was the best 4 years of my life and I owe that to Byron and the boys ( supreme and kaos ) . We drove a lot of miles and ate a lot of food ( chi chis pizza at 1 am .. the best ). Me and Byron were lucky enough to have a lot of tag team titles put around our waists because of his in ring talent , I was just a mouth piece that could get us booked and could throw in that old school psychology with his new age craziness .
He was truly a great in ring performer and a great out of ring person; I truly wish that I could have mended fences with him. But some things are just not met to be.

The one sad thing is there will be a 10 bell salute to him in a place was the crowd has never seen a match and that saddens me more. Im going to dig out some old tapes and be able to see him at his best that was tearing it up in the ring and having a blast

RIP brother.. Im sorry

CRAYZ
Robb

-Paul Logan X writes:
After MPW closed Byron was one of the only guys I kept in contact with that was involved with wrestling. Not that I meant to loose contact with the other guys but life happens. I saw Byron a few times a year consistantly and had numerous long phone conversations with him about life, wrestling and anything else that came into our minds.

About a year after I became a cop I got assigned to Van Nuys High School as the resident officer. Byron had graduated from Van Nuys High School years earlier so he was aware of the large gang problem that existed there. Byron took it upon himself to walk over to Calvert and Delano Street between Kester and Cedros in Van Nuys and proceeded to challenge any Barrio Van Nuys gang members that he could find to fight him right there or keep the violence away from the school. Now BVN is a bunch of killers and rapists, you name it. Byron wasn’t scared at all. I felt very honored by the fact that my friend decided to do something insane because he was worried about me and wanted me to have an easier time there.

The last time I took a bump I was training with Byron. About a year and a half ago he and I went down to De La O’s in Huntington Beach and worked out for a few hours. Byron still had it and had come up with like 10 new moves that I hadn’t seen before.

Byron was the MPW World Champion for several of our shows and even scored a pinfall victory over Christopher Daniels.

A few weeks ago Byron called me at about 1:00 AM and left me a voice mail. I didn’t pick it up because I was sleeping and had to be up at 4:30 AM to start work the next day. I listened to his voicemail and saod that he had just heard that Doc Marley had died and wondered if I knew anything about it. He then asked me how my family was and told me to stay in touch. I saved the voice mail and keapt meaing to call him back when I had some time. I still have the voice mail in my phone and I listened to it after I read that he had passed away. I don’t know exactly how to describe the way it made me feel but Byron sounded like Byron. Soft hearted, caring and interested in what was going on in my life. I am so sorry that I did not call him back.

Byron was insanely talented in the ring. Byron could’ve easily wrestled for WWE. He was that good. He just had some demons in his life that he decided to keep to himself. That was his way. He cared about his friends. He’d give you the shirt off his back and all the money in his pocket if he thought it would help you. I know alot of wrestlers have stayed at his house over the years without any questions asked or anything asked in return.

I have talked about putting a fed together again a few times over the years. If that ever happened Byron was going to be on the front lines. That was always part of my plan. The fact that he won’t be there if that ever happens makes me very sad.

I have shed many tears over the loss of another one of my brothers as I’m sue many other have. The only thing to do now is to honor who Byron was. A caring, giving person who looked out for his friends and stood for what was right. Byron would’ve been the biggest star to come out of XPW but he refused to compromise his integrity for Rob Black. He instead decided to work the flea markets and Jewish Community Centers for next to no money, and he never regreted it.

To my friend Byron I say I love you and I miss you and I wish that things went down a diffrent way. I know you are with the lord because I know what was in your heart. I know I will see you again. Thank you for your mentoring and all the good times.

Sincerly, Paul (Logan X) Ventimiglia

-Tim Fisher writes:
I dont post interenet threads…
I never felt a Pro Wrestler should post the bullshit he thinks is important, or the myriad of damaging rumors that destroy many wrestler’s morale, career, homelife etc.
I’ve flown under the radaar for a couple years on purpose… as wrestling has brought more heartache to me, than success… and I never chimed in when rumors would circulate about my health… my death… etc. etc….
The only time iv’e posted anything, was after the loss of my friend Basil Bozinis… Which was deleted by the board, as they felt it was too “negative” about “the business” .. and may dishearten those they were trying to convince that the wrestling life was a rosey path to wealth and fame…
And now…a second post…. an even closer friend…Byron….
I’m happy to see that people have posted to celebrate the great guy they knew… and even the marks who didn’t know him for shit.. who just want to be “involved”… for once.. I won’t curse these marks, but praise them for having something nice to say…
It good to see posts from Drasin, Logan, Webb…

But mostly, i want to give condolences to Clinton, my favourite Limey, (I just left a message with your dad, with my ph #, call me if he’s unable)

And Judd, I know how close you were with By, and probably share the same frustrations at the loss that I do…

I returned to Cali shortly… tryin to re-start my life “after wrestling”… I had a “things to do” dry erase board on my wall… Get work, get Health Insurance, Drink Less….. But the one thing on the board… The only thing I didn’t cross off yet… “Go See Byron”

Although I’ve been flying under the Raadar.. I know there are a select few of you who know how to reach me… And how angry am I to find out …TODAY… weeks after the fact, from a close friend in Texas… who I was contacting to congratulate the birth of his new daughter…

I’m angry… that people will find ways to contact me to tell me that “I died”.. or that my career failed because of “personal demons”…. or to ask me to take part in an XPW reunion show….
But you can’t Fuckin’ get a hold of me to let me know someone I loved has passed?

I have worked through the loss of my wrestling partners…Basil, Candido, Rizzo, Kronus, Darrin…

But Byron wasn’t a comrade, a wrestling partner…. he was a brother and a friend… And I feel so bad… That I didn’t finish my “things to do” list in time…
And that I found out of his passing too late to attend any services… and too late for him to play the role of himself, in a screeenplay i’ve written about the very subject that has, as Bill Judd taken too many of our friends… but the story is about my demise… not Byron’s…

I am in a state of shock, this explains why i’ve written more than I probably should have…. But god Damn It!!! Why Byron?…. why not Bin Laden, or Ted Turner… Byron never hurt anyone…except for maybe the few of us who worked out eith him, and his stiff fucking wristlocks… heheh..

Generally speaking, I think wrestling chat rooms, or whatever the fuck you call this shit is…. is … well… GAY

But on this occasion, I make an exception… and am grateful to have somewhere to spit out my emotion… I will post only once… and it is to say…

I wish I had a firmer belief in God, so I could say…
God Bless you:
Clinton & Bill, Bill Judd, Jason, Paul, and those who were close…

And God bless you Byron… And God, keep him… And If there is a heaven, and you deem me worthy… Look out Byron, I’m bringing you a potato!

your brother,
Tim

-Bo Cooper writes:
I am saddend to hear this news, I remeber when i was just 14 years old and Crayz and TECH IX Would come to the EWF at the old sanbernardino boys and girls club, with there world tag team championship belts on and sit front row and heckle all the other tag teams, I remember the first time i ever spoke to them and they were super cool and they would stay in gimmick the whole time!! really neat stuff…

R.I.P my prayers and thoughts.


An old interview and pictures of Tech-9 Byron Mckinney


Ten Bell Salute for Byron Mckinney

Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy



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