we lose another one
When the man known as John Kronus wasn't doing flips off the top rope or getting beat in the head with a folding chair, he was George Caiazzo, who dedicated himself to his true passion: being the best father he could be to his 9-year-old son, Gage.
So says a Lakes Region family that is mourning the loss of Caiazzo, a former pro wrestling champion who was found dead in his girlfriend's apartment at 57 Blueberry Place on Blueberry Lane in Laconia on Wednesday.
Caiazzo, 38, a 6-foot-3, 273-pound behemoth, took on the ring name "John Kronus" when he began a pro wrestling career that paired him with Perry Saturn to form "The Eliminators" — a tag team duo that won several titles in the 1990s with the now-defunct Extreme Championship Wrestling, or ECW.
Police were summoned to an untimely death call on Blueberry Lane at 2:46 p.m. on Wednesday that they have deemed not to be suspicious in nature.
Authorities are not revealing the name of the man found in the apartment but officials from the State Medical Examiner's Office confirmed on Thursday that they had performed an autopsy on Caiazzo, saying it will not produce a cause of death until toxicology results are returned — a process they said could take some time.
However, the family of Caiazzo has confirmed the death of a man they are calling a consummate entertainer and the ultimate family man.
Jenn Caiazzo Dunlop of Sanbornton, the man's sister, said her brother's death has come as a huge blow to a family that is split between the Lakes Region and Everett, Mass., where they grew up.
"It definitely came as a shock to us," said Caiazzo.
The sister and her husband, Brad Dunlop, said they can only speculate as to the cause of the death but noted that the family has a long history of heart problems that have taken lives at an early age.
Jenn Caiazzo said her brother, who preferred to be called by his ring name, John, was a light-hearted family man who got into wrestling at a young age while living in the Boston metropolitan area.
She said her father, the older George Caiazzo, was a star high school football player who later played for the New York Giants before becoming injured.
According to Jenn Caiazzo, her brother followed in her father's athletic footsteps but chose a different path when he began a pro wrestling career that suited his huge frame and natural acrobatic abilities.
"He loved sports, camping and cooking," said Jenn Caiazzo.
Dunlop and Caiazzo said the man who came to be known as John Kronus performed countless matches and rose to the top of the ECW, which took him all over the world, from Japan to Australia. They said he once got refused from an all-you-can eat buffet in China simply because of his size, which they assured was more than a little imposing to strangers.
Like many in the pro wrestling field, his sister said her brother eventually succumbed to the hardships of a sport that saw the entertainers being beaten and bloodied in an ECW that prided itself on taking "extreme" to the next level.
Family members say Caiazzo could do a flip in one step and was known as being the first big man to summersault off the top rope onto his opponents.
Popular wrestling websites list his "imploding 450 smash" and the "Kronus Krunch" as some of his signature moves which were developed out of his schooling with Boston-based trainer Walter "Killer" Kowalksi — a well-known pioneer in the sport whose students are being signed to pro contracts with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).