Impact Wrestling President Ed Nordholm and VP Scott D’Amore wrote a touching tribute to Bob Ryder who passed away yesterday. Ryder worked for Impact, then TNA, since day one and was one of the brains behind the creation of the promotion after WCW folded.
Ryder was described as “the heart and soul” of Impact Wrestling, wearing many different hats throughout the years. “It is no exaggeration to state IMPACT Wrestling would never have existed without Bob’s inspiration and would not have gone on to entertain millions of fans over two decades without his passion and dedication behind the curtain,” the statement posted on ImpactWrestling.com said.
Nordholm and D’Amore wrote that internally, they all joked that the chair and desk at Ryder’s house was Impact’s mobile command center and any of the staff or talent who didn’t have a place to stay or in case of emergency, they knew all they had to do was call Bob who was available 24/7.
“The last time we saw Bob face to face was a month ago, during Bound For Glory week in Nashville. Because of the pandemic, Bob was unable to attend the event, but the three of us were able to celebrate his 64th birthday together at a small dinner. Bob talked non-stop about the upcoming matches, how excited he was about the talent and the future of IMPACT,” the statement continued.
“To the end of his life, Bob was a loyal, trusted, hard-working and beloved member of the IMPACT Wrestling family. He was also infuriatingly – and endearingly – stubborn. That stubbornness steeled him in his battle against his illness. It surprised none of us who knew and loved Bob that he outlived his diagnosis by years,” they wrote, outlining that even though Bob was seriously ill, he insisted on continuing to contribute to the promotion and refused all offers to take time off, even after chemo sessions.
“IMPACT Wrestling will be celebrating Bob’s life in the days and weeks to come. We will think about the best way the honor him and the legacy he left us. For now, we will take a moment to say farewell to a member of our family. We’ll never forget you, Bob,” the tribute concluded.