One of the original minds behind Ring of Honor, Doug Gentry, passed away January 26, 2007, due to complications from a bacterial infection in his heart.
According to PWInsider.com, Gentry, 34, had been feeling fatigued for months and was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection in his heart. Gentry had been undergoing antibiotic treatment in preparation for surgery on a heart valve that had been clogged due to the infection. Gentry was hospitalized last night after having trouble breathing, and was diagnosed with pneumonia on top of everything else he had problems with and passed away this morning.
Gentry was the right-hand man of Rob Feinstein, the owner of RFVideo and former owner of Ring of Honor. Gentry was involved with RFVideo’s business relationship with Extreme Championship Wrestling, handing vendor tables and filming events for the company’s ECW Fancam releases.
When ECW folded, RFVideo worked with several Northeastern independent promotions before starting Ring of Honor in February of 2002. Gentry headed up the company’s production and home video editing, as well as doing ringside camerawork and commentary on ROH releases under the name Ray Murrow. According to Mike Johnson at PWInsider.com, Ring of Honor may not even be around today if it had not been for Gentry.
“The truth is, if it had not been for Gentry, Ring of Honor as everyone knows it simply would not exist today, in any form. By March 2003, ROH had been in the red for some time and things were looking bleak. Cary Silkin, a friend of Gentry dating back a number of years, approached ROH about coming on board as an investor. Without a doubt, had Gentry not cultivated that business relationship, ROH would have been another independent that had a solid run, only to fail. Had Gentry not known Silkin, ROH would have ceased to have existed following the Philadelphia event where Samoa Joe first won the ROH championship from Xavier,” Johnson wrote on the website.
In March of 2004, Gentry was named President of RFVideo and Ring of Honor in the wake of a scandal involving Rob Feinstein. When Ring of Honor split completely from RFVideo, Gentry stayed with Feinstein and the two continued to run RFVideo as well as work with several independent promotions. Gentry served as booker when RF Video worked with a promoter to run shows in 2006 under the name Pro Wrestling Elite.