Professional wrestlers seem to die before the age of 55 than any other athlete. The abuse of their bodies, steroids, hard drugs, partying, long hours, and ultimately their deaths, are what end these hulking of the squared circle. Many of the greatest wrestlers of all time are not included. It’s almost like an occupational hazard to be a pro wrestler, considering all the bumps you get in the ring. As the sport of wrestling has grown in popularity and become a global brand of entertainment, the deaths of these wrestling giants have become more frequent. Many of the stars on this list have competed in professional wrestling. The men and women on this list have worked in some of the biggest arenas and pay-per-view events in the world.
So which wrestlers died young? That’s the shame of this list. There are guys like Owen Hart, who died during an in-ring stunt, or the tragedy of Chris Benoit and his family, which words can’t really do justice. Others, like Andre The Giant was a victim of his own size and ultimately that size was one of the reasons for his great success.
The wrestlers died before their 55th birthday. Take a look at the list of dead wrestlers and see who died young.
1. Chyna (1969-2016)
In April 2016 a beloved female wrestler was found dead in her home. Police were unsure as to the cause of the death of Chyna, who was 45 when she died. When she won the Women’s Championship in 1996, she became the first woman to win a professional wrestling title.
She was the only female champion in WWF history. She appeared in music videos and adult films after her success in the ring.
2. The Ultimate Warrior (1959-2014)
Warrior passed away in Arizona the day after he appeared on Raw for the first time since 1996 and gave an emotional speech after being in the WWE Hall of Fame. His wife, Dana, and their two daughters, Indiana and Mattigan, are his survivors.
3. Randy Savage (1952-2011)
Lynn was the passenger in Macho Man’s Jeep when he died of a sudden heart attack. The cause of Macho Man’s death was ruled to be heart disease, a condition that he was unaware of and was not being treated for.
4. Chris Benoit (1967-2007)
There is a tragedy that is still taboo in wrestling circles. Chris Benoit killed his wife and son over a three-day period before taking his own life. It was found that concussions had caused significant damage and lead to dementia, which can cause behavioral problems, after an examination of Chris Benoit’s brain.
When WWE learned of the sudden passing of the wrestler, the company aired a tribute, only to bury it once they learned the full story.
5. Miss Elizabeth (1960-2003)
Miss Elizabeth passed away in Georgia. The person called the emergency number. She died at the hospital. The cause of “acute toxicity” from a mixture of pain killers and vodka is officially listed.
6. Eddie Guerrero (1967-2005)
His nephew, a long-time tag team partner, found him unresponsive in his Minneapolis, Minnesota hotel room. Eddie died when the paramedics arrived on the scene. Acute heart failure was the cause of death. He was posthumously accepted into the Hall of Fame.
7. Mr. Perfect (1958-2003)
Mr. Perfect dies in a hotel room, in Florida. Medical professionals came to the conclusion that the cause of death was Cocaine intoxication. It was after then, he made his way into the WWE Hall of Fame.
8. Owen Hart (1965-1999)
Owen fell to his death at the ‘Over The Edge’ WWE Pay Per View event while being lowered to the ring in a harness via a grapple line. Hart fell 78 feet and was thrown into the ring. The death was caused by internal bleeding from the fall. One of the worst tragedies in wrestling history.
9. André the Giant (1946-1993)
He died of heart failure in a Paris hotel room. He had gone to Paris for his father’s funeral. His ashes were scattered in North Carolina.
10. Brian Christopher (1972-2018)
The Grand Master Sexay of the WWF died of suicide at the age of 46. A member of the tag team Too Cool, Lawler joined WWF in 1997.
11. Big Boss Man (1963-2004)
Raymond Traylor, Jr. died from a heart attack. Found dead in Dallas, Georgia.
12. Balls Mahoney (1972-2016)
Jonathan Rechner, also known as Balls Mahoney, died at the age of 44. The cause of his death was not immediately known, but people close to the Extreme Championship Wrestling favorite said he had recently gotten ill after a bad fall. He was found dead in a hotel at the age of 44.
13. Sheeri Martel (1958-2007)
She died in her mother’s home. She had a lot of drugs in her system and died from an overdose.
14. Mike Awesome (1965-2007)
Mike Awesome was found dead by a group of his friends after he hanged himself.
15. Test (1975-2009)
A neighbor called the police after finding Andrew Martin dead in his home. The neighbor could see Martin’s lifeless body through one of his windows. It was thought that he had passed away from an overdose the day before. An autopsy showed that Martin had the same type of brain damage as Chris.
16. John “Earthquake” Tenta (1963-2006)
Tenta died after a battle with bladder cancer.
17. Nancy Benoit (1964-2007)
Nancy was killed in her home by her husband. Chris killed their son Daniel. Chris Benoit killed his family and then hanged himself in his home gym.
18. Big John Studd (1948-1995)
John Minton died from a variety of diseases after a long battle with cancer and a large tumor in his chest.
19. Rick Rude (1958-1999)
An autopsy report shows that Rick Rude died of heart failure. He was training to return to the ring at the time of his death. He is survived by his family.
20. Davey Boy Smith (1962-2002)
The British bulldog died on a vacation in British Columbia after suffering a heart attack. His past steroid use is believed to have been a factor in his death. He wrestled his son in a series of tag team matches.
21. Yokozuna (1966-2000)
Anoa’i died in a hotel room in England while on a wrestling tour. The cause of death was reported to be a heart attack, but it was actually pulmonary edema. An autopsy showed fluid in his lungs. At the time of his death, he weighed over 500 lbs.
22. Bam Bam Bigelow (1961-2007)
His girlfriend found him dead in his home. His death’s cause was an overdose of drugs in his system, including cocaine and anti-anxiety medication. He had cardiovascular disease.
23. Junkyard Dog (1952-1998)
Sylvester Ritter died in a car accident after falling asleep at the wheel. He was driving home after his daughter’s high school graduation.
24. Road Warrior Hawk (1957-2003)
Michael Hegstrand died suddenly from a heart attack in his Florida home. His wife found him unresponsive after he told her he felt tired and was going to take a nap.
25. Brian Pillman (1962-1997)
The day that he was supposed to wrestle at the Pay Per View Badd Blood: In your house, Pillman was found dead in his hotel room. Arteriosclerotic heart disease was the cause of death.
26. Kerry Von Erich (1960-1993)
Kerry shot himself in the heart at the father’s ranch. His brothers also took their own lives.
27. Luna Vachon (1962-2010)
Her body was found in her Florida home. She died from an overdose of drugs. There were crushed pill residue and snorting straws found around her home. She had been paid for drug rehab.
28. Viscera (1971-2014)
Nelson Frazier, Jr. had a heart attack four days after his 43rd birthday.
29. Chris Candido (1972-2005)
Johnny, Candido’s brother, said that his brother died from a blood clot that was a result of surgery. He had his lungs drained before he died.
30. Dino Bravo (1948-1993)
Adolfo was shot 17 times while watching a hockey game. It is believed that his involvement in an illegal cigarette business in Canada and dealings with the mob are to blame for his unsolved murder.
31. Brian Adams (1964-2007)
Adams’s wife found him unconscious. Paramedics declared him dead when they arrived.
32. Hercules Hernandez (1956-2004)
He died in his sleep. His wife claims that he died of heart disease.
33. Crash Holly (1971-2003)
Steven Richards’ friend Mike Lockwood died at his home. He was found in a pool of vomit with empty bottles around him. His death was ruled a suicide after he received divorce papers from his wife. The cause of death was due to his own vomit.
34. Brad Armstrong (1961-2012)
He was found dead in his home. The cause of death is thought to be a heart attack.
35. Doug Furnas (1959-2012)
The body of Furnas was found in Arizona. His exact date of death was not be accurately measured because of the rate of decomposition, but he was believed to have been dead for weeks before he was found. The cause of death was heart disease.
36. Peter Maivia (1937-1982)
Peter’s death cause was Cancer.
37. Adrian Adonis (1954-1988)
A car driven by a wrestler went into a lake when it tried to avoid a moose. Mike Kelly, Pat Kelly, Dave McKigney, and Franke were all in the car. The driver was Mike Kelly.
Eddie Fatu died with blood coming out of his nose after a heart attack. After rushing to the hospital, he had a second heart attack. Acute toxicity was the official cause of death.
39. Johnny Grunge (1966-2006)
The cause of the death of Johnny Grunge was sleep apnea. His family survived him.
40. Giant Gonzalez (1966-2010)
The cause of the death of Jorge Gonzalez was diabetes.
41. Bastion Booger (1957-2010)
Mike Shaw’s cause of death was a heart attack.
42. Lance Cade (1981-2010)
The man died of heart failure in San Antonio, Texas. He had an accidental overdose of drugs that caused his heart to stop.
43. Chris Kanyon (1970-2010)
His brother found him dead. He had taken too much medication. He apologized to his family in a note.
44. Ludvig Borga (1963-2010)
Tony Halme died from a gunshot wound.
45. Mariana Komlos (1969-2004)
Breast Cancer was the cause of her death.
46. Jerry Tuite (1967-2003)
All Japan Pro Wrestling management and other wrestlers found Tuite unconscious in his hotel room. He died in the hospital from an apparent heart attack.
47. Moondog Spot (1952-2003)
Larry Booker died of a heart attack in the ring during a birthday show.
48. Anthony Durante (1967-2003)
They (Anthony and his girlfriend) died of a drug overdose. Their 21-month old boy and 8-month old girl were in the house when they went missing until days later.
49. Rocco Rock (1953-2002)
The cause of the death of Ted Petty was a heart attack.
50. Big Dick Dudley (1968-2002)
The cause of the death of Alex Rizzo was Kidney failure.