Deaths in professional wrestling

This is going to be a morbid post that undoubtedly will offend someone.  Apologies in advance.

Have you noticed that many of your favorite stars of the 80’s have died of heart failure?  At a young age?  The list grows seemingly everyday.  Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect), Ray Traylor (Big Boss Man), Davey Boy Smith (British Bulldog), Brian Adams (Crush), Eddie Guerrero.  And those that don’t succumb to heart damage?  How about the drug overdoses?  The likes of Brian Pillman, Louie Spicoli, Andrew Martin (Test) and so many others?  It shows the astronomical cost of the business of sports entertainment.  And what about something like the tragedy of Chris Benoit?  Could that have been caused by massive damage to the brain?

It makes the deaths of people like John Tenta (Earthquake) and (Dr. Death) Steve Williams seem almost mundane.  Ordinary.  The same holds true to Sylvester Ritter (Junkyard Dog) who died when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car.  And this is a horribly sad occurrence.  The final judge of how a particular wrestler lived becomes the manner in which they died.  What is sadder is that non-wrestling fans will never learn the names of John Tenta or Steve Williams or Sylvester Ritter.  Their deaths were not “news worthy” like Eddie Guerrero or Owen Hart or Chris Benoit.

Death has, unfortunately, become a part of professional wrestling like it has in no other form of sports.  It is a morbid and horrible part of sports entertainment, and we can only accept this part of the show we all love so much.


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