Becoming a professional wrestler takes more than just bulking up. You need to develop a host of skills, from physical fitness to acting and improvisation techniques. It’s not easy to make it big. Those who have risen to the ranks have given the world some of the most iconic moments in sports entertainment history.
But the industry has also lost some of its brightest stars too soon. Research has found that professional wrestlers have a mortality rate much higher than other athletes. A combination of the physical demands of the industry, no off-season, and a high workload are some of the reasons behind this.
In this post, we’ll pay homage to some of these fallen stars.
Kerry Gene Adkisson AKA The Texas Tornado
3 February 1960- 18 February 1993
Kerry Adkisson came from a family of wrestlers. He made his mark in the industry and held forty championships. He also claimed the Intercontinental Championships when he beat Mr. Perfect.
Adkinsson’s commitment to the sport was no secret. He continued to wrestle even with a prosthesis after a motorcycle accident in 1986 left his foot amputated.
Unfortunately, the amputation led to a severe painkiller addiction and eventually suicide. Adkinsson shot himself in the heart 15 days after his 33rd birthday.
Owen Hart AKA The Blue Blazer
7 May 1965- 23 May 1999
Owen Hart was on his way to becoming a megastar in WWE before he passed away at only 34 years old. Hart lived a short but decorated career. Among his most famous achievements were:
- One-time USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion.
- Two-time Intercontinental Champion.
- 1994 WWF King of the Ring.
- One-time WWF European champion.
In a grim twist of irony, Hart’s death was a result of a mechanical failure at a wrestling event. During his entrance at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, the rafter equipment malfunctioned and he fell to his death. A live audience witnessed this tragic event.
Hart was widely considered one of the best in-ring performers. He died doing what he loved, and for this, we won’t forget him.
Agatupu Rodney Anoa’I AKA Yokozuna
2 October 1966- 23 October 2000
Two-time world champion, Agatupu Anoa’I died from pulmonary oedema. He was in his hotel room in Liverpool while on the All-Star Wrestling tour in the UK.
He’d been travelling around the world and had appeared everywhere from arenas in casinos to smaller rings in little towns. Like the games at Canada casinos online there was always a risk with wrestling, but he clearly didn’t expect it to affect him so young.
Agatupu Anoa’I was 34 years old at the time of his death. It was three weeks after his birthday. Although his life ended too soon, it was not without its substance and contribution to the wrestling industry.
Anoa’I began his training at an early age and gained experience as a wrestler in Mexico. His gimmick became that of a stereotypical sumo wrestler, and he was a part of many famous matches. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his cousins on March 31, 2012.
Edward Smith Fatu AKA Umaga
28 March 1973- 4 December 2009
Former two-time Intercontinental Champion, Edward Fatu worked as part of a tag team. He found his greatest success as Umaga.
He led a decorated career but died after suffering a heart attack from an alleged drug overdose at his home in Texas. He was 36 years old when he died.