The greater Buffalo wrestling community was rocked by the sudden death of Anthony Nicometi Jr., who wrestled as Anthony Gaines. He was 30.

Gaines launched to viral fame during a match from the summer of 2018, facing Ace Romero, when Romero sent the much-lighter opponent over the ropes and into the crowd.

Nicometi Jr. was born on July 22, 1993, grew up in Arcade, NY, and went to Maryvale High School in Cheektowaga, NY, a suburb of Buffalo.

The 5-foot-11, 207-pounder trained under Colin Delaney, Jordan Lennox, Marc Hauss, and Pepper Parks, and debuted in 2014.

He was nicknamed “None of a Kind.”

"None of a Kind" Anthony Gaines

“None of a Kind” Anthony Gaines

Most of his success happened in and around upstate New York, including championship runs in UPW, ESW, STW and PWR.

The Upstate Pro Wrestling promotion confirmed his passing: “Very sad news about the passing of Anthony Nicometti. Thoughts and prayers to His family and friends.”

In an Always B. Rocking interview from October 2018, ESW promoter Brett Stymus praised Gaines: “He’s one of the few guys who still shows up early to help set up and stay late to make sure everything is loaded on the truck at the end of the night,” Stymus said.

Gaines made the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500, at #465 in 2019 and #478 in 2018.

But it is the bump of all bumps that led to Caleb Smith of talking to Gaines. “From the aisleway leading from the ring to the stage is about 10 feet and I was thrown between 12 and 15 feet is how far I went,” Gaines told Smith. “It’s pretty nuts.” To put it mildly Gaines flew out of the ring and disappeared from the screen. It left viewers to wonder, Is he alright? Did he land in the fifth row? Is he alive?

Many of his colleagues posted their thoughts on the sudden death:

Lamar Terrill Thomas Jr. and Anthony Gaines. Facebook photo

Lamar Terrill Thomas Jr. and Anthony Gaines. Facebook photo

Lamar Terrill Thomas Jr.: We used to call each other Steen and Generico because we felt we were gonna have big moments together forever. You helped me out more than you should’ve and you called me out when I wasn’t working as hard as you felt I should’ve been. You always jumped into my arms and hugged me when I saw you. No matter how much you pissed me off. I couldn’t help but love you. I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did in wrestling without you. You were my first singles match. When you wrestled your idol, Jimmy Jacobs. you told me how nervous you were and how scared you were and all I could do was hug you and tell you how much I knew you were gonna kill it and afterwards we hugged and cried together because you did. I could go on forever. I can’t believe this is happening. I hope this isn’t real. I love you so much.

Darain Rabatoy: If there was anything to know about Anthony Nicometi Jr., it was that he was always he was always jumping up to check on your well-being whether you wanted to reach out or not. He played a huge part in helping me recover when the times got dark and it felt hopeless. He was a huge staple in getting me where I am, and that’s why I say I owe it all to him. I looked up to him, and I still do. This still hurts. My heart goes out to his family, his closest brothers, and everyone whose heart he touched or had the pleasure of meeting even if once. I love you and I miss you brotherface, None Of A Kind but also One Of A Kind.

Joe Hrycych, photographer: At a loss for words hearing that Anthony Nicometi Jr. passed tonight. Over the years we worked together on numerous creative projects and designs. I have countless photos of matches and moments through the years and was looking forward to shooting new photos when you returned. I will miss you brother. Your match with Ace Romero put a well deserved spotlight on you and Buffalo wrestling.

He leaves behind his partner Eric Alcade. Further details of his death on February 23, 2024, are not known at this time.

TOP PHOTO: Anthony Gaines. Photo by Joe Hrycych,


Anthony Gaines catapults into the spotlight with crazy bump