Joey Kovar dabbled in the world of professional wrestling before his unexpected death ... and this weekend, TMZ has learned his former colleagues honored his memory with an emotional tribute.
We broke the story ... Kovar joined up with Poww Entertainment in 2010, following his stint on "The Real World: Hollywood" ... and dreamed of someday wrestling for TNA.
Poww's head-honcho Jim Blaze tells TMZ ... Kovar was beloved during his stint with the league, and while he never made it to TNA, everyone respected the guy.
In fact, Blaze (pictured below) took a moment during a show in Illinois this weekend to address the crowd ... saying, "Everyone has demons and addictions ... we need to support each other to help people overcome them."
As TMZ first reported, Joey died last Friday after years of battling drug and alcohol addiction, most famously on "Celebrity Rehab." His funeral is set to take place this week in Chicago. He was 29.