Don West, a former Shop at Home Network pitchman who later became a commentator for Total Nonstop Action wrestling and Impact Wrestling, died on Friday. He was 59.
Mike Tenay, West’s partner on the Impact Wrestling broadcasts, revealed that the commentator battled lymphoma. The company issued a statement on West’s death as well.
“Don was truly a one of a kind who brightened every room he walked into,” Impact Wrestling executive vice president Scott D’Amore said in a statement. “He brought out the best in people and was an inspiration to all who crossed paths with him. He was one of the first people I met upon arriving at the TNA Asylum for the first time, and Don instantly made me feel welcome. His warm heart and legendary sense of humor made every day at work something to look forward to.”
The rest of the pro wrestling world paid tribute to West on social media.
West was the host of “Sports Collectibles” on the Shop at Home Network and later pitched knives to those who shopped from their couch. He was with the network from 1991 to 2001, when he left to start a local sports show in Nashville. By 2002, Jeff Jarrett had offered him a spot in Total Nonstop Action (TNA) as a color commentator alongside Tenay.
TNA was born out of the ashes of WWE’s purchase of its competitor World Championship Wrestling. Jarrett, a longtime WCW member who got his start in WWE, then known as the World Wrestling Federation, founded TNA. The company later rebranded as Impact Wrestling.
West worked for the company until 2012 and later returned in 2017 to call one more match at the company’s Slammiversary XV show.
West was on the call for some of the company’s most famous moments. A.J. Styles, Kurt Angle, Christian and Rhyno were some of the most well-known names who were in the company at one point or another.