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

Steven-Dunn

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.

Unexpected Retirement

Like many wrestlers, Steven Dunn dealt with a number of injuries over the years. In 2005 he suffered a major one. To repair a serious injury to his back, Steven Dunn had to undergo back surgery. While it proved to be successful, the wrestler would never be able to return to the ring again. He would also be given prescription pain pills, which would play a role in his death.

Substance Abuse Problems

By all accounts, Steve Doll had a very difficult time giving up his place in the spotlight in the world of professional wrestling. He did not want to retire when he did, and reportedly, he began to suffer from depression due to the loss of his career. Abusing pain killers became a way of life for the former wrestler. He frequently mixed the drugs with alcohol. The effects of substance abuse began to take their toll.

Failing Health

In 2006, Steven Dunn had to be rushed to the hospital. He was exhibiting signs of kidney failure and was placed on life support. Steven Dunn’s lifestyle had resulted in severe damage to his intestines. The abuse of pain pills had rotted his organs. To save his life, he had to undergo emergency surgery and have 5 feet of his intestines removed. Sadly, this meant that he had to take more pain pills to deal with the pain.

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)

If there was ever a name to be synonymous with Canadian wrestling, it’s Stu Hart. Father to WWE superstars Bret and Owen Hart, Stu was born in Saskatoon in 1915.

In 1948, Stu Hart created the Stampede Wrestling promotion out of Calgary.

Stu Hart is not only credited with training his sons, but also other well known Canadian names including Chris Jericho, Edge, Christian, and Chris Benoit. Stu Hart died on October 16, 2003. He had suffered a stroke in the weeks prior, and was also battling diabetes and arthritis. For 2010’s ceremony, Stu Hart was posthumously inducted into his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame. He was inducted by son, Bret Hart.

Stu Hart Grave

Stu Hart’s memorial is located at Eden Brook Memorial Gardens in Calgary. The plot is located at the Garden of Angels, Structure 88, and Niche 1059.

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)

Big man Swede Hanson was well-known for his tag team with Rip Hawk, but he also enjoyed a singles career, including a main event program with WWWF champion Bob Backlund.

The Big Swede winded down his career in the WWF, retiring in 1986.

While younger fans may be unfamiliar with Hanson’s work, his team with Hawk is considered one of the greatest tag teams from the territory era.

New Jersey Knuckles

Robert Hanson was born in 1933 but had little time to enjoy his childhood. In a 1997 interview, the New Jersey native recalled working since he was nine years old.

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’s team with Rip Hawk brought him fame, a good amount of hatred from fans, but also their respect.

Swede Hanson at the Philadelphia Spectrum – July 16, 1983. Photo: wwe.com

Hanson had a notable run as a babyface in JCP, feuding with the Super Destroyer. Hanson formed successful partnerships with other wrestlers, and enjoyed a main event run in the WWWF. In 1979, the Big Swede worked a rough-and-tumble series with WWWF champion Bob Backlund, taking the champion to the limit, but ultimately failing to win the gold. As the Big Swede got older, he gave back to the business by using his status to help get younger stars over. Swede began to win less and lose more, but fans knew a victory over Hanson was no walk in the park: Fans knew anyone who prevailed against Hanson had earned their victory, helping to elevate the winner in the process.

Swede Hanson’s Retirement and Health Problems

The Big Swede retired from wrestling in 1986, but continued working; both as a fitness trainer, in construction, and as a nightclub manager.

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)

Many professional wrestlers don’t make it to age 50. Sadly, Terry Gordy barely made it out of his 30s. This is the Terry Gordy death story. Best known as a member of the infamous Fabulous Freebirds, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy had a huge following in the 80s. With the rest of the Freebirds, Gordy won the NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship on five separate occasions. In the early 90s, Terry held one half of the WCW tag team championship alongside “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. Beginning in 1996, Gordy had a brief run with the WWF. The less-than-memorable gimmick tagged Terry Gordy as “The Executioner”. He landed a couple of PPV matches, including a feud with the Undertaker, but ultimately left the company. The gimmick wasn’t a great script and as the WWF moved into the Attitude-era, it was mostly forgotten. Sadly, within a few short years of his departure from the WWF, Terry Gordy would be dead from a heart attack.

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

Although fans were unaware, the events of the Terry Gordy death story were well underway during his time with the Fabulous Freebirds. During the height of the tag team group’s popularity, Terry was heavily into drugs. Friends have revealed since his death that Terry drank heavily, did cocaine, popped prescription pain medication and took steroids. Combining all of those substances took a toll on his body. In 1993, Terry overdosed and suffered brain damage. While he was able to return to the ring, he became more and more unpredictable. Missing training and failing to make appearances made it difficult for him to succeed in the WCW, ECW and the WWF. Gordy’s last appearance in the ring was in 1999

The Events of the Terry Gordy Death Story

The specifics about Terry Gordy’s death have never been fully revealed; however, it is known that the wrestler passed away on July 16, 2001. Bam Bam was just 40 years old at the time of his death. An autopsy was performed to determine the exact cause of his death, and it was ruled that he died of a heart attack that was triggered by the formation of a blood clot that traveled to his heart. Many people speculate that the years of drug abuse and his weight contributed to his untimely death.

Terry Gordy wraps up Brian Adias. WCCW, 1983. Photo: wwe.com

Friends Mourn and Reflect After the Terry Gordy Death News

Although Terry Gordy was not active in professional wrestling at the time of his death, the wrestling world was rocked by the news that he had died. Wrestling promoter Bill Watts who had worked with the Freebirds for years wrote a very revealing biography of Terry Gordy not long after his death. In it, Watts described how he felt guilty for not doing more to get Gordy help when it became clear that substance abuse had taken over his life. He admitted that he and Gordy’s friends had enabled his behavior, and he clearly felt some responsibility for the wrestler’s untimely demise.

Terry Gordy and Bruiser Brody feud throughout the 80s
After the Terry Gordy Death Story: Paying Tribute to Bam Bam

The Freebirds were never forgotten by fans, and in 2015, Terry Gordy received recognition for his contributions to the Tag Team. Along with Buddy “Jack” Roberts and Michael “P.S.” Hayes, he was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Texas. His son, Ray, also carried on the family name briefly in the WWE wrestling as Slam Master J in the late 2000s.

2016 WWE Hall of Fame Induction

On Feburary 29, 2016, Terry Gordy and the Freebirds were announced as inductees to the WWE’s class of 2016 Hall of Fame. The accolade is considered long overdue as the Freebirds contributions to the wrestling industry in the 80s are impossible to ignore. Gordy (along with Buddy Roberts) will of course be inducted posthumously, set to be inducted by current WWE trio, The New Day.

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

Lisowski’s tag team with his kayfabe cousin Dick the Bruiser added more championships to his already impressive collection of singles and tag team belts. With his Bolo Punch finisher and catchphrase, “How ‘bout dat”? Da Crusher was one of wrestlings most colorful, yet relatable characters. Lisowski lived until 79 when a brain tumor ended his life.

From Working Class Stiff to Working Class Hero

Reggie Lisowski was born on July 11, 1926 in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a city he would become well-known in. After playing fullback in high school, Lisowski served in the Army, picking up some wrestling skills while stationed in Germany. After returning home, he furthered his wrestling training, making his professional debut in 1949.

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

In 1959, Lisowski transformed into the persona he would be eternally known by—Da Crusher, a tough-as-nails burly brawler with a booming voice who demolished opponents. Lisowski was paired with his storyline cousin Dick the Bruiser, forming a tag team more akin to a force of nature. The destructive duo gained notoriety in Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association (AWA) where they held the AWA World Tag Team Championship five times. The duo also held the tag team titles six times in Dick the Bruiser’s promotion, the World Wrestling Association. While they began working as heels, the fans eventually embraced them, even though neither man changed their style of wrestling. The Crusher and Bruiser battled some of the AWA’s toughest heels including the roughneck team of Larry “The Ax” Hennig and Harley Race, Ray Stevens and Nick Bockwinkel, the Vachon Brothers (“Mad Dog” and “Butcher”), and the Texas Outlaws (Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch). The Crusher and the Bruiser also appeared in the 1974 film, The Wrestler, where they had a notable scene dispatching Mafia thugs in a locker room. The Crusher was no stranger to singles success either. The man who became known as “The Wrestler Who Made Milwaukee Famous” held the AWA World Heavyweight Championship three times, the AWA Brass Knuckles Championship, and other singles titles as well. Perhaps more important, he held the hearts of the wrestling fans in the Midwest, a man the fans could relate to as one of their own, who knew the value of a hard day’s work and the satisfaction of simple things in life such as a cold beer and a good cigar.
Indeed, Da Crusher boasted his physical training – the Washington Post noted Crusher would train “by running along the Lake Michigan waterfront with a keg of beer on each shoulder, building his stamina to polka all night with the local ‘Polish dollies.’” Despite his unorthodox training, Da Crusher boasted tremendous strength with fellow wrestler Verne Gagne noting the 6’ 260-pound Lisowski could bench press nearly 600 pounds.

Famous Until the End

Da Crusher continued wrestling into the 1980’s, with his last match believed to have been on February 15, 1988 in a tag team bout alongside Ken Patera against the team of Demolition. However, Da Crusher could still be found occasionally at wrestling events such as 1998’s Over the Edge pay-per-view where he and “Mad Dog” Vachon were involved in a kayfabe altercation against Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Crusher cuts a promo with AWA. Photo: youtube

Da Crusher’s career earned him various accolades including induction into WCW’s Hall of Fame, the Cauliflower Alley Club, and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. Da Crusher also inspired the rock band The Novas to record a song in his honor (appropriately named “The Crusher”) in 1964, a record which broke into the Billboard pop chart, reaching #88. The song was covered by the band The Cramps and The Ramones recorded a song “The Crusher” on their last studio album.

Death of the Crusher

The aging process began to take its toll on Lisowski, with wrestling’s tough man enduring hip replacements, multiple heart bypasses, and a knee replacement. Crusher pressed on until October 22, 2005 when he passed away at age 79 from a brain tumor while staying at Milwaukee’s Bradford Terrace Convalescent Center. Crusher is buried at the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery Cudahy, in Cudahy, Wisconsin, with his wife and infant son who had both predeceased him.

Crusher’s grave in Cudahy, Wisconsin. Photo: stew thornley

The Crusher was survived by four children and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

The Grand Wizard Death – Heart Attack

Ernie Roth, best known as “The Grand Wizard” – Dead at 57. Photo: wwe.com
1926-1983 (age 57)

Irwin “Ernie” Roth, best known to wrestling fans as The Grand Wizard, died on October 12, 1983 from a heart attack. Roth worked Detroit territories in the 60s, managing under the moniker of “Abdullah Farouk”. He played a middle eastern who loved to taunt the U.S. crowds – essentially creating the blueprint for “evil foreign” heel managers. Wizard was a heat magnet, and wrestling historians often cite him as one of the best managers of all time.

The Grand Wizard joins WWWF

Roth joined the WWWF in the 70s when it was under ownership of Vince Sr. He took on clientele including the late Mr. Fuji, who would go on to become a legendary heel manager in his own right.

Madison Square Garden 1975: The Grand Wizard with his client, Killer Kowalski. Photo: wwe.com

Throughout his career, Wizard managed a long list of talent, including Killer Kowalski, The Sheik, Sgt. Slaughter, Kamala, Ox Baker, Cowboy Bob Orton, Pat Patterson, Superstar Billy Graham, George “The Animal” Steele, Bruiser Brody, and Buddy Rose.

Ernie Roth Death

On October 12, 1983 Ernie Roth suffered a heart attack. Sadly, he would not recover. He was 57 years old. Ernie Roth was cremated and it’s not public knowledge who his ashes were given to. Roth was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame in 1995.

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!

Link, born Byron Robertson, spent the early 80s with the NWA, and by the mid 80s had shifted over to a small role in the WWF where he was managed by Bobby Heenan.

His run with the WWF would prove short, never breaking out of the lower card.
The Missing Link makes his WWF debut in 1985

Robertson would see the most successful period of his career when he joined Frtiz Von Erich‘s Texas-based promotion, WCCW. He first entered the company in November of ’85, managed by Percy Pringle (who would go on to become Paul Bearer with the WWF). He was later managed by Skandor Akbar.

The Missing Link Death

The Missing Link in 1983. Photo: wwe.com

It was well known that Robertson struggled with substance abuse throughout his entire wrestling career. In 2006, Robertson published an autobiography, Bang Your Head: The Real Story of The Missing Link. In the book, Robertson notes his struggles with substance abuse, including the use of steroids. On August 16, 2007, Byron Robertson died after a battle with lung cancer. He was living in Hamilton, Ontario at the time, the same city in which he was born.

Byron Robertson Grave

Byron Robertson’s grave is located at Woodland Cemetery in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Woodland Cemetery in Hamilton, Ontario. Photo: Miriam Macdonald

The Renegade Death – Suicide

1965-1999 (age 33)

Known to friends as Rick and to fans as The Renegade, Wilson had a short career in World Championship Wrestling. The Renegade was most known as the WCW’s attempt (perhaps tongue in cheek) at creating their own version of the WWF’s Ultimate Warrior. The gimmick was essentially a carbon copy of Warrior, including The Renegade’s mannerisms and high energy entrance to the ring.

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

Not much is known about the specific events leading up to the conclusion of The Renegade death story; however, it is clear that Richard Williams ultimately decided not to continue to pursue his wrestling career. After his WCW contract was terminated, Wilson chose to simply retire. The former professional wrestler stayed out of the spotlight and kept to himself. Reportedly, he was devastated by the fact that he was not able to become a big name in the world of wrestling. He began to suffer from depression, and by February 1999, it seemed that he had spiraled out of control. On the 23rd of that month, The Renegade chose to end his own life. He died by suicide due to a gunshot wound to the head. He was only 33 years old at the time of his death.
Arn Anderson shoots on Renegade’s suicide Fans Look beyond the Renegade Death Story
It seems that despair over his lack of a strong fan base led to The Renegade’s decision to kill himself. Sadly, it seems that the wrestler was loved more than he knew. Today, fans continue to mourn his loss, posting dedications and memorials to him on tribute websites. Most prefer to recall the times that they enjoyed watching him in the ring rather than to dwell on the sad circumstances surrounding his untimely death.

The Sheik Death – Heart Failure

1924-2003 (Age 76)

When wrestling’s roll call of villains is made, it’s unlikely they’ll be anyone as fierce or as brutal as Ed Farhat, better known as the Sheik. The Sheik made opponents bleed night after night and singed many an opponent with his dreaded use of fire. While the Sheik operated out of the Detroit territory he owned, he worked a number of promotions. Unfortunately, his wild matches sometimes led to fast runs before he was shown the door. Nevertheless, Farhat is considered one of wrestling’s greatest heels.

Later in his career: The Sheik with his nephew, Sabu

Edward Farhat wrestled during television’s Golden Age of Wrestling in the 1950’s. Fans familiar with the bloody and brutal Sheik of the 60’s and 70’s might be surprised by the Sheik’s early persona. As the Sheik of Araby, he portrayed more of the stereotypically wealthy Arab and wrestled, as well as sold for opponents. While he was still a rule breaker, he spoke in a mysterious foreign tongue and enraged fans with his actions in the ring as well as his mistreatment of his slave girl. However, it was as the Sheik that Farhat became one of wrestling’s icons. The Sheik was nothing less than a wild man, pummeling opponents senseless with everything but wrestling holds. He choked, he bit, he raked the eyes. Inevitably, the Sheik produced a foreign object to bust open his opponent, leaving them a bloody mess. With the opponent ready for a trip to the emergency room, the Sheik locked them in his Camel Clutch, torturing them more and enraging the fans even further.

The Other Mecca of Wrestling

In 1964, Farhat purchased the National Wrestling Alliance’s Detroit territory from Jim Barnett. The promotion became known as “Big Time Wrestling,” with Farhat working the territory as the promotion’s main event heel for the next 16 years. The Sheik battled a who’s who of babyfaces as fans waited anxiously to see who might defeat the Sheik. The promotion’s Cabo Hall was its Mecca of wrestling, with the Sheik defending his United States Championship against various opponents. The Sheik battled many of wrestling’s most popular babyfaces, but his feud with Bobo Brazil was arguably the biggest. The feud ran decades and saw the two bleed enough plasma to keep the Red Cross going for months.

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

Farhat enjoyed a wildly successful run in Frank Tunney’s Maple Leaf Wrestling territory, main eventing 150 shows from 1967 to 1974, including an undefeated streak that ran over 100 matches. Each show drew 10,000 or more fans, something other shows typically failed to do if the Sheik wasn’t main eventing. The Sheik’s drawing power stemmed from the fans’ desire to see someone finally dish out the punishment he deserved. However, the fans eventually tired of the Sheik’s dominance, particularly after Andre the Giant was brought in to end the Sheik’s reign of terror. To the fans complete shock, the Sheik defeated Andre thanks to the aid of his mysterious ability to throw fire. The fans soured on the Sheik after that and the house draws reportedly plummeted.

The Sheik: He’s not for everyone

Edward Farhat transcended from a wrestling villain into arguably the most reviled figure in the ring during the 60’s and 70’s. He lived the character in and out of the ring, and was known for slicing and dicing any fan stupid enough to confront him. Legend has it the Sheik kept razor blades under his fingernails, allowing him to dispatch any would-be assailant. Outside the ring, the Sheik was either loved or hated by his peers. He was notorious for short-changing wrestlers and employees on pay-outs, but he could also be a generous benefactor to a friend in need. Former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race recalls how the Sheik provided him with funds when he was laid up for months following a near-fatal automobile accident. The Sheik was also accused of not selling for opponents, always desiring to put himself over.
Full List of Deceased Wrestlers

Team work: The Sheik and his nephew, Sabu, terrorize Terry Funk with an open flame

The Sheik’s violent and brutal style was not for everyone. The Sheik found himself banned from New York after his penchant for mayhem proved too much. Sam Muchnick’s St. Louis Wrestling territory brought the Sheik in for one bout and that proved to be one bout too many as far as the more traditionally-based Muchnick was concerned. The Sheik was never asked back to St. Louis. Although there are different opinions about Ed Farhat, few will dispute the Sheik’s drawing power and well-deserved reputation as one of wrestling’s most successful heels. His matches were typically short, violent, and featured little wrestling. Nonetheless, he knew how to incite an audience and make people buy tickets to see him get his comeuppance.

The Legend Continues

The Sheik’s Detroit territory eventually closed up, as business dropped with fans tiring of the aging Sheik as the promotion’s main eventer, as well as the Sheik not building new stars. Nevertheless, the Sheik’s legend continued.

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

On January 18, 2003, Edward Farhat passed away at age 76 from heart failure. Several publications, including the NY Times note that Farhat was 78 years old at the time of his passing, but his grave stone disputes this:

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

Timothy Well, known for his tag team run in the early 90s as part of “Well Dunn” – dead at age 55. Photo: wwe.com 1961-2017 (age 55)
Timothy Smith died on January 9th, 2017 after suffering from kidney failure. Smith is perhaps best known as Timothy Well, one half of the early 90s WWF tag team “Well Dunn”, where he partnered with Steven Dunn (Steve Doll). Doll died in 2009. Although their WWF run was brief, the duo would end up spending the majority of their careers as a tag team across various promotions. Smith also spent time as a singles competitor where he worked under the ring name of Rex King.
Early Career
Timothy Smith grew up in Florida and like many aspiring wrestlers before him, he was bit by the wrestling bug as a youngster. He would go on to work locally in the Sarasota area, trained by Dean Malenko, before ultimately forming a tag team with Steve Doll.
The Southern Rockers
Smith saw his first success in wrestling with PNW in the late 80s. He replaced Scott Peterson in a tag team with Steve Doll dubbed the Southern Rockers.
USWA, 1990: Jeff Jarrett interviews the Southern Rockers. Photo: youtube.com
Smith credited Roddy Piper as the reason he was picked to replace Peterson in the Southern Rockers gimmick. Piper was booking the Portland territory at the time. The Southern Rockers were fan favorites in PNW, winning tag team gold on four separate occasions. In the early 90s, Smith, alongside his partner Steve Doll, moved over to USWA. They would once again see success as a tag team, winning the tag belts on four occasions. In 1993, Timothy Smith and Steve Doll received the call from the WWF. They were repackaged as Timothy Well and Steven Dunn, collectively “Well Dunn”.
With the Hulkamania wonderdust worn off, the WWF was in a transitional period in 1993, and unfortunately the Well Dunn gimmick didn’t get over. Whoever picked out their ring attire probably didn’t help matters. Well Dunn were essentially gimmicked as male strippers – thong and bowtie included. Still, Well Dunn managed to see a lot of TV time for the WWF. Unfortunately it was cut short when both Smith and Doll suffered separate injuries, shelving the tag team. Well Dunn would return to action in 1994, feuding with the Bushwhackers. Departure from WWE Early in 1995, Well Dunn had moved on from the WWE. In a 2012 interview with Slam!, Smith recalled Well Dunn’s departure from the WWE as being less than amicable. Smith said there was a meeting with Vince McMahon just before WrestleMania. Well Dunn’s contracts were about to renew and Vince asked the pair how they felt about it. The duo stated they would love to stay with the WWF and didn’t think they had been given the opportunity to show the company what they were capable of. MaMahon responds “Alright then that sounds good to me.” Four days later the tag team received a FedEx with their termination papers. Smith noted “I don’t even know why a man with his [Vince McMahon] power even had to lie to us. He could have been straight-up with us [in the meeting]”
Later Career, Steroid Use
After their termination from the WWE, Smith and Doll entered Smoky Mountain Wrestling. They were quickly billed in top programs with the Thrill Seekers (Chris Jericho and Lance Storm) and The Rock N Roll Express. Both Smith and Doll then went to various organizations for singles runs. Notably, Smith spent time living and working in Puerto Rico. He didn’t shy away from the fact that it was easy to obtain steroids while working there. In 2012, Smith noted: “I could stay in the ring and keep working and keep putting some weight on and size, because you could easily get the juice there [in Puerto Rico]. You could do what you needed to do.”
Injuries, Declining Health, Retirement
Unfortunately injuries would once again plague Smith’s wrestling career. A 2001 injury in Puerto Rico would essentially end his career. Mustafa Saed (formerly of ECW tag team The Gangstas) broke Smith’s neck on a power slam. Smith would eventually settle into a career working as a cross country trucker, but his injuries from wrestling loomed. He also broke his neck a second time, this time the result of falling through a porch.
Timothy Smith Death, WWE Lawsuit
Timothy Smith died on January 9, 2017 after complications from kidney failure. His mother was by his side at the time of his death. His mother said he had been “incapacitated for [the] last several years” and blamed his 20+ career in wrestling on his poor health. In 2016, Smith was named as one of the 50+ former wrestlers filing suit against the WWE for injuries sustained while wrestling and failing to disclose the dangers of head injuries.
Timothy Well Funeral  
A GoFundMe was setup to pay for Smith’s funeral expenses. Within 24 hours the $2,500 goal had been met, primarily thanks to a large donation by none other than Chris Irvine (aka Chris Jericho), who noted: “Rex was a good guy who was always good to me! Hopefully he has found peace and is with the Lord now. -CJ” Our condolences to the friends and family of Timothy Smith.

Tom Zenk Death – Heart Disease

Former WWF and WCW talent, “Z-Man” Tom Zenk – dead at 59 1949-2017 (Age 59)
Z-Man, Tom Zenk has passed away at age 59. Zenk suffered from heart disease and an enlarged heart. WWF fans may remember him as one half of the Can-Am Connection, opposite Rick Martel. The duo had a brief run in 1987, including an appearance at WrestleMania III. After departing the WWF, Zenk spent most of the late 80s touring Japan with All Japan Pro Wrestling. Zenk’s most memorable run came in the early 90s when he joined WCW. Dubbed “The Z-Man”, Zenk won tag team gold with the late Brian Pillman.
Tom Zenk (left) and Rick Martel from the The Can-Am Connection. WWF, 1987.
Battling injuries, Zenk disappeared from the spotlight in the mid 90s. According to the Observer “Zenk testified against Vince McMahon in his 1994 trial, and later, pretty much disappeared after legal threats were made regarding comments he made.” Tom Zenk was the last surviving pro wrestler from Robbinsdale High School’s class of ’76, which included “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, “Ravishing” Rick Rude and Brady Boone. Robbinsdale, Minnesota is located 9 miles northwest of Minneapolis with a population of 13,953 according to the 2010 census. Several wrestling personalities have taken to twitter to pay tribute to Tom Zenk:
The Iron Sheik ✔@the_ironsheik THE TOM ZENK EXCELLENT ATHLETE EXCELLENT PERFORMER. HE COME FROM THE MINNESOTA I TEACH HIM THE A TO THE Z. HE RESPECT THE LEGEND AND I LOVE HIM FOREVER pic.twitter.com/fktz3cusBx
Missy Hyatt@missyhyatt Just found out that Tom Zenk passed away. I always got along with him and he was always super nice to me when I knew him from WCW in 1989-1994 and for a min in AWF in 1996.I hope he’s at peace Zenk passed on December 9th, 2017 though the news didn’t hit media until December 17th after an obituary was posted in the Star Tribune.
WCW U.S. Tag Team Champions: “Z-Man” Tom Zenk (left) and Flyin’ Brian. 1989.
The Tribune notes that Zenk was living in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, and passed away at the North Memorial Medical Center. Pro Wrestling Sheet reported Tom Zenk died from heart disease and an enlarged heart – confirmed by a representative of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner in Minneapolis. Our condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Zenk.

Trent Acid Death – Drug Overdose

Indie wrestler Trent Acid – dead at 29 from a drug overdose

1980-2010 (Age 29)

As Trent Acid, Michael Verdi astounded wrestling fans with his dynamic moves in one-on-one competition and as a member of one of the independent scene’s favorite tag teams, The Backseat Boyz. Behind the scenes, Verdi battled a drug addiction which ultimately took his life at the young age of 29.
Wrestling at 14
Verdi began wrestling at the age of 14, working his first match in Philadelphia’s Tri-County Wrestling on May 19, 1995. Although Verdi had all but the most basic training in wrestling, he appeared to have caught on fast.
From left to right: Trent Acid, Bret Hart, Johnny Kashmere, and Mick Foley. Valley Forge Convention Center – King of Prussia, PA. Photo: johnnykashmere / instagram  
By 1997, he was working in Jersey All Pro Wrestling. There, he befriended John Kasner aka Johnny Kashmere. Eventually, the two formed a popular team on the indie scene known as The Backseat Boyz, a play on words of the boy band “The Backstreet Boys.”
Independent Superstar
Trent Acid found success on the independent scene, including notable runs in Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling, Juggalo Championship Wrestling, Big Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Unplugged, and Ring of Honor. Whether he wrestled in singles or tag team matches, Acid won many regional championships during his time in the industry. His natural charisma and arsenal of technical and high flying moves made him stand out on the indies.
Mounting Personal and Legal Problems
Acid was an incredibly gifted performer who many saw as having potential to make it to the WWE. However, after repeated struggles, Acid decided to let people know of the drug abuse that threatened not only a budding career, but his very life.
Trent Acid’s life inside and outside the ring was documented in the 2011 film, “Card Subject to Change”  
He appeared in the 2011 documentary, Card Subject to Change, discussing his passion for the business and absolving it of any responsibility for his own shortcomings. Those shortcomings would soon bring severe consequences. While Card Subject to Change was being produced, director Tim Disbrow lost touch with Acid, unaware he had gone missing due to a heroin overdose. When Disbrow reconnected with Acid, he knew Acid was struggling and in bad shape.
A 2008 arrest for assault and other charges saw Acid imprisoned for eight months.
Acid’s drug woes continued to mount and he hid it from promoters, fearful it would jeopardize his employability. Over time, it did in fact affect his employability with Acid being deemed unfit to perform at a show in New York, leading to the Backseat Boyz splitting up.
11 months before his death: Trent Acid cuts a promo in Kingston, PA for WWC Pro Wrestling. Photo: youtube Trent Acid’s drug addiction led to the legal problems that often go hand in hand.
Acid was arrested for drug possession in 2009 after he was caught with Percocets without a prescription. In 2010, he was arrested for violating his probation by attempting to travel to Japan. Acid took a plea and entered drug rehab, after which he faced imprisonment for up to two years.
Death and Tributes  
On June 18, 2010, Trent Acid’s body was discovered by his mother. The Philadelphia medical examiner’s office ruled his death an accidental drug overdose. The toxicology report was sealed and only family members had access to it.
Though the location of his burial was not made public, a Photo of Trent Acid’s grave surfaced online. Photo: VinnyTheGuido / Wikimedia Commons
Following Trent Acid’s death, his colleagues paid tribute to him with a memorial show, feeling it was the way the young star would have wanted to be sent off.
Trent Acid gives an interview in an undated Photo.  
The card was dubbed Acid-Fest and held in Philadelphia, with proceeds being used to help pay for Acid’s funeral costs. Acid was later inducted into the Hardcore Hall of Fame at the 2300 Arena (aka the ECW arena, long-time home of ECW Wrestling). 2010 also saw deaths of several other notable wrestlers who didn’t make it to age 50 including Luna Vachon, Giant Gonzalez, Chris Kanyon, Ludvig Borga, and Lance Cade. Oddly, Lance Cade died at the same age as Trent Acid (29) and also suffered from a drug overdose. While Acid never found mainstream success, his accomplishments on the indie scene left a lasting impression on both those he worked with and those he worked in front of.

Ultimate Warrior Death – Heart Attack

The Ultimate Warrior died in Scottsdale Arizona on April 8, 2014, just days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Photo: wwe.com 1959-2014 (age 54)
Alongside Hogan and Savage, The Ultimate Warrior was one of the most recognizable and biggest fan favorites from the 80’s and early 90’s era of the WWF. He was born James Brian Hellwig on June 16, 1959. Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, Hellwig was the eldest of five children. His father left the family when he was twelve. Hellwig was raised by his mother and, later, his stepfather. He wrestled under a variety of ring names but is by far most recognized for his run as The Ultimate Warrior. Sadly, Warrior would not live to see 55 years old. His death came one day after he gave a bone chilling speech on Raw.
Early Career (1984-1987)
Early career: Hellwig’s first moniker as “The Dingo Warrior” in WCCW. Photo: wwe.com
Brian Hellwig did not begin his career as a professional wrestler. He started as an amateur bodybuilder. He began lifting weights at the age of eleven in order to overcome being, in his own words, “the small insecure kid who wasn’t into any sports.” Hellwig would go on to compete in various bodybuilding contests. He won the AAU Costal USA contest in 1983 and the NPC Mr. Georgia crown in 1984. In 1985, while training in California for a bodybuilding contest he received an invitation to join a group of bodybuilders in forming a professional wrestling team. He accepted and left behind both his bodybuilding career and his ambition to be a chiropractor.
Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan square off at WrestleMania VI in front of 67,678 Skydome fans. Photo: wwe.com
The team of former body builders started out as Powerteam USA but later became known as The Freedom Fighters. Hellwig was billed Jim “Justice” Hellwig. The next professional iteration of the team was The Blade Runners. Hellwig and Steve Borden fought in the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) as Blade Runner Rock and Blade Runner Flash. Renaming himself Dingo Warrior, in 1986 Hellwig began wrestling with World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW). He chose his name when someone remarked that he looked like a warrior.
World Wrestling Federation (1987-1996)  
In 1987 Hellwig began a long and tumultuous career with the World Wrestling Federation. Vince McMahon is credited for giving him his name as “The Ultimate Warrior”. The Ultimate Warrior was known for his patterned face paint and his high energy entrances into the ring.
In the early 90’s, The Ultimate Warrior feuds with Randy Savage. Photo: wwe.com
Warrior debuted on October 25, 1987. He won both the inaugural SummerSlam in 1988 and the Survivor Series of that year. The Ultimate Warrior feuded with Rick Rude at the Royal Rumble in 1989, was defeated by Rick Rude at WrestleMania V and regained the Intercontinental championship at SummerSlam in 1989. In 1990 The Ultimate Warrior began a string of victories. He defeated Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI. Randy Savage lost to The Ultimate Warrior and was kayfabe-retired by him at WrestleMania VII. He also feuded with The Undertaker. When Jake “The Snake” Roberts turned on The Ultimate Warrior in the midst of his feud with The Undertaker, the stage was set for a Jake Roberts/Warrior feud. That would not come to fruition. The Ultimate Warrior was suspended by Vince McMahon on August 26, 1991. The dispute was over Warrior’s contract and royalty rights. Warrior refused to accept the suspension and left the WWF in October of 1991. He remained under contract with the WWF until 1992.
Ultimate Warrior defeats the Undertaker in a Body Bag match – Madison Square Garden, 1991
Hellwig spent 1992 through 1996 in a sort of semi-retirement. He took the opportunity to open a professional wrestling school. He also appeared in a movie and wrestled in independent shows. The Ultimate Warrior made a return to the WWF in 1996. He defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley at WrestleMania XII and defeated Jerry “The King” Lawler at King of the Ring. His return did not last long. Hellwig had his contract terminated after missing house shows due to taking time off after the death of his father. Vince McMahon claimed that Warrior was not close to his father and used his death as an excuse. The Ultimate Warrior claimed that he did not appear in those shows due to a dispute over merchandise royalties that he was owed.
World Championship Wrestling and Retirement (1998-2014)  
After being dropped from the WWF, Hellwig signed with WCW in 1998. He only wrestled in three matches. After the WCW, he spent his retirement writing a comic book, doing motivational speaking and maintaining a blog. He was noted for his sometimes controversial conservative political statements. Before The Ultimate Warrior death news, he came to a sort of peace with the WWF. He announced on YouTube in February of 2013 that he would appear at WrestleCon and WrestleMania 29. He spoke warmly about Vince McMahon. In July of 2013 he was featured in the WWE 2K14 video game.
The Ultimate Warrior Death
1 day prior to his death, Warrior gives a bone-chilling speech on Raw. April 7, 2014. Photo: wwe.com  
The Ultimate Warrior death occurred in Scottsdale Arizona on April 8, 2014. Warrior’s death came just days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He collapsed at 5:50 pm while walking with his wife to their car in a hotel parking lot. He was rushed to the hospital but could not be saved. The cause of death was a heart attack due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. He was 54 years old. The Ultimate Warrior death shocked WWE fans around the world. Brian Hellwig was survived by his wife and two children. He summed up his own legacy in his final appearance on Raw (eerily, the day prior to his death). No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized… the spirit of Ultimate Warrior will run forever!

Umaga Death – Drug Overdose

Eddie Fatu, known to wrestling fans as “Umaga” – dead at 36 from drug overdose. Photo: wwe.com   1973-2009 (age 36)
To die at the young age of 36 is tragic. Such was the case for professional wrestler Umaga. Here is the Umaga death story.
About the Wrestler  
Umaga was born in San Francisco, CA, on March 28, 1973, as Edward “Eddie” Fatu. He was also known to some as Ecki. He started his wrestling career in the WWE with a brief stint from 2002-2003 under the ring name Jamal. He was partnered with Matt Anoa’i, his real life cousin, who went by Rosey. Sadly, Rosey passed in 2017.
When first called up by WWE, Eddie Fatu (given the name Jamal) formed 3 Minute Warning, alongside his cousin, Matt Anoa’i (Rosey). Photo: wwe.com  
The duo formed the tag team 3-Minute Warning. Unfortunately by mid 2003, Fatu was dismissed from the WWE after rumors surfaced about his involvement in a bar fight. Then Eddie Fatu reemerged on the wrestling scene, this time under the name of Ekmo. He wrestled for TNA and went overseas to partake in All-Japan Pro Wrestling. The time came when he returned to the WWE, this time as the Samoan bulldozer Umaga. Umaga was known for being unpredictable and a fierce competitor in the squared circle. It wasn’t long before he saw Intercontinental gold with the WWE. Perhaps his most popular match was at WrestleMania 23 in 2007. Umaga was represented by Vince McMahon, facing off against Bobby Lashley, who was being represented by Donald Trump. Each rep put his hair on the line and ultimately it was WWE boss McMahon whose head got shaved. The shaving was done by Trump himself. Less than 3 years before his death: Umaga (being represented by Vince McMahon) takes on Bobby Lashley (being represented by Donald Trump) at WrestleMania 23
Controversy from Life to Death
While the 2009 Umaga death story was controversial as he passed so young, the wrestler also had personal controversies while alive. For example, he was part of the infamous Sports Illustrated article about pharmaceutical purchases, which violated the WWE’s Wellness Policy. Umaga was suspended for this activity. Then, he was released from the WWE in June when he later failed a second round of drug testing and refused treatment in a rehab center. Only months later was the official announcement of the Umaga death, which right from the start was speculated by media outlets to be caused by a heart attack.
Circumstances of the Umaga Death
The professional wrestler died of a heart attack on Friday, December 4, 2009. He passed away in a hospital in Houston, TX. He was found in his Houston home on the previous evening (Thursday) by his wife. He was sitting in front of the television when she found him.
Umaga with his late cousin, Rodney Anoaʻi (known to wrestling fans as Yokozuna)  
Reports are that he was not breathing at the time and had blood materializing from his nose. The wrestler was rushed to the hospital, where he was put on life support. His family were instructed to come to Houston as soon as possible. The official cause of the Umaga death was released almost three months after it occurred. Dan Morgan, who was the supervisory forensic investigator for Harris County in Houston determined that the cause was “acute toxicity due to combined effects of hydrocodone, carisoprodol, and diazepam.” In other words, the Umaga death was due to taking a lethal mix of painkillers, muscle relaxers, and anti-anxiety meds. While rumors were that he had a drug abuse problem, chronic drug use was not why he passed away in December of 2009. Instead, it was because of a lethal mix of drugs taken within a short period. November 28, 2009 – Umaga’s final match was wrestled on Hulkamania’s tour in Sydney, Australia. One week after this match he would be found dead
Reaction to the Umaga Death Announcement
The reactions of top wrestling personalities to the Umaga death tragedy were publicly shared on Twitter soon after the news headline surfaced. As Tara (aka Victoria) wrote, “Rest in Peace Umaga. We will love you always and we will all miss you.” Another tribute was written by Chris Jericho, and it read, “Eddie Fatu was an awesome guy and one of the brothers. I trusted him and that’s a rare thing for me. I am devastated. Safe travels Oos…” As for Torrie Wilson, the words shared on the social media platform were simple but heartfelt, “Much love my friend. Much love.” On Saturday, the day after the Umaga death, there were 545 fans on a Facebook tribute page to the famed wrestler. Numerous messages of mourning had filled social media networks and the blogging world. The WWE released a tribute message for Umaga, although the organization clearly stated in the statement that the wrestler was not part of the WWE roster at the time of his passing. “WWE would like to express its deepest condolences to Mr. Fatu’s family, friends and fans on his tragic passing.”
The Samoan Dynasty  
Eddie’s family has roots which run deep in the wrestling world. He was trained by his uncles, known as the Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika). Eddie’s cousins included The Rock, the late Yokozuna, Rosey, Rikishi, and current WWE superstar Roman Reigns. He was the uncle of current WWE tag team The Usos.
Why the Umaga Death Headline was Shocking
Without question, the first reason for the shock was the Samoan-American wrestler’s young age; he was not even 40 years old. Secondly, he had been noted as looking healthy and strong during his stint on a wrestling tour in Australia, as per writer James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch. Also, he had worked almost right until his death, so the event was certainly unexpected to family, friends, and fans alike. Umaga’s passing added to a surprisingly high number of wrestlers who have died before the age of 50. Other wrestlers who passed away at a young age include Eddie Guerrero (38), Andrew “Test” Martin (33), and “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (39). Particularly sad too was that rumors were circulating just prior to Umaga’s death that he might return to the WWE. Given the huge outpouring after the news of the wrestler’s passing, it is clear that he was well liked by his peers and fans alike. Eddie Fatu left behind his wife in Houston and four children.

Uncle Elmer Death – Kidney Failure

Eddie Fatu, known to wrestling fans as “Umaga” – dead at 36 from drug overdose. Photo: wwe.com   1973-2009 (age 36)
To die at the young age of 36 is tragic. Such was the case for professional wrestler Umaga. Here is the Umaga death story.
About the Wrestler  
Umaga was born in San Francisco, CA, on March 28, 1973, as Edward “Eddie” Fatu. He was also known to some as Ecki. He started his wrestling career in the WWE with a brief stint from 2002-2003 under the ring name Jamal. He was partnered with Matt Anoa’i, his real life cousin, who went by Rosey. Sadly, Rosey passed in 2017.
When first called up by WWE, Eddie Fatu (given the name Jamal) formed 3 Minute Warning, alongside his cousin, Matt Anoa’i (Rosey). Photo: wwe.com  
The duo formed the tag team 3-Minute Warning. Unfortunately by mid 2003, Fatu was dismissed from the WWE after rumors surfaced about his involvement in a bar fight. Then Eddie Fatu reemerged on the wrestling scene, this time under the name of Ekmo. He wrestled for TNA and went overseas to partake in All-Japan Pro Wrestling. The time came when he returned to the WWE, this time as the Samoan bulldozer Umaga. Umaga was known for being unpredictable and a fierce competitor in the squared circle. It wasn’t long before he saw Intercontinental gold with the WWE. Perhaps his most popular match was at WrestleMania 23 in 2007. Umaga was represented by Vince McMahon, facing off against Bobby Lashley, who was being represented by Donald Trump. Each rep put his hair on the line and ultimately it was WWE boss McMahon whose head got shaved. The shaving was done by Trump himself. Less than 3 years before his death: Umaga (being represented by Vince McMahon) takes on Bobby Lashley (being represented by Donald Trump) at WrestleMania 23
Controversy from Life to Death
While the 2009 Umaga death story was controversial as he passed so young, the wrestler also had personal controversies while alive. For example, he was part of the infamous Sports Illustrated article about pharmaceutical purchases, which violated the WWE’s Wellness Policy. Umaga was suspended for this activity. Then, he was released from the WWE in June when he later failed a second round of drug testing and refused treatment in a rehab center. Only months later was the official announcement of the Umaga death, which right from the start was speculated by media outlets to be caused by a heart attack.
Circumstances of the Umaga Death
The professional wrestler died of a heart attack on Friday, December 4, 2009. He passed away in a hospital in Houston, TX. He was found in his Houston home on the previous evening (Thursday) by his wife. He was sitting in front of the television when she found him.
Umaga with his late cousin, Rodney Anoaʻi (known to wrestling fans as Yokozuna)  
Reports are that he was not breathing at the time and had blood materializing from his nose. The wrestler was rushed to the hospital, where he was put on life support. His family were instructed to come to Houston as soon as possible. The official cause of the Umaga death was released almost three months after it occurred. Dan Morgan, who was the supervisory forensic investigator for Harris County in Houston determined that the cause was “acute toxicity due to combined effects of hydrocodone, carisoprodol, and diazepam.” In other words, the Umaga death was due to taking a lethal mix of painkillers, muscle relaxers, and anti-anxiety meds. While rumors were that he had a drug abuse problem, chronic drug use was not why he passed away in December of 2009. Instead, it was because of a lethal mix of drugs taken within a short period. November 28, 2009 – Umaga’s final match was wrestled on Hulkamania’s tour in Sydney, Australia. One week after this match he would be found dead
Reaction to the Umaga Death Announcement
The reactions of top wrestling personalities to the Umaga death tragedy were publicly shared on Twitter soon after the news headline surfaced. As Tara (aka Victoria) wrote, “Rest in Peace Umaga. We will love you always and we will all miss you.” Another tribute was written by Chris Jericho, and it read, “Eddie Fatu was an awesome guy and one of the brothers. I trusted him and that’s a rare thing for me. I am devastated. Safe travels Oos…” As for Torrie Wilson, the words shared on the social media platform were simple but heartfelt, “Much love my friend. Much love.” On Saturday, the day after the Umaga death, there were 545 fans on a Facebook tribute page to the famed wrestler. Numerous messages of mourning had filled social media networks and the blogging world. The WWE released a tribute message for Umaga, although the organization clearly stated in the statement that the wrestler was not part of the WWE roster at the time of his passing. “WWE would like to express its deepest condolences to Mr. Fatu’s family, friends and fans on his tragic passing.”
The Samoan Dynasty  
Eddie’s family has roots which run deep in the wrestling world. He was trained by his uncles, known as the Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika). Eddie’s cousins included The Rock, the late Yokozuna, Rosey, Rikishi, and current WWE superstar Roman Reigns. He was the uncle of current WWE tag team The Usos.
Why the Umaga Death Headline was Shocking
Without question, the first reason for the shock was the Samoan-American wrestler’s young age; he was not even 40 years old. Secondly, he had been noted as looking healthy and strong during his stint on a wrestling tour in Australia, as per writer James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch. Also, he had worked almost right until his death, so the event was certainly unexpected to family, friends, and fans alike. Umaga’s passing added to a surprisingly high number of wrestlers who have died before the age of 50. Other wrestlers who passed away at a young age include Eddie Guerrero (38), Andrew “Test” Martin (33), and “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (39). Particularly sad too was that rumors were circulating just prior to Umaga’s death that he might return to the WWE. Given the huge outpouring after the news of the wrestler’s passing, it is clear that he was well liked by his peers and fans alike. Eddie Fatu left behind his wife in Houston and four children.

Uncle Elmer Death – Kidney Failure

Stanley Frazier, known to wrestler fans as Uncle Elmer, died on July 1, 1992 from kidney failure.   1937-1992 (Age 54)
Best known for his work as “Uncle Elmer” during his run alongside Hillbilly Jim, Cousin Luke, and Cousin Junior, big man Stanley Frazier wrestled in the south, including a run in Memphis wrestling where he worked under a variety of aliases. Plagued by diabetes, Frazier died at the age of 54, but he left a lasting impression on fans who grew up watching the WWF during the height of the Rock-n-Wrestling Era.
Southern Stardom
Stan Frazier’s wrestling career dates back to the 1960’s when he enraged fans with his brutal beatdowns of babyfaces as the masked man known as “The Convict.”
Elmer had a big money feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler during the 1970’s.
While Frazier was never considered a gifted worker, his size and weight (6’10” and 400 or more lbs.) made him an imposing presence in the ring. One memorable program was his feud with Bobo Brazil, with Frazier having the distinction of being the first wrestler Freddie Blassie managed. Frazier worked throughout the south, including Gulf Coast Wrestling, and a big money feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler during the 1970’s. Frazier adopted many identities during his time in Memphis including the Lone Ranger, Kamala II, Giant Rebel, Giant Hillbilly & Tiny Frazier. In Japan, he worked under the moniker of “The Masked Convict” during a program with Giant Baba. However, a new identity would lead to Frazier’s biggest fame in his career…
Uncle Elmer Enters the WWF Circus
When Hillbilly Jim joined the WWF in 1984, he was soon joined by his kayfabe family—Uncle Elmer and Cousin Junior. The mammoth Uncle Elmer fit in well in the WWF’s land of giants:
At one point, Uncle Elmer held the record for the fastest pin in the WWF.  
Uncle Elmer helped his kayfabe nephew battle the WWF’s heels, and Elmer got married to his longtime girlfriend Joyce Stazko during the October 1985 episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event. The marriage was no work and the couple stayed together until Frazier’s death. The ceremony led to an angle where “Rowdy” Roddy Piper interrupted the ceremony and color commentator Jesse “The Body” Ventura mocked the proceeding. This led to a six-man tag team match involving the team of Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer, and Cousin Luke versus Jesse Ventura, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and “Cowboy” Bob Orton. Uncle Elmer appeared at WrestleMania II in a losing effort to Adrian Adonis. He wrestled several more matches before his WWF exit.
May 17, 1987: Elmer drops the leg on The Masked Patriot. Photo: youtube Winding down His Career
After leaving the WWF in 1986, Frazier continued his career in the ring, working in Memphis as Giant Hillbilly Elmer, teaming with Jerry Lawler to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Titles and the promotion’s Super Heavyweight Championship. Frazier opened a small independent promotion and was involved in training future WWF Superstar Bob Holly. Frazier also operated a shoe store. There is no denying Stanley Frazier was a box office draw in the territories he worked, even if he wasn’t a technical master like Harley Race or Jack Brisco. Frazier has drawn heat from some of his peers, accusing him of not only being a poor worker, but a con man who hawked shoddy merchandise to fans and fake Rolexes to anyone willing to buy them. Nonetheless, he brought some memorable moments to fans and it is arguable it’s a case of separating the art from the artist. While some purists may shudder at the idea of calling Frazier’s work art, the industry has a long history of wrestlers with limited in-ring talent who still proved to be successful draws.
Health Woes and Death  
With Frazier’s weight out of control, he was beset with health issues including diabetes. On July 1, 1992, Frazier died from kidney failure at the age of 54. He is buried at the Biloxi National Cemetery in Biloxi, Mississippi. Many other well known wrestlers died in the 1990s including Andre the Giant, Bruiser Brody, Kerry Von Erich, Owen Hart, and Rick Rude.
Stan Frazier’s grave in Biloxi National Cemetery, Biloxi, Mississippi. Photo: William Tatum via find a grave  

Vader Death – Pneumonia

1955-2018 (Age 63)   Vader has died at age 63.
The son of the legendary wrestling big man has confirmed his death via Twitter. Leon White died on Monday night, June 18th, 2018 after a month long battle with pneumonia. White had also been battling heart issues. Most of Vader’s wrestling success was in Japan and with WCW, though he took part in plenty of WWF storylines in the mid 90s.
Prior to stepping into the ring, Leon “Vader” White played for the University of Colorado (and eventually the Los Angeles Rams). Photo: university of Colorado boulder athletics Vader’s Football Career
Prior to getting into a wrestling ring, White saw success on the gridiron – and his massive frame, combined with an unfathomable agility, made him a star. In the mid 70s, White played for the University of Colorado as a top ranked center.
By 1978 he was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams.  
Though his career in the NFL was short, Vader holds the distinction of being one of only two full-time professional wrestlers to compete in a Super Bowl. The Rams took on the Steelers in a losing effort at Super Bowl XIV. The only other full time wrestler (we’re not looking at gimmick matches) to play in a Super Bowl was Monty Brown. Vader’s NFL career ended abruptly after he suffered a ruptured patella, but his career in the spotlight was far from over. Vader transitioned to the squared circle, with very memorable runs in both New Japan Pro Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling.
New Japan Pro Wrestling: Vader enters the ring to take on Bam Bam Bigelow. Sep. 12th, 1988. Photo: youtube Vader’s Wrestling Career
After a brief run with the AWA, and a more prominent run with the CWA, Vader eventually inked a deal with New Japan in 1987. He was given the moniker ‘Big Van Vader’ and his legend was born quickly after defeating top star Antonio Inoki in under three minutes at the Sumo Hall in Tokyo. The crowd was so upset with Inoki’s loss that a full blown riot ensued. With WCW, Vader took part in memorable feuds among the likes of Sting and Ric Flair. He held the WCW World Heavyweight strap on three occasions. Though his run with the WWF seemed to be more of an after thought, fans watching in the mid 90s will no doubt remember Vader’s attack on kayfabe WWF president, Gorilla Monsoon: In a pre-Austin/Vince WWF, the move gained Vader tremendous heat with the crowd.
Vader’s Health Issues  
In a December 2016 shoot interview, Vader candidly spoke about a heart specialist informing him that he only had two years to live.
In March of 2018, Vader underwent open heart surgery.
After surgery, Vader’s son Jesse Tweeted out: “I wanted to let everybody know that I just spoke to the Surgeon. The surgery was a success but it was worse than we had expected. Long road for recovery. Will keep you posted. Thank you for the prayers.” A second surgery followed in May 2018 for an irregular heartbeat. Around this time, White was battling pneumonia, and sadly, the battle proved too much for the big man. Vader died on June 18th, 2018 around 7:25pm. Heart complications are not an uncommon culprit to claim the life of professional wrestlers – many of whom died before age 50. Several other notable wrestlers have passed in 2018, including Bruno Sammartino and Johnny Valiant.We send our condolences to the friends and family of Leon White.

Verne Gagne Death – Alzheimer’s disease

Vader has died at age 63. 1926-2015 (Age 89)  
Although Verne Gagne’s last years would be plagued by health problems and controversy, the Minnesota native boasted a storied career as both a wrestler and promoter, creating one of professional wrestling’s most prestigious promotions. A national superstar at a young age, Gagne helped launch the careers of some of wrestling’s biggest names.
The Road to the Ring
LaVerne Gagne was born on February 26, 1926 in Minnesota and raised on a farm. His father owned a saloon, but young LaVerne was determined to become a wrestler, not a saloon keeper.
Verne Gagne battles Jerry “Crusher” Blackwell. Photo: wwe.com
Gagne wrestled at the University of Minnesota, where he won four heavyweight championships in the Big Nine (the forerunner to the Big Ten) as well as two NCAA championships. When World War Two broke out, Gagne joined the Marines, training his fellow Leathernecks in hand-to-hand combat. After the war, Gagne completed his college education then served as an alternate for America’s freestyle wrestling team at the 1948 Olympics. Gagne’s athletic skills also led to him to the Green Bay Packers, but he quickly learned there was a more lucrative career available — professional wrestling. Promoter Gary Stecher is credited with recruiting Gagne into wrestling. In 1949 (or 1950 depending on whom you believe), Gagne traded his cleats for wrestling boots, building off his legitimate credentials as an accomplished amateur wrestler.
Gagne and the Golden Age
Verne Gagne couldn’t have entered the ring at a better time as wrestling was enjoying its golden age, largely due to the proliferation of network television. Wrestling provided an exciting and affordable spectacle for national networks and before long, wrestling was sweeping the nation. Despite his average size and build (Gagne stood 6’ and weighed roughly 215 pounds) Gagne became a superstar on the Dumont Network, not only appearing in the ring, but in television commercials where he endorsed nutrition products. Gagne was a legitimate wrestling phenomenon, his technical skills, speed, and powerful finisher, the sleeperhold, making him a triple threat.
AWA World Champion, Verne Gagne Forming His Own Promotion  
Although Gagne was an established main event star, the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship proved elusive, ultimately resulting in Gagne forming his own wrestling organization, the American Wrestling Association (AWA) in 1960. Gagne became the promotion’s world champion, relying on his popularity to sell tickets, and his legitimate wrestling ability to prevent double-crosses in the ring.
Verne Gagne defeats Nick Bockwinkel – January 25, 1975
However, Gagne was by no means the only world champion in the promotion. Many top stars worked the promotion with some reaching the top of the mountain by defeating Gagne.
Madison Square Garden: Verne Gagne takes on Nikolai Volkoff, August 29, 1977. Photo: wwe.com  
The AWA was a successful promotion that was considered one of wrestling’s most prestigious and easier promotions to work in. As we discussed in our feature on Nick Bockwinkel, Bockwinkel had the opportunity to become NWA World Heavyweight Champion, but preferred the easier schedule of the AWA, turning down the NWA belt. Gagne never had problems bringing talent into the AWA, up until its very end. The AWA also had its own training camp where Gagne trained aspiring wrestlers at a Minnesota farm. The training was not easy, with future legend Ric “Nature Boy” Flair wanting to quit several times. However, Gagne saw Flair graduate and Flair would be one of many famous wrestlers who got their start training with him.
Gagne’s AWA continued success also saw him try his hand at producing a film based on wrestling. In 1974, the film The Wrestler was released, presenting a story of a young wrestling star looking to overtake an existing star. The film starred Ed Asner, Verne Gagne, and featured a number of appearances by AWA wrestlers. By the 1980’s, Verne Gagne was finding it difficult to compete with the World Wrestling Federation, with WWF owner Vince McMahon luring away some of Gagne’s top talent. Gagne poured more and more of his personal resources into the company, but by 1990, the AWA was dead.
Retirement and Lasting Fame
Verne Gagne was finished with the wrestling industry, but the industry was not finished with him.
Verne Gagne has been honored by the University of Minnesota Hall of Fame (1992), the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame (2004), the WWE Hall of Fame (2006), among many more. Photo: wwe.com
Gagne would be honored with induction into numerous halls of fames, both for his in-ring legacy and his charitable contributions including his support of Olympic athletes. Gagne was honored by the University of Minnesota Hall of Fame (1992), the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame (2004), the WWE Hall of Fame (2006), the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame (inaugural class, 1999), and the Minnesota’s Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame (2007). The Cauliflower Alley Club gave Gagne the Lou Thesz Award in 2006.
A Terrible Illness and the Death of Verne Gagne
Sadly, Verne Gagne’s later years saw him confined to a medical facility for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
On January 26, 2009, Gagne was involved in an altercation with fellow resident Helmut Gutmann where Gagne slammed Gutmann to the floor. Gutmann died 20 days later, but criminal charges were not filed as Gagne lacked the mental capacity to commit the crime. On April 27, 2015, Verne Gagne died at the age of 89 at his daughter Elizabeth’s home in Bloomington, Minnesota. 2015 also saw the losses of wrestling legends Dusty Rhodes, Nick Bockwinkel, and Roddy Piper. Verne Gagne was survived by his son Greg, his three daughters, Elizabeth Ahern, Kathleen Whistler and Donna Gagne; a brother, Jerry; nearly half a dozen younger half-siblings; and six grandchildren.

Wahoo McDaniel Death – Kidney Failure

Wahoo McDaniel – Dead at 63. Photo: wwe.com 1938-2002 (age 63)
Edward McDaniel, best known by his nickname, “Wahoo” McDaniel, enjoyed a long career in both professional wrestling, as well as professional football. Most notably, Wahoo played for the Jets in the 60s. Wahoo began splitting his time between football and wrestling, eventually transitioning to wrestling full time by the late 60s.
Wahoo’s Wrestling Career  
McDaniel spent time with various territories including the WWWF, NWA, Mid-Atlantic, AWA, WWC, and CWF. Throughout his career, Wahoo had notable feuds with Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter, Gino Hernandez, and Greg Valentine, to name a few.
Wahoo McDaniel Death
Wahoo takes on Colone Debeers. AWA Wrestlerock, 1986. Photo: youtube.com By 1996, McDaniel was retired. Sadly, he wouldn’t live much longer.  
Wahoo McDaniel died on April 18, 2002 at the age of 63.According to the NY times, he had suffered from kidney failure. McDaniels was on a waiting list to receive a kidney transplant. Edward McDaniel was cremated. It’s not public knowledge who his ashes were given to.

Yokozuna Death – Pulmonary Edema

Yokozuna dies at age 34. He weighed 580 pounds at the time of his death. Photo: wwe.com 1966-2000 (age 34)
Rodney Agatupu Anoa’i was a professional wrestler, best known by his ring name of Yokozuna. Born on October 2, 1966, Yoko was one of the most recognized figures in the early 90s era of the WWF. He was only 34 years old when he passed. Yoko’s extremely large size helped catapult him to the top of the card. He weighed in at over five hundred pounds. He was a two time World Wrestling Federation champion. He was a winner of the 1993 Royal Rumble. Yokozuna was the first wrestler of Samoan descent to become a WWF champion and to hold a Royal Rumble victory. Despite success with the WWF, one couldn’t help but think that the Yokozuna death was always looming. There’s simply no way any human being can remain in good health while being several hundred pounds over weight. Sadly, the large size that made him a star in the ring, would ultimately contribute to his early death.
Career with the World Wrestling Federation (1992-1998)  
Let’s take a look from the beginning. Although it wasn’t televised, Rodney made his debut with the World Wrestling Federation on September 1st, 1992. His ring name for the appearance was Kokina. Kokina was set up to appear with Fatu and Samoan Savage, known as the Samoans (soon after, The Headshrinkers). The character of Kokina appeared in a single (untelevised) match on September 1, 1992, hence the gimmick was quickly scrapped.
Yokozuna with manager, Mr. Fuji. In the early 90’s, part of Yoko’s entrance involved sumo ceremonial salt, pictured here. Photo: wwe.com  
A few short weeks later, Kokina was ancient history and Anoa’i was rebranded as a Japanese sumo wrestler named Yokozuna. He made his television debut (alongside manager Mr. Fuji) on the October 31, 1992 episode of WWF Superstars. Yokozuna stayed busy throughout 1993 in the WWF. He quickly moved up the card to main event status after winning the ’93 Royal Rumble. At WrestleMania IX at Caesar’s Palace, he main evented with Bret Hart and won the WWF Championship; holding the record (at that time) for the second shortest time from WWF debut to WWF heavyweight champion – a mere 4 months. He probably also held the record for shortest time with the belt, as Yoko quickly (and bafflingly) lost the belt thanks to an impromptu Hulk Hogan appearance at the end of the main event – it remains one of WrestleMania’s more dumbfounded moments. At King of the Ring in 1993, he took the belt from Hogan and reclaimed the championship (of course, Hogan doesn’t lose clean, so the finish can be credited to a bizarre flaming camera-flash incident…. Jesus, who wrote that storyline?!) Because Hogan left the WWF shortly after losing the belt, Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna were able to boast of ending Hulkamania. It propelled Yoko to super-heel. Yoko can be credited with giving Lex Luger his big baby face push of the 90s (who can forget the Lex Express?! Anyone? …Hello?) On July 4th, a bodyslam contest aboard the USS intrepid had multiple wrestlers, and other professional athletes, attempting to bodyslam the big man. Just when it seemed like no one would be successful, the former Narcissist arrives via helicopter to save the day. After getting a huge pop from the crowd with a slightly racist, generic pro-American spiel, Luger scoops Yokozuna for the bodyslam. Thus, the 90s had a cheap American hero versus anti-American angle. In 1994 Yoko defended his title at WrestleMania X against Luger. He won when Luger was disqualified for pushing the referee (so much for that Luger babyface push). He would go on to lose the title to Bret Hart. After that loss in 1994, Yokozuna continued with the WWF but with far less success. In 1994 he lost a casket match to the Undertaker. In 1995 he began competing in tag team matches with Owen Hart and attempted to soften his image.
Yokozuna gets his leg broken by Vader and has to be removed with a forklift. In reality, the WWF was giving him time off to lose weight. Photo: wwe.com
He feuded with Vader in 1996 and on the April 8th episode of Raw, Vader kayfabe broke Yokozuna’s leg. Who can forget when the big guy was carried from ringside via a forklift?! In real life, Anoa’i needed time off to lose weight. He had ballooned to more than 600 pounds, and it was becoming abundantly clear that his size was interfering with his ability in the ring. Yokozuna spent the next few years attempting to lose weight and stay with the WWF. He dropped a reported 100 pounds but still could not pass the required physical. He was dropped from the WWF in 1998. Vince McMahon expressed concern for Yokozuna’s condition. Reportedly, he was seeing a dietitian regularly to try and improve his eating habits, but he had a hard time giving up his unhealthy eating habits, which regularly included eating three dozen eggs, a pound of bacon and multiple stacks of pancakes in one sitting.
One of Yokozuna’s more memorable feuds was with baby faced Lex Luger. Photo: wwe.com The Independent Circuit (1999-2000)
After being dropped by the WWF, Anoa’i attempted to keep his career going on the independent circuit. He worked in a few different independent promotions including the Heroes of Wrestling in 1999. His weight had skyrocketed to an estimated 760 pounds. Anoa’i expressed his ambition to put on even more weight and top out at 800 to 900 pounds. He hoped to become the heaviest person ever to professionally wrestle. Unfortunately, his size prevented him from wrestling at that point.
Yokozuna Death
The Yokozuna death occurred on October 23, 2000. He was staying at Moat House Hotel in Liverpool, England at the time where he was on an independent wrestling tour. The original reports that the Yokozuna death was due to heart failure were incorrect. He actually died from pulmonary edema. His weight at the time was 580 pounds. While it appears he may have lost some weight, tragically, it was not enough to save his life. He was survived by his two children and extended family.
Remembering Anoa’i after the Yokozuna Death Story  
Wrestling fans and the entire wrestling community was saddened by the loss of Yokozuna. On November 29, 2001, World Xtreme Wrestling held the Yokozuna Memorial Show in Allentown, Pennsylvania in order to celebrate the former WWF World Heavyweight Champion. The WWE inducted him into the WWE Hall of Fame on March 31, 2012. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso oversaw the induction ceremony, and Yokozuna’s family was represented at the event by his cousin, Rikishi. Although Yokozuna’s death may have been foreshadowed by his massive stature, he still remains one of the most recognized wrestlers of the early 90s.
Yokozuna Grave
Yokozuna’s grave is located at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
Full List of Deceased Wrestlers Part 02
Yokozuna’s grave, located at the Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Photo: findagrave.com