On television, he plays the role of a dastardly heel, adding more and more people to his “list” and addressing fans and babyface wrestlers as “stupid idiots.” But in real life, Chris Jericho willingly played the good guy again, singlehandedly helping meet the original $2,500 funding goal for the funeral of former wrestler Timothy Alan Smith, a.k.a. Timothy Well in WWE and Rex King in other promotions.
During his run in the old WWF, Timothy Well was one-half of the tag team Well Dunn, where he teamed up with Steve Doll, who was renamed Steven Dunn to fit into the name of the tag team. Although Well Dunn had lost far more often than they won in WWF, both men had long wrestling careers in a variety of promotions, and Steve Doll is arguably best-known as one of the competitors in the ring when Scott Hall first “invaded” WCW and helped plant the seeds for the New World Order (nWo) faction in 1996. Doll passed away in 2009 due to blood clot-related complications.
Shortly before his death, Well was among more than 50 wrestlers and wrestling personalities who sued WWE for neurological injuries suffered as a result of their in-ring careers, wrote Fox Sports in July 2016. Most of the wrestlers included in the complaint had competed for WWE or its predecessors from the 1970s to the 1990s, with some of the more prominent names being Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff, Joe “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis, referees Dave and Earl Hebner, and the men behind Demolition – Bill “Ax” Eadie and Barry “Smash” Darsow.
— 411 Wrestling (@411wrestling) January 10, 2017
After Timothy Well died on January 9 from kidney failure, his family created a GoFundMe campaign, seeking $2,500 to cover the costs of his funeral expenses. His mother, Shirley Fellows, explained that Well had died “destitute,” and that his health issues may have been related to his wrestling career.
“Timothy Smith, WWF Rex King/Tim Well died 01/09, peacefully with his Mother by his side, from complications from his WWF/WCW 22 year career; Has been incapacitated for last several years; need help with funeral costs. Survived by son, Travis, parents and siblings. Will apprciate [sic] any help received. Thanks to all who have loved and supported him throughout the years, Shirley Fellows, Mom.”
As of this writing, the campaign has received 13 donations, but none were as significant as the $2,500 donation made by Chris Jericho, who pledged the money under his real name, Chris Irvine. Both men had previously worked together in Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion in the mid-1990s, as SLAM! Wrestling noted, and Jericho had some kind words for his former colleague and in-ring opponent.
“Rex was a good guy who was always good to me! Hopefully he has found peace and is with the Lord now. -CJ”
I'm supporting this fundraiser, please check it out: 'Rico Constantino Medical Bills ' https://t.co/5jvJMijEbA
— Mickey Moreno (@CoachMoreno84) December 9, 2016
As this undoubtedly comes off as a class act from one of the most prominent in-ring bad guys in WWE, this isn’t the first time Chris Jericho has stepped up for wrestlers in need. Last year, he donated $3,000 to assist Rico Constantino, who has been dealing with severe health issues in recent years. Wrestling Inc quoted Rico’s friend, former WWE developmental manager Kenny Bolin, who said the onetime WWE mid-carder has been suffering from a collapsed lung, heart problems, and the after-effects of several diagnosed concussions.
The Inquisitr also reported in October that Jericho contributed $5,000 to the GoFundMe page of former WCW and WWE colleague Perry Saturn, whose post-wrestling life has been marred by a traumatic brain injury caused by in-ring concussions.
Although Chris Jericho’s $2,500 donation was more than enough for Timothy Well’s family to reach their original funding goal, WrestlingRumors.net wrote that the goal has since expanded to $15,000 for “reasons that aren’t clear.”
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]