Wrestling deaths are an all too familiar story. Most, however, are sadder than they are shocking. The combination of prolonged physical wear and tear and a reliance on intoxicants has habitually been the cause of many a wrestler’s untimely demise.
Other lives have been claimed in a myriad of unfortunate and unpleasant circumstances. Injuries suffered during a match, intentional drug overdoses and even murder, to name but a few, have all claimed the lives of athletes with a mortality rate three times greater than that of the average American male.
Wrestling, throughout its torrid past, has never strayed too far from criminal activity. From revelling in fame and excess during the primes of their career, to being cut adrift from the spotlight and the prosperity when their bodies can give no more; there has historically been ample opportunity for a wrestler to fall into addiction – and foul of the law.
While most wrestler deaths are still, ruefully, chalked up to lifestyle choices made on the road, there remain cases which are very much still open to debate.
From suspected suicides to apparent gangland slayings, dubious overdoses to inconclusive autopsies, there’s almost certainly more to these ten wrestler’s premature deaths than meets the eye…