Jon Ian, who was probably best known outside of Southern California as the long-time ring announcer for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, has died at age 48. In addition to ring announcing for PWG, Ian was the promoter for Mach-1 and worked behind the scenes at Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.
Jon Ian got into the entertainment industry at an early age, with roles on such shows as The Jeffersons and Good Times as a child. He was also into sports and played varsity basketball at Newbridge High School in Santa Monica, CA.
After graduating college, Ian began coaching basketball at Rialto High School. It was while coaching at Rialto High School that Ian learned of Jesse Hernandez and Bill Anderson’s EWF School of Hard Knocks in the late 1990s.
It was EWF where Ian first started ring announcing. Ian would later ring announce for Bill Anderson’s IWC, UPW (which was a developmental territory at the time), PWG, New Japan USA, and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.
In 2008, Ian started the Mach-1 Wrestling promotion, which ran primarily in the Orange County area of Southern California. In 2010 Mach-1 finished as runner-up to PWG for the Southern California Promotion of the Year award. Jon Ian stopped promoting Mach-1 events in 2013 but had talked about bringing the promotion back in recent years.
His body was discovered at home this morning by his roommate. No cause of death has been revealed.
Ian had battled health issues through the years, having taken a lengthy absence from wrestling in 2006, then suffering two heart failures in 2015 that left him in a coma for three-and-a-half weeks.
After news of Ian’s death came out, people throughout the wrestling community, from every major promotion, have offered condolences and paid tribute to him. Kevin Owens tweeted “I am so saddened to hear about the passing of former PWG ring announcer Jon Ian. A great guy taken way too soon. The wrestling world was a better place with him in it.”
Peter Avalon, who worked with Ian at Mach-1, PWG, and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, wrote “Jon Ian was a patient and generous man who helped me immensely in my early days as a wrestler. He helped me understand a lot of what it means to be a professional in an industry I had no idea about. His weekly Friday night Mach-1 shows helped mold so many of us as wrestlers and performers in Southern California. Those shows were an escape for so many of us young wrestlers to come and make ourselves better in a warm, welcoming learning environment. It’s where we learned how to be on TV before CWFH. It’s where I had an opportunity to be ‘Pretty.'”
And Championship Wrestling from Hollywood promoter David Marquez, who began working with Ian at UPW posted the following on Facebook: “My Brother. My Partner. My beautiful friend is gone. There are not enough adjectives to describe Jon Ian. We had an amazing relationship, you know the type. We could look at one another and know exactly what were thinking. We could crack each other up without speaking a word. In wrestling he had a major influence, always giving EVERYONE a chance. He worked with everyone from John Cena to Sexy Chino, they were just the ‘Boys’ to him. I’m truly heartbroken. He was a giant. So long old Pal.”