Corporal Kirchner

Mike “Corporal Kirchner” Penzel Dead At Age 64, Dignity Memorial Obituary Released

Another old-school WWE Superstar has passed away.

Former WWE and FMW performer Corporal Kirchner (Mike Penzel) has passed away at age 64 due to a heart attack.

The longtime pro wrestling veteran was also known as Leatherface and Super Leather during his career, which spans from 1980 until 2004, with an out-of-retirement appearance in 2007 during the Insane Clown Posse’s “Tempest Release Party.”

He made his WWE debut as RT Reynolds back in the mid-1980s, before Vince McMahon learned of his background in the 82nd Airborne and transitioned him into the aforementioned Corporal Kirchner gimmick, which was built-up with a series of vignettes in advance.

The peak of his WWE run was his rivalry with Nikita Koloff, which included a victory over the WWE Hall of Fame legend in their Flag Match at WrestleMania II in April of 1986.

Following the news of his passing going public, an obituary was published at, which reads as follows:

OBITUARY: Michael James Penzel (9/7/1957 – 12/22/2021)

IN THE CARE OF: Loflin Funeral Home

Michael James Penzel, aka, Corporal Kirchner, age 64, of Siler City, North Carolina passed away on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at his home.

He was a professional wrestler for over 20 years with World Wrestling Federation (WWF), New Japan (where he was known as Super Leatherface) and Frontier Marshal Arts and Wrestling (FMW).

Michael is survived by his wife of 25 years, Tina Duke Penzel; sons, Haden James Kirchner, Kyle Michael Kirchner (Neterre) and Justin Cruz (Linzi); daughter, Krystal Tuck; parents, Thomas Bain Kirchner and Genevieve O’Callaghan Kirchner; and grandchildren, Korbyn Annette Kirchner, Ryden James Kirchner, Elora Kirchner, Talan Robert Tuck, Dalayna Nicole O’Brien, Wyatt Alexander Tuck, Hunter Bain Tuck, Grayson Cruz; sisters, Susie McFarland and Lynn Walcott; and brother, Curtis Bain Kirchner.

Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at

Loflin Funeral Home of Liberty is honored to serve Michael’s family.


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