The world of wrestling is full of bizarre and tragic incidents and fans have been left devastated in the wake of their favorites’ sad fates. Here’s a list of happenings in the wrestling world which shocked and saddened in equal measure.
The death of the Ultimate Warrior came at the inopportune time, just succeeding his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. This long-due induction occurred following the resolution of differences between WWE members and Warrior. The day post his acceptance of the honour, his appearance at WrestleMania XXX was his last foray into the ring ever.
One of the most unforgettable moments in wrestling history, Owen Hart fell to his demise as millions of fans were glued to their TVs, watching him on Over the Edge pay-per-view in 1999. The much-loved wrestler descended onto the ring in a harness, in a stunt that went horribly wrong, costing him his life. Such stunts have been banned by the WWE ever since.
At the young age of 30, Darren Drozdov entered the WWE ring to fight his last match. He was fighting against D-Lo Brown, when he went in for a power bomb move – a common manoeuvre that he probably had executed successfully many a time before. However, something went wrong and Drozdov was left handicapped with quadriplegia.
Japan’s legendary wrestler Mitsuharu Misawa died in the ring in June 2009, in one of the most unfortunate episodes in wrestling history. He received a routine back suplex from his opponent which could hardly be deemed lethal. However, he was severely injured and despite the medical personnel’s attempt to revive him, he succumbed to injuries.
Wrestling with Rey Mysterio in March 2015, Aguayo Jr. could not have imagined that their execution of the standard “619” kick would cause his death. When they performed the move, something was not right and Aguayo fell to the mat. It took a while for people to realize that this was not a spectacle but he was genuinely injured. Aguayo fell to his death by a broken neck in s scripted match. Tragic.
Amongst the most harrowing tales of the wrestling world and steroid-induced rage in sportspersons is the death of Chris Benoit. He was enjoying a good career streak and due to appear on Smackdown in June 2007. However, after a series of garbled messages to his peers, the WWE contacted the police. Benoit was found dead in his apartment, having committed suicide after killing his wife and son.
Dubbed “Canada’s Strongest Man”, Dino Bravo had a successful career and won many accolades in North American wrestling championships. However, he soon got into the business of cigarette smuggling and eventually quit professional wrestling in 1992 to open a wrestling school in hometown Montreal. Unfortunately, the mafia caught up with him and he was found murdered in his home with 17 bullets in his body.
One of the most well-liked wrestling celebs ever, Junkyard Dog was quite the rage in the 80s. But in 1998, he succumbed to injuries suffered in a car crash which occurred when he was driving home from his daughter’s graduation and fell asleep at the wheel.
An able wrestler who garnered much attention and success in the 90s, Mike Awesome was touted as having immense potential to “make it big”. However, after short stints at the ECW, WCW and WWE, he got caught up in gimmicks and media battles. Depression over his declining career graph propelled him to commit suicide in 2007.
Brody’s death has always been shrouded in controversy and suspicion. He was in Puerto Rico in 1988 when Jose Gonzalez – a fellow wrestler and booker – called him into the shower to discuss business. As the story goes, they got into a brawl and Gonzalez stabbed Brody in self-defense. Many believe that there was foul play here though Gonzalez was eventually acquitted.
In 1975, a plane ferrying several wrestling champs and some other individuals crashed, leading to many losses. Rick Flair broke his back and Johnny Valentine became paralyzed. Many others were injured and the 28-year old pilot even died. It was a sad day for fans of these wrestlers and the families of the others who were affected.
This football-player-turned-professional-wrestler reached his peak in the late 90s, receiving much appreciation for his energetic in-ring performances and lithe, agile body. He was slated to wrestle at a WWE pay-per-view event in October 1997 but when he did not turn up, investigation ensued. He was found dead in his apartment with the cause being an undetected heart condition – arteriosclerosis heart disease.
A world champion in wrestling and at the peak of his career in 2005, Eddie Guerrero died of heart failure on November 13 of that year. His death had an added element of pathos since Guerrero had fought many personal battles to get where he was. Though he managed to overcome his alcohol and drug addiction and make it big in the wrestling world too, his body gave up on him at a very young age.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage did not live to receive his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, despite his numerous achievements. Before he could be awarded an honour, he died in a car accident though an autopsy suggested that a health disease he was suffering from may have been the reason for the crash.
This mid-card wrestler had a promising career ahead of him when he died in a car crash that occurred in the most unfortunate circumstance. The van Adonis was travelling in, while going for a show, landed in a lake, having swerved to avoid hitting a moose. And thus, a potential wrestling legend was lost.