Fallen Soldiers Gone But Not Forgotten Full List Of Deceased Wrestlers 10
List of Deceased Wrestlers with Photos
This List of Deceased Wrestlers & includes Photos & Some History about the Wrestler, his or her Family & Friends Comments & their Impact on the Wrestling World.
Steven Dunn Death – Blood Clot
Steve Doll (best known to wrestling fans as Steven Dunn from “Well Dunn”) – dead at 48. Photo: wwe.com
1960-2009 (age 48)
Steven Lyle Doll was involved in professional wrestling from 1984 to 2005, and while he had a long career, he never achieved the notoriety of many of his contemporaries. Still, he did manage to win multiple championships, most notable with his tag partner Timothy Smith, better known as Rex King and Timothy Well.
Over the course of his career, Steven Dunn won the NWA North American Tag Team Championship four times, the NWA Tag Team Championship one time, the USWA World Tag Team Championship eight times and the NWA North American Tag Team Championship three times.
Had the events that led up the Steven Dunn death story never occurred, it’s likely that the talented wrestler would have an even longer list of championships to his name.
Substance Abuse Problems
The Final Days of Steven Dunn’s Life
From 2006 until his death, Steven Dunn remained out of the spotlight. Friends report that he spent his time drinking and using pills. All of this would finally catch up to him on March 22, 2009.
Steven passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of just 48. His cause of death was a blood clot traveling to his heart, but physicians confirmed that the problem was brought on by his heavy substance abuse.
Steven Dunn Grave
Steven Dunn’s grave is located at Hermitage Memorial Gardens in Old Hickory, TN.
Steven Dunn’s grave at Hermitage Memorial Gardens in Old Hickory, TN. Photo: Cally
Stu Hart Death – Stroke
Stu and Helen Hart, Raw 1997. Photo: wwe.com
1915-2003 (age 88)
In 1948, Stu Hart created the Stampede Wrestling promotion out of Calgary.
Stu Hart Grave
A close up of Stu Hart’s memorial at Eden Brook Memorial Gardens in Calgary. Photo: Milou
Stu Hart’s memorial located in the third row, second from right. Photo: Milou
Swede Hanson Death – Sepsis
Swede Hanson, Dead at 68. Photo: wwe.com
1933-2002 (Age 68)
The Big Swede winded down his career in the WWF, retiring in 1986.
New Jersey Knuckles
Swede Hanson locks up Cowboy Bob Orton. Madison Square Garden, November 26, 1984. Photo: wwe.com
Over time, he became a boxer, competing in New Jersey’s Golden Gloves with a 61-3 win-loss record. But it would be professional wrestling that won him over.
The 6’4” 300-pound Hanson trained under George Trajos, the same man who had trained legendary wrestler Lou Thesz. After three months training, Hanson made his debut in 1957, wrestling for promoter Vince McMahon Sr.
Hanson worked with another rookie, the future “Living Legend,” Bruno Sammartino. While Sammartino would enjoy superstardom in the Northeast, Hanson’s fortune would be found in the South.
A Legendary Tag Team is born
In 1961, Hanson began working for Jim Crockett Sr., the beginning of a 20-year run in Jim Crockett Promotions. After working as a singles wrestler, Hanson was paired with Rip Hawk, forming the tag team known as the Blond Bombers.
At the time, JCP focused on tag team wrestling and the Blond Bombers had no issue standing out amongst the pack. This included tag teams such as George Becker and Johnny Weaver; Sandy and George Scott; Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard; the Anderson Brothers (Gene and Ole); and Greg Valentine and Ric Flair.
Hawk and Hanson enjoyed a friendship outside the ring, no doubt helping with their chemistry in the ring.
Hanson’s longevity in JCP was unusual as promotions typically used wrestlers for a finite period before sending them elsewhere to stay fresh. Hanson’s talents kept him in constant demand with Crockett, a sign of his talent and drawing ability.
More than a Blond Bomber
Swede Hanson at the Philadelphia Spectrum – July 16, 1983. Photo: wwe.com
Swede Hanson’s Retirement and Health Problems
Swede Hanson on a 1986 episode of Prime Time Wrestling, the same year in which he would retire from the ring. Photo: wwe.com
Hanson finally retired, spending time enjoying his five acres of land, the outdoors, and the company of his fiancée, Patsy Hughes.
Health problems troubled Hanson in his later years including diabetes, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s disease. The Big Swede was hospitalized in early 2002 at a facility in Columbia, South Carolina.
On February 19, 2002, Swede Hanson passed away at age 68. Most reports note that sepsis (blood poisoning) is what ultimately took his life.
2002 also marked the losses of other notable wrestling figures including Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, and Davey Boy Smith.
Rip Hawk, along side Gary Hart and Swede Hanson’s son and daughter for the 2007 NWA “Hall of Heroes” ceremony
In 2007, Swede Hanson and Rip Hawk were honored with a spot in the “Hall of Heroes”, with the ceremony taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina at the NWA Legend’s Fanfest. Manager Gary Hart oversaw the induction, and Swede was represented by his son and daughter for the event. Swede Hanson was survived by his three sons, a daughter, and fiancée, Patsy Hughes.
The Sheik and the Streak
Terry Gordy Death – Heart Attack
1961-2001 (age 40)
5 years before his death: Terry Gordy (as The Executioner) takes on ‘Taker at In Your House “It’s Time” (1996). Photo: wwe.com
The Start of a Downward Spiral
The Events of the Terry Gordy Death Story
Terry Gordy wraps up Brian Adias. WCCW, 1983. Photo: wwe.com
Friends Mourn and Reflect After the Terry Gordy Death News
Terry Gordy and Bruiser Brody feud throughout the 80s
After the Terry Gordy Death Story: Paying Tribute to Bam Bam
2016 WWE Hall of Fame Induction
Terry Gordy Grave
Terry Gordy’s grave is located at the Tennessee Georgia Memorial Park in Rossville, GA.
Terry Gordy’s grave, located in Rossville, GA. Photo: James Barbee
A memorial bench in Gordy’s honor, dedicated by his mother, sits next to it.
Terry Gordy memorial bench sitting next to his grave. Photo: Jame Barbee
The Crusher Death – Brain Tumor
1926-2005 (Age 79)
Reggie “The Crusher” Lisowski was one of wrestling’s true working-class heroes, a tough guy who drank beer, smoked cigars, and kicked ass wherever he went.
While “The Crusher” was supposed to be a heel, fans couldn’t help but admire his character, turning him into one of wrestling’s most beloved figures.
One tough tag team: The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser. Photo: wwe.com
From Working Class Stiff to Working Class Hero
One time rivals: Crusher and Mad Dog Vachon cut a promo with Gene Okerlund for AWA. Photo: youtube
Lisowski, who worked as a bricklayer and a meatpacker while moonlighting as a wrestler, eventually incorporated his working-class background into his wrestling persona.
Lisowski got his first break when promoter Fred Kohler hired him for his wrestling program on the Dumont Network. Television had launched a Golden Age of Wrestling in the early 1950’s, which allowed Lisowski to gain national exposure as a heel. By the time the national wrestling craze ended, Lisowski had established himself as a star.
The Wrestler Who Made Milwaukee Famous
Famous Until the End
Crusher cuts a promo with AWA. Photo: youtube
Death of the Crusher
Crusher’s grave in Cudahy, Wisconsin. Photo: stew thornley
The Grand Wizard Death – Heart Attack
Ernie Roth, best known as “The Grand Wizard” – Dead at 57. Photo: wwe.com
1926-1983 (age 57)
The Grand Wizard joins WWWF
Madison Square Garden 1975: The Grand Wizard with his client, Killer Kowalski. Photo: wwe.com
Ernie Roth Death
The Missing Link Death – Lung Cancer
The Missing Link – Dead at 68. Here he is with manager, Bobby Heenan on a 1985 episode of Tuesday Night Titans. Photo: wwe.com
1939-2007 (age 68)
From parts unknown, The Missing Link!
His run with the WWF would prove short, never breaking out of the lower card.
The Missing Link makes his WWF debut in 1985
The Missing Link Death
The Missing Link in 1983. Photo: wwe.com
Byron Robertson Grave
Woodland Cemetery in Hamilton, Ontario. Photo: Miriam Macdonald
The Renegade Death – Suicide
1965-1999 (age 33)
The End of a Career Starts the Renegade Death Story
The Renegade made his first appearance with the WCW in 1995 and quickly intrigued fans, as many people speculated that he was secretly The Ultimate Warrior. When it was finally revealed that The Renegade was not the mysterious wrestler, fans seemed to sadly lose interest in him. Even in the story line of WCW, The Renegade was being abandoned, as after his defeat in a November 1995 edition of Nitro, his then manager Jimmy Hart turned his back on him. The event would be the start of what would become a 6 month break from professional wrestling for Richard Wilson.
4 years before his death: The Renegade makes short work of Jake Steele on a 1995 episode of WCW Saturday Night.
When he returned to WCW in July 1996, the Renegade no longer wore his face paint and usual costume. This only seemed to turn fans away even more. Ultimately, WCW was unable to spur interest in The Renegade. The company chose to part ways with Richard Wilson, releasing him from his contract at the end of 1998.
The Death of the Renegade
The Sheik Death – Heart Failure
1924-2003 (Age 76)
Later in his career: The Sheik with his nephew, Sabu
The Other Mecca of Wrestling
The Sheik and the Streak
The Sheik’s fame and drawing power was not limited to his Detroit promotion.
The Sheik enters the ring at the Maple Leaf Gradens in Toronto. Photo: @mapleleaf wrestling archives / instagram
The Sheik: He’s not for everyone
Team work: The Sheik and his nephew, Sabu, terrorize Terry Funk with an open flame
The Legend Continues
The Sheik with Kevin Sullivan. Photo: reddit
When Jim Crockett Promotions ran its Great American Bash in Detroit in 1988, the Sheik was invited to team up with Dusty Rhodes against Kevin Sullivan and Dick Murdoch. The show was an incredible success.
In the 1990’s, the Japanese based, ultra-violent Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling promotion, flew in the Sheik (now in his 70’s) to participate in its over-the-top violent matches. The Sheik received an elaborate retirement ceremony in Japan, a country where he had proven a top draw.
The Sheik’s work earned him numerous honors, including induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007, the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.
The Sheik Death
The Sheik’s grave in Williamston, Michigan. Photo: Terri Vance Weston
Farhat is buried at the Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Williamston, Michigan.
He was survived by his wife Joyce, sons Edward and Thomas, and four grandchildren.
Timothy Well Death – Kidney Failure
Tom Zenk Death – Heart Disease
Trent Acid Death – Drug Overdose
Indie wrestler Trent Acid – dead at 29 from a drug overdose
1980-2010 (Age 29)