Entertainment

Professional Wrestlers Who Died Young 

Blake Edwards
Updated January 29, 2020 801.1k views 69 items

List Rules Prominent wrestlers who died young

Unlike any other athletes or sports entertainers, professional wrestlers are more prone to die before the age of 55. For whatever reason (the abuse of their bodies, steroids, hard drugs, partying, long hours), these behemoths of the squared circle end up perishing. Unfortunately, this includes many of the greatest wrestlers of all time. It's almost a strange occupational hazard at this point to be a pro wrestler, considering all the bumps you get in the ring. Moreover, it seems you hear about the deaths of these wrestling giants on a more frequent basis as the sport has grown in popularity and becomes a global brand of entertainment. Many of the stars on this list have competed in the WWE, WCW, ECW, AWA among others. The men and women on this list of WWE wrestlers that died have worked in some of the biggest arenas and pay-per-view events in the world.

So which wrestlers died young? That's the shame of this list. There are guys like Owen Hart, who died during an in-ring stunt, or the tragedy of Chris Benoit and his family, which words can't really do justice. Others, like Andre The Giant was a victim of his own size and ultimately that size was one of the reasons for his great success.

The wrestlers on this list all died before their 55th birthday. Though a bit morbid, take a look at the list of dead wrestlers and see who died young.

Chyna is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Professional Wrestlers Who Died Young
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

Beloved female wrestler Chyna was found dead in her home in Redondo Beach, California in April 2016. Chyna, whose real name was Joan Laurer, was just 45 when she passed away, and police were uncertain as to her cause of death. Chyna entered the professional wrestling scene with a bang in 1996, when she won Rookie of the Year for the Women's Championship.

She eventually became the only undefeated female champion in the history of the WWF. She parlayed her success in the ring to success on the screen, appearing in music videos and adult films later in her career.

More Chyna obituaries:
CNN, E! Online

Age: Dec. at 47 (1969-2016)

More Chyna 

#551 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #197 of 267 The Most Powerful Women Of All Time #50 of 556 The Greatest Pro Wrestlers of All Time

The Ultimate Warrior is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Professional Wrestlers Who Died Young
Photo: WWE

Warrior passed away in Scottsdale, AZ the day after appearing on Raw for the first time since 1996 and giving an impassioned speech following his enshrinement in the WWE Hall of Fame and his involvement in Wrestlemania 30 weekend. He is survived by his wife, Dana, and his two daughters, Indiana, and Mattigan.

Age: Dec. at 55 (1959-2014)

Birthplace: Crawfordsville, Indiana, United States of America

More The Ultimate Warrior 

#542 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #4 of 86 The Best WWE Superstars of the '80s #14 of 556 The Greatest Pro Wrestlers of All Time

Randy Savage is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Professional Wrestlers Who Died Young
Photo: Rob DiCaterino/via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Macho Man died after suffering a sudden heart attack while he was the behind the wheel of his Jeep with his wife, Lynn, as his passenger. Savage lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into a tree, but neither he nor his wife suffered serious injuries from the crash. Macho Man's death was ultimately ruled as caused by heart disease, a condition that he was seemingly unaware that he had and was not being treated for.

Age: Dec. at 59 (1952-2011)

More Randy Savage 

#171 of 258 The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever #388 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #138 of 532 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

Chris Benoit is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Professional Wrestlers Who Died Young
Photo: TheHellraiser/via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

A tragedy that is still taboo in wrestling circles: over a three day period Chris Benoit murdered his wife by strangling her and killing his young son by smothering him before hanging himself from a pulley in his weight room in their home. After an examination of Chris Benoit's brain, it was found that repeated concussions had caused significant damage and lead to dementia which can cause behavioral problems.

Similar studies have been performed on ex-NFL players that have hurt themselves or others, and they largely reach the same conclusion.

Age: Dec. at 40 (1967-2007)

Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

More Chris Benoit 

#798 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #24 of 556 The Greatest Pro Wrestlers of All Time #38 of 211 The Greatest WWE Superstars of All Time