The world of professional wrestling is filled with firepower, ferocity, and a desire to entertain the masses.
For decades, those inside the ring have thrilled thousands in stadiums and millions of television viewers around the world.
However, there is a harrowing side to life as a fighter. While the likes of John Cena, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Hulk Hogan, and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin seem to have charmed lives, there are many who have passed away due to various health complications.
Suicides, heart complications or substance abuse issues have derailed and, in some cases, taken the lives of an alarming number of performers in the ring.
Here, Mail Sport delves into the morbid reality that has plagued wrestling both past and present.
The death of legendary WWE superstar Eddie Guerrero in 2005 shocked the sports world.
The sudden passing of Andre the Giant due to congestive heart failure at 46 rocked wrestling
Perhaps the most famous premature death among all professional wrestlers is that of Eddie Guerrero, who passed away on November 13, 2005, at age 38, due to acute heart failure resulting from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Another prominent name to leave was Andre the Giant, who suffered congestive heart failure at the age of 46.
There are countless examples of famous wrestlers having passed into their 30s, 40s, and 50s. The reasons for each understandably vary, and of course, in some cases, wrestling is not a bond.
And yet a 2014 study conducted by Eastern Michigan University looked at the causes of death for those who fought between 1985 and 2011. It revealed that drug overdose-related deaths were 122.7 times higher. Likewise, death from cardiovascular complications was 15.1 times higher than that of the average male.
The passing of WWE Hall of Famer Scott Hall on March 14, 2022, at the age of 63, prompted former colleagues Brett Hart and Kevin Nash to speak out about the grim realities wrestlers have endured, Particularly from the 80’s and 90’s.
“We have lost so many fighters from my era, and this is just one more on a list that is too long,” Hart said. in a facebook mail after Hall’s death.
‘I won’t blame anyone, but I do believe that if the fighting days 300 days a year had been more kind and considerate, if we had been able to be home more with our loved ones, many of my old friends and brothers. I would still be here.
In response to Hart’s comments, Nash responded; ‘100% the meat grinder has not been kind to equipment that worked over 300 days.
Famed WWF wrestler Scott Hall, pictured against Stone Cold at WrestleMania X8, has passed away at the age of 63, after suffering three heart attacks following hip replacement surgery in 2022.
Both Chyna (left) and Ashley Massaro (right) have passed away, aged 46 and 39, respectively.
Umaga, the fan favorite who once failed to help Vince McMahon defeat Donald Trump, has died at 36
“The mental and physical pain of those years leaves a hard and deep scar, but the men I shared my life with were a very special breed and many lifelong friends.”
Such is the scale of premature death of those times that 17 of the 36 fighters who performed at WrestleMania VI (1990) have since died.
The 2014 EMU study also linked painkiller abuse (repeatedly using drugs to relieve pain) and anabolic steroid abuse with cardiovascular disease. All three have been prominent in the wrestling industry for decades, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.
‘You self-medicate,’ former WWE wrestler Marc Mero told Washington Post in 2007 after the death of Chris Benoit. You hold on and act. If it leads to an addiction, that’s part (of the job). Because if you can’t (perform), there are a hundred guys willing to take your place.
Former WCW, TNA and AEW wrestler Konnan told the Post how some can overcome the brutal schedule, which involved more than 300 days on the road.
“You get into a cycle where you need something to get you to bed at night, then something to get you up in the morning, then something to get you up during the day, then something to get you down at night,” he said. . in 2007.
Benoit committed a murder-suicide in June 2007, killing his wife, Nancy, and seven-year-old son, Daniel, before killing himself. The head of neuroscience at West Virginia University ran tests on Benoit after the horrifying incident.
It revealed that Benoit, 40, had damaged his brain through countless concussions that “resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient,” via ABC News.
Chris Benoit committed a murder-suicide in June 2007, killing his wife and seven-year-old son. Tests conducted on Benoit by West Virginia University’s head of neuroscience revealed that the 40-year-old’s brain “resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient.”
Viscera, also known as Big Daddy V, passed away due to a heart attack in 2014, at the age of 43.
CTE has become a concern among wrestlers and other athletes who compete in contact, albeit unscripted, sports such as soccer and hockey.
Several professional wrestlers claimed in lawsuits filed in 2018 that WWE failed to adequately protect them from repetitive head injuries that led to brain damage, according to access point.
Ultimately, these were dismissed, and the United States Supreme Court rejected further appeals. In all, there were over 50 wrestlers, most in their heydays in the ’80s and ’90s, listed as plaintiffs.
According to their lawyer, Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka and Harry Masayoshi Fujiwara passed away in 2017 and 2016 respectively, due to CTE.
According Boston University CTE Centerthe condition can only be diagnosed posthumously.
A litany of famous professional wrestling superstars have died by suicide, drug-related deaths, or cardiovascular disease. However, he has made great strides in improving the health and well-being of his talent.
”The business has changed a lot since I started. I think much better,’ John Cena said during an interview in July with Kevin Hart.
‘Talent is better cared for. They are more professional. They are more understanding. They are not so wasteful, they are much smarter. They are much healthier,” she added.
“The fighters have been more educated, more up to date,” Hogan said in an ESPN interview in 2011.
“I mean before, back in the day, you would have the match at Madison Square Garden, Boston Garden, all the wrestlers would meet at the Marriott bar.
“Nowadays, all the guys go upstairs and go to the room and play video games, or go to their computer.”
In 2006, WWE established a Talent Wellness Program that includes cardiovascular and brain function tests, as well as drug and substance abuse tests, among other things.
According to the conglomerateis independently managed by ‘world-renowned professionals’.
NOTABLE DEATHS IN THE FIGHT
Eddie Guerrero (38) – Arteriosclerotic heart disease
Chris Benoit (40) – Suicide
André the Giant (46) – Heart failure
Chyna (46) – Overdose
Crash Holly (32) – Suicide
Ashley Massaro (39) – Suicide
Owen Hart (39) – Fall during WWF event
Umaga (36) – Heart attack/repeated drug use
Big Daddy V (43) – Heart Attack
Road Warrior Animal (60) – Heart Attack
Road Warrior Hawk (46) – Heart Attack
Randy Savage (58) – Heart Attack
Dusty Rhodes (69) – Kidney disease
Rowdy Roddy Piper (61) – Cardiac Arrest