Mike Willis, a fixture on the indy wrestling scene in the Pacific Northwest since the early 2000s as Dropkick Murphy, has died. He was 40.

Details are still unclear, but the passing was reported by Canadian Apex Wrestling on December 4, 2023: “CAW is saddened to announce the passing of CAW Wrestler and PNW wrestling legend Mike Willis known as ‘Dropkick Murphy.’ Kick was loved by everyone that knew him and this is an terrible blow to our community. We love you Kick and you will be missed more than we could ever explain. RIP Kick. Until we meet again at the Battle Royale in the sky.”

He was born on March 23, 1983, in Ladner, a suburb of Delta, BC. Willis attended Delta Secondary School.

Willis started training in 2000 under “Rocket” Randy Tyler and Mike Roselli, and debuted in February 2001.

The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Willis is most known as Dropkick Murphy in the Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling promotion. In ECCW, he was a four-time tag team champion (three times with Scotty Mac, once with Sid Sylum) and held the ECCW Hardcore title. As well, ECCW was, for a time, affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance, and Murphy was a two-time NWA Canadian Junior heavyweight champion.

Scotty Mac was both a frequent tag team partner, faction member and a close friend.

He also worked as DK Roc and under his real name.

Dropkick Murphy appears on other Pacific Northwest shows. Vance Nevada teamed with him briefly in Portland in 2004, as part of a faction with Fidel Sierra known as the International Cartel. Nevada said that Willis was “always amiable, unassuming and a really animated character both in the ring and around the boys.”

Dropkick Murphy, left, hams for the camera as ref Verne Seibert and Terry Joe Silverspoon try to control him at the ECCW 10th anniversary show. Photo by Fred Johns

Recently, Murphy was returning to wrestling action after an absence, and was in perhaps the best shape of his life. On November 19, Willis posted to Facebook from the gym: “With 2023 nearing an end I can honestly say it’s been the best year wrestling wise, of my entire life. Training hard 2024 gona be 🔥🔥

Many colleagues posted their condolences.

  • “This one stings i don’t even know what to say……” wrote Maurice Manson. “I love you bro. I had so much fun reconnecting with you this year and being able to wrestle you again after 20 or so years. I had so many ideas in my head, and you were the one guy I wanted to wrestle the most in 2024. I hope you find peace in the ring in the sky. Rest in Peace”
  • “40 years old is way too young to die,” wrote Aidan Pringle. “RIP Mike Willis AKA Dropkick Murphy… This really saddens me. “
  • “The man had a beautiful success story. Nothing I admire more on Earth than someone who uses positivity, hard work and pro wrestling to overcome their demons,” wrote young up and coming woman wrestler Tara Zep. “He will be missed. sending my love to those close to him, who are hurting.”
  • “He was one of the best a real great person and even a better friend,” wrote “Azeem the Dream: Azeem Mohamed. “When I broke in he was one of the very few that not only befriended me but also called me brother I will always cherish the memories God bless Rest Easy my friend”