Canadian Indie Personality Johnny Gayle Victim of Homicide

Photo: Superkick'd

The Canadian indies are easily one of the most underrated and overlooked territories in the world when it comes to wrestling. Despite a lifelong legacy of creating some of the most technical and entertaining stars as Bret “Hitman” Hart, Chris Jericho, Gail Kim, Roddy Piper, Abdullah the Butcher, Stu Hart, Owen Hart, Kevin Owens, Kyle O’Reilly, Lance Storm, Chris Benoit, Sami Zayn, Rosemary, Taya Valkyrie, Chelsea Green, El Phantasmo, Mike “Speedball” Bailey, PCO – okay, you get the idea – Canada’s independents are much like Canadian film and television. They never get noticed until they break out in the United States or Britain. But those that know the Canadian indies, the fans and wrestlers who go to shows for promotions like Smash Wrestling, Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW), International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS) or Alpha-1, it’s a community. There’s a reason that Canadian wrestling fans cheer for ANY wrestler that comes from Canada, while elsewhere it’s more geocentric to city (or at least, state). One of Toronto’s top promotions is the group Superkick’d. And today they were the bearers of some terrible and tragic news that rocked the Southwest Ontario (and Canadian) indie wrestling scene. Their announcer Johnny Gayle was positively identified today as the victim of a shooting in Toronto, Ontario today after police had responded to the murder of a man who had been shot while driving his vehicle. He was only 29 years old.

Canoe SLAM reported on it quickly, stating that:

Toronto Police say officers responded to Islington Ave. and St. Andrews Blvd. — near Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School just north of Dixon Rd. — around 6 p.m. after a car hopped the curb and smashed into a tree.

‘Officers located a man in the car who appeared to be suffering from gunshot wounds,’ Homicide Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne said Thursday.”

Former Superkick’d co-owner and indie wrestler Ashley Sixx was quick to hit Instagram and post a eulogy for his fallen friend.

Aside from announcing for Superkick’d, Johnny Gayle was also worked in Canadian sports television, where he was a backstage producer for TSN and SportsNet and occasionally guested on SportsNet’s wrestling talk show, After Math.

The Toronto Police are asking for help in finding his killer. If you have Twitter and live in the area, PLEASE click this link and retweet.

The Ontario indie scene, workmates and fans were quick to post their condolences.


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