The life of a professional wrestler can be extremely difficult, as their work demands them to be either working almost 24x7 or training to be fit enough to work in the gym or somewhere else. Their personal lives are absolutely minimal and they barely get any time to spend with their family of loved ones. This rigorous lifestyle cannot be handled by everyone and some of these wrestlers just tend to break down altogether, resorting to drugs or alcohol or going on to have long-term effects like depression or something even worse.
The average lifespan of a professional wrestler sadly isn't that long, as they tend to self-destruct after a point of time and the rigorous bumps which they take have some long-term effects which haunt them after a few years. We've seen so many wrestlers passing away due to drug issues or some mental or physical health problems, while other wrestlers with worse addictions or problems have managed to magically survive all this while and some of these wrestlers who passed away have been honored by the WWE in one way or another.
But there are other wrestlers whose death the company ignored, while they have also honored wrestlers who made some amazing recoveries from near-death situations. Let's have a look at the 10 Wrestlers We Can't Believe Are Still Alive And 10 We Forgot Passed Away.
20 Still Alive: Tyson Kidd
Tyson Kidd was an extremely talented wrestler in the WWE who showed just how good he was in the Tag Team Division, being especially good with Cesaro in his final stint with the company. The multiple time WWE Tag Team Champion was cruising as part of the Tag Team division with Cesaro when tragedy struck him, as a botched Muscle Buster from Samoa Joe almost ended his life in a dark match. WWE announced that Kidd had suffered a severe spinal injury and would be out of action for over a year. Tyson himself announced that only 5% of the people survive from this type of an injury and that he had 16 staples, 4 screws and a rod inserted in his neck. It is quite unbelievable that Kidd has actually recovered, as fans actually thought that he might've died from that horrific botch which ended his wrestling career.
19 Passed Away: Mike Awesome
Mike Awesome was quite the terrorizing wrestler back in the late 90s when he rose to prominence in ECW as this intimidating, hard-hitting wrestler was pretty awesome in his own right. He went onto win the ECW Heavyweight Championship and was popular in WCW as well before coming to WWE where he won the Hardcore Title numerous times. Awesome would not survive many years in the company, getting released and wrestling on the Indy circuit for a few more years. But soon after his retirement in 2006, his mental state would derail and Awesome died in 2007 after a few of his friends found him hanging outside his apartment. WWE did acknowledge it on an episode of ECW, but not many fans paid heed to it and Awesome's death has become somewhat of an afterthought right now.
18 Still Alive: Scott Hall
Scott Hall was quite the charismatic character back in the 90s as Razor Ramon in the WWE and later a creating member of nWo in WCW. Hall was on top of the world at the time at both the promotions, but it all came raining down on him once the 21st century kicked in. Hall couldn't find much work after WCW folded up and his alcohol addiction reached its peak to absolutely destroy his physical health. He was forced to wrestle in events despite not being physically able to make money which he spent on alcohol. Hall was later saved by DDP who helped him get back into shape through his yoga and get sober as well. He looked absolutely awful a few years back to the point where it's now quite unbelievable to know that he's in an able physical shape and he deserves props for turning his life around.
17 Passed Away: Sean O'Haire
Sean O'Haire was a really promising acquisition for WWE from WCW, as this graduate of WCW's Powerplant made an interesting tag team with Chuck Palumbo as part of the Alliance. O'Haire even got an intriguing character after the Invasion angle ended, persuading wrestlers to do "indecent acts" and even getting an undefeated streak of his own. But he was abruptly released by the company in 2004 after which he decided to give a go at MMA and kick-boxing. O'Haire was doing decently in his new field before it was reported that he has passed away in 2014 in what was suicide. He was found by his father hanging from a bedpost, as it was later discovered that him suffering from depression and alcohol addiction is what caused this awful death which shocked fans at the time, but many have forgotten it over the years with O'Haire's legacy slowly fading away.
16 Still Alive: New Jack
New Jack is an infamous wrestler in the wrestling industry for all the wrong reasons, with the ECW Alumni making a name for himself for legitimately causing pain to other wrestlers. New Jack is a wrestler who only knows how to "shoot wrestle" with there being cases of him legitimately injuring wrestlers in the ring because of his rash and excessive use of weapons in the match. He has taken a lot of pain over the years, as there are awful cuts and bruises all over his face and body. But Jack's insanity is a reason why nobody wants to associate with him, as his unpredictability has caused many individuals to lose years off their lives. So it's pretty remarkable to realize New Jack is still alive and well, and that nobody has put a hitman on this maniac who has given "extreme" a whole new meaning altogether.
15 Passed Away: Umaga
Umaga was quite the destructive Samoan back in the mid-2000s when he debuted as this terrorizing individual who was booked really strongly by the WWE. He was a dominating upper-mid carder who won the Intercontinental Championship twice and was part of some memorable matches as well. Umaga was a prime heel for WWE but his relations with the WWE got really bitter at the end after he was released after refusing to go to rehab. But tragedy struck after he left WWE, as Umaga passed away in late 2009 after suffering a fatal heart-attack. It was discovered that he had actually died of drug overdose as WWE didn't acknowledge his death either. While the Samoan's death was later mentioned at times by WWE, it has surprisingly been completely forgotten by the WWE fans to whom Umaga seems to be an afterthought nowadays.
14 Still Alive: Kamala
Kamala was a pretty popular wrestler back in the 80s with his "Wild Savage" gimmick, as he was one of the first face-painted wrestlers to succeed in the WWE. Kamala was a prominent mid-carder who succeeded at this character because of his looks, but things started to go astray for him from the 90s. Kamala got less and less popular as the years rolled on, working a few dates in the 2000s and retiring later on. But his physical state completely deteriorated after that as he had to get both his legs amputated because of high blood pressure and diabetes. He is now living off disability checks and handmade wooden chairs by him, but he's thankfully still going strong despite all his problems. While fans probably thought he passed away after seeing him like that, Kamala has stayed alive and is fighting a braver battle than he ever did inside the ring.
13 Passed Away: Bam Bam Bigelow
Bam Bam Bigelow was quite the towering character back in the 90s when he proved to be a really good wrestler despite being a "giant" in size. His impressive skills made him an asset back in the day, as he went onto wrestle for the top 3 promotions of the 90s in WWE, ECW and WCW attaining his peak in the land of extreme. But Bigelow's demand withered with the turn of the century and he wrestled a few events here and there in the Independent scene. He shockingly passed away in 2007 due to a drug overdose, as multiple drugs including cocaine and anti-anxiety drugs being found in his system. Bigelow wasn't really a widely known character at the point of his death by the "modern" fans who didn't really pay much heed to it and his death has since been a bygone thing.
12 Still Alive: Sabu
Sabu will always be remembered as an ECW icon with the high-flying, mysterious character being pivotal to their success all those years ago. Sabu has the tendency of going "extreme" and has put his body on the line many times to pull off insane moves and caused much pain to himself as well. It's bewildering to even discover that Sabu is still healthy enough to wrestle on a sporadic basis because his insane, death-defying stunts definitely take years off one's life. He has thankfully slowed down on his wrestling and is getting some of his much-needed surgeries done now thanks to help from his fans who are probably as shocked as we are to discover that he is still alive after doing the extreme stuff which he did for many, many years.
11 Passed Away: Lance Cade
Lance Cade was part of a really prolific tag team along with Trevor Murdoch in the WWE, with the two rednecks forming an old-school tag team for a few years. The Two went onto win the World Tag Team Titles numerous times and Cade was really impressive in the ring as well. But he fell apart after the team disbanded, failing to make it as a singles star and being released by WWE. Cade physical health deteriorated after being released by the WWE and resulted in him passing away in 2010. He was only 29 at the time and had died due to heart failure, which shows how wrestling can have a long term and short term effect on a wrestler. Cade's death was acknowledged by WWE who gave a tribute to him at the time, but he's since been a forgotten afterthought among WWE and its fans alike.
10 Still Alive: Lex Luger
Lex Luger was quite the draw back in the 90s when he was a hot prospect who was wanted by every wrestling promotion at the time. Luger was roped in by the WWE who wanted to make him the "next Hulk Hogan" but failed miserably due to fans backlash. Luger later got frustrated and shocked everyone by moving to WCW without letting Vince McMahon know, going onto earn big bucks in the company. But his lifestyle was ruined in WCW, he turned to drug addiction after he started to live with Miss Elizabeth. Luger's awful drug addiction stopped with Miss Elizabeth's abrupt death and he looked in a vegetative state a few years after going sober. But his made a miraculous recovery and is surprisingly doing really well right now working with WWE's Wellness Policy team and not many would've predicted him to live this long after seeing him a few years back.
9 Passed Away: The Big Boss Man
The Big Boss Man was quite the terrifying, bullying character in the WWE during the Attitude era when he served as the bodyguard of Vince McMahon's "The Corporation". He would then go onto achieve his own glory, winning the WWE Hardcore Championship multiple times and also winning the Tag Team titles. But Boss Man faded away after the end of the Attitude era, leaving the WWE in 2003. But tragedy struck a year or so after he left, as Boss Man would pass away after suffering a heart attack in 2004. Even though he was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year, not many people even remember him being dead and have probably again forgotten about him passing away as this wicked character passed away way too soon which shows the downsides of a lengthy wrestling career.
8 Still Alive: Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn was an under-utilized character in the 90s when he excelled as part of Raven's Nest in WCW and attained a lot of popularity due to that. Saturn was quite a star in WCW before moving to WWE with Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and Chris Jericho. But while all three went onto achieve much success in the company, Saturn was left behind and got the gimmick where he was obsessed with a mop. He was abruptly released in 2004, but things spiraled out of control in his life afterward. Saturn was left homeless and disappeared from the wrestling scene for years before coming back in 2011. He looks pretty awful right now and cannot work because of a traumatic brain injury and it's quite a miracle that he's even alive, as the fans genuinely thought him to be dead in all those years he went missing.
7 Passed Away: Crash Holly
The "Cousin brother" of Hardcore Holly wasn't really the brother of the former WWE superstar, but he definitely had a lot of fight in him as part of WWE's Hardcore Division. The Multiple Hardcore Champion later went to be a part of WWE's Cruiserweight Division, but couldn't excel in it and was released in 2003. Holly later went onto wrestle in the Independent circuit but would fall into severe depression after his wife filed divorce papers. Holly passed away in late 2003 after taking too many pills at the same time and died after choking on his own vomit. It was later ruled as suicide, as this was a sad end to a human life which WWE didn't even acknowledge. The fans at the time were shocked to discover this but everyone seems to have forgotten about it as this entertainer performer's legacy has withered away in the past years.
6 Still Alive: The Sandman
The Sandman was one of the icons of ECW as he was almost the Stone Cold Steve Austin of the land of extreme and loved to dish out pain to other wrestlers. He later also came to WWE after ECW folded up, but couldn't achieve anything at the company. But the Sandman has a notorious history of being addicted to drugs and almost died from drug overdose when he was in ECW. All the drugs have taken a toll on his body, as he has been looking terrible for the past few years and nothing like everyone used to remember him to be. It's quite extraordinary that Sandman is still alive after almost overdosing on drugs a few times and looking like a ghost recently. It shows how he has the will to entertain the audience and is wrestling to this day, despite being in a bad state physically.
5 Passed Away: Viscera
Viscera might have had many names in the WWE, but everyone knew him to be an absolute monster who nobody wanted to mess around with. The Giant had quite the lengthy career in WWE where he won King of the Ring, Hardcore Championships and was a dangerous man as Big Daddy V during his ECW days. He departed from the WWE on a sour note in 2008 and went onto excel at the Independent circuit but his heavy body couldn't handle all the pressure. Viscera passed away in 2014 after suffering a heart attack, but a lot of controversies rose after his death. Viscera's widow demanded the WWE to pay for causing him traumatic injuries and their relationship really deterred to a point where it all cooled down. Viscera's death was then forgotten and has been for the past few years, as this admirable wrestlers' death isn't remembered by many as it should be.
4 Still Alive: Dan Spivey
Dan Spivey may be remembered by the 80s wrestling fans as part of some memorable tag teams like "The US Express" with Mike Rotunda and later also had a few memorable years in WCW. He was also the mysterious "Waylon Mercy" in WWE later on which was inspired from Cape Fear's Max Candy. But Spivey had to retire in 1995 due to nagging injuries and went on a downward spiral since then, looking absolutely awful a few years back. He looked extremely pale and almost near-death because of an alcohol addiction he picked up after retirement. But he has been sober since 2009 and has since made an amazing recovery, even receiving a "Fighting Heart Award" for making such a strong recovery from alcoholism. Spivey's surprisingly doing fine now and has transformed himself from looking like a ghost to a stronger, sober man.
3 Passed Away: Balls Mahoney
Balls Mahoney was quite the daredevil back in the days, as he was a real "extreme" tag team wrestler in ECW and wrestled some really violent matches back in the days. He even got recruited by WWE in 2005 and wrestled for three years for their ECW brand as an "ECW Original". But Mahoney would keep going on once WWE released him in 2008 as he continued wrestling in the Independent scene right up until his death. But Mahoney suddenly passed away last year due to heart attack and his death was reported by Johnny Candido. It was later discovered that Mahoney suffered from CTE, which is a traumatic brain disease. Mahoney might've been a great entertainer back in the day, but everyone seems to have forgotten his death already and he's the bygone wrestler who deserves more respect than he got in his life.
2 Still Alive: Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Jake "The Snake" Roberts might've been an extremely canny and cool heel in the 80s, but his reputation became worse with each passing year because of his self-destruction. Jake might've been an amazing performer but his awful alcohol addiction made the end of his wrestling career, as things went from bad to worse with the turn of the century for him. Jake was on the brink of death before he was saved by DDP, who helped him overcome his addiction and get him back to a healthy shape. Jake's amazing recovery is almost unbelievable as fans probably predicted to pass away because of his awful health, but his incredible recovery thanks to DDP has shown the fighter in him. Jake's life has turned around ever since he went sober and a man who was once discarded as a washout and a near dead-man is now a healthy, happy person.
1 Passed Away: Test
Test was quite the under-appreciated wrestler in the WWE during his stint with the company and he acted really well as the enforcer of the Corporation during the Attitude Era and later worked as a really good mid-carder for the company. He even returned for a short stint after leaving the company, but this stint didn't end well at all and he left WWE for good on a bitter note. Test would make it worse by joining TNA where he succeeded for a few years before he abruptly passed away in 2009 to everyone's shock. He died due to an accidental overdose of Oxycodone and it was discovered that he suffered CET as well. It was quite cruel for WWE to not even acknowledge his death and people seem to undervalue his work in WWE and have forgotten all about the death of this terrific wrestler who should've been a much bigger star in WWE.