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 of his great success. The wrestlers on this list all died before their 55th birthday. Take a look and see who died young.
Beloved female wrestler Chyna was found dead in her home in Redondo Beach, California in April 2016. Chyna, whose real name was Joan Laurer, was just 45 when she passed away, and police were uncertain as to her cause of death. Chyna entered the professional wrestling scene with a bang in 1996, when she won Rookie of the Year for the Women’s Championship. She eventually became the only undefeated female champion in the history of the WWF. She parlayed her success in the ring to success on the screen, appearing in music videos and adult films later in her career.
Jonathan Rechner, better known as Balls Mahoney, was only 44 when he passed away suddenly. 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 at his home. His tag team partner Axl Rotten was also just 44 when he was found dead in a hotel only months earlier.
The Ultimate Warrior
Warrior passed away in Scottsdale, AZ the day after appearing on Raw for the first time since 1996 and giving an impassioned speech following his enshrinement in the WWE Hall of Fame and his involvement in Wrestlemania 30 weekend. He is survived by his wife, Dana, and his two daughters, Indiana, and Mattigan.
André the Giant
Andre died in his sleep of gongestive heart failure in a Paris hotel room. He was in Paris for his father’s funeral. His ashes were later scattered at his North Carolina ranch.
Macho Man after suffering a sudden heart attack while he was the behind the wheel of his Jeep with his wife as his passenger. Savage lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into a tree but neither suffered serious injuries from the crash. Macho Man’s death was ultimately ruled as caused by heart disease, a condition that he was seeminly unaware that he had and was not being treated for.
A tragedy that is still taboo in wrestling circles – over a three day period Chris Benoit murdered his wife by strangling her and killing his young son by smothering him before hanging himself from a pulley in his weight room in their home. After an examination of Chris Benoit’s brain it was found that repeated concussions had caused significant damage and lead to dementia which can cause behavioral problems. Similar studies have been performed on ex-NFL players that have hurt themselves or others and they largely reach the same conclusion.
Miss Elizabeth died in Marietta, Georgia. 911 was called by Lex Luger. She was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead. The cause of “acute toxicity” from a mixture of pain killers and vodka is officially listed.
Guerrero was found unresponsive in his Minneapolis, Minnesota hotel room by his nephew (and long time tag team partner) Chavo Guerrero, Jr. Chavo tried CPR but Eddie was pronounced dead when the paramedics arrived on the scene. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was acute heart failure. He was postumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Mr. Perfect was found dead in a Florida hotel room. The Medical examiners concluded that cocaine intoxication was the cause of death. He was survived by his parents, Larry and Irene, his brothers Randy and Jesse, his two sisters Sandra and Susan, his wife Leonice, and his children, Joe, Hank, Amy, and Kaitie. He was postumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame
Big Boss Man
Raymond Traylor, Jr. died from a heart attack in his home in Dallas, Georgia.
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 approximately 78 feet and landed on the top rope and was flung into the ring. The cause of death was internal bleeding due to the fall. One of the worst, if not THE worst tragedy in wrestling history.
Sensational Sherri died in her mother’s McCalla, Alabama home. Toxicology reports indicate that died from an overdose with a multitude of drugs in her system including high amounts of oxycodone.
Mike Awesome was found dead by a group of his friends after he hanged himself in his Tampa, Florida home.
Andrew Martin was found dead in his Tampa, Florida home after a neighbor called the police in concern. The neighbor could see Martin’s body motionless for several hours through one of his windows. When police arrived, it was believed that he had actually passed away the day before from an oxycodone overdose. An autopsy also revealed that Martin had suffered the same kind of brain damage as Chris Benoit.
John “Earthquake” Tenta
Tenta passed away after a battle with bladder cancer that eventually spread to his lungs.
Nancy Benoit died in her home after being strangled to death by her husband, Chris Benoit. Chris also smothered and killed their young son, Daniel. After murdering his family, Chris Benoit hanged himself in his home gym.