Our favorite wrestlers and an early death seem to be an all too common trend in the industry. Of course, our heroes or the villains we enjoy hating are eventually going to take the long nap, but it shouldn’t be occurring in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Today, wrestlers are getting better medical attention as well as knowledge on different drugs and how it affects their bodies. Let’s hope the generation of Superstars we see today live long and fruitful lives.
Many of these chilling tales are the circumstances that lead up to the wrestler’s death. When we think of chilling, we think of something we wouldn’t want to go through ourselves. It’s a horrifying or frightening story that you wouldn’t wish on your loved ones. We also have one chilling tale about something that could have made the entire WWE Universe ecstatic and in celebratory mode, but sadly that wrestler passed away before it could happen.
You'll most likely know most of these wrestlers but we also go through some unknown talents in that they have a story that should be told as well. Whether this could be a warning for anyone in similar situations or just a guide of what not to do if you’re in an environment like the wrestling industry, we’re glad we can help give you some knowledge about real people and real events.
15 Test - Dealing With CTE Without Knowing It
Although Test was diagnosed with CTE after he died from an overdose of Oxycodone in 2009, the chilling aspect of this story is he was going through something undiagnosed and basically non-existent in the medical field for possibly a long time. CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a degenerative disease of the brain and can create “punch-drunk” symptoms due to concussions. Dr. Bennet Omalu would become a pioneer in studying the disease after famously examining the brain of Pittsburgh Steeler', Mike Webster, in 2005.
It took Omalu years for a proper discussion about CTE to gain steam in the medical community. By 2009, Test may have never of known he had CTE, which can cause dizziness, headaches, memory loss, social instability, erratic behavior, poor judgment, tremors, vertigo, dementia, and even suicidality. It’s most likely possible Test was so confused about his own ailments, he took to drugs in order to stop the disease.
14 Eddie Guerrero - Foreshadowing A Death
Foreshadow is defined as a warning or indication of (a future event). It’s very chilling to think that Eddie Guerrero and the WWE approved a skit where Eddie would fake a real-life heart attack in the ring on national television. The skit seemed real at the time and people really questioned if it was kayfabe or not, so the idea did pay off, however, not one person is enjoying that skit these days.
Guerrero would be found dead in his hotel room by his nephew, Chavo Guerrero, in 2005. The autopsy showed Guerrero had died from heart failure due to underlying atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Another chilling tale before Guerrero died is the amount of personal stress he accumulated because he wanted to please the fans and be one of the best in the industry. This tension resulted in steroid abuse and high blood pressure which contributed to his heart attack.
13 Randy Savage - What Could Have Been/Old Friends Finally Talking Again
In May of 2011, the WWE universe lost one of the greatest performers to every strap on the boots. Randy Savage would lose consciousness at the wheel of his Jeep Wrangler and crash into a tree. He allegedly survived the impact of the crash but an enlarged heart and advanced coronary artery disease were found during the autopsy.
His death ruled as atherosclerotic heart disease, Savage was and still is missed. His chilling story isn’t so much of a shocking and nefarious incident, it’s more of a story of what could have been. Savage had a falling out with Hulk Hogan, he also had a falling out with the WWE. Hogan admits the two were finally starting to talk again after a decade which all fans hoped for. It’s a shame we couldn’t see the Mega Powers on the biggest stage of them all one last time.
12 Owen Hart - He Was Getting Ready To Retire
On May 23, 1999, Owen Hart would fall to his death at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. In a freak accident, Hart would trigger any early release on his harness and grapple line during his entrance which caused severe blunt force trauma at Over the Edge Pay-Per-View. Working as The Blue Blazer, Hart attempted this stunt several times before but the act took too much time which made for horrible television. Allegedly, WWE paid for a quicker release harness but it wasn’t tested properly.
A few chilling stories leading up to Hart’s death have surfaced. One story would be Hart was supposed to get a major push and also Triple H’s nickname, “The Game,” according to Hunter. In another story, Hart proclaimed five months before his death that he would be leaving the wrestling industry as a full-time worker.
“When my contract is up, I’m out of wrestling. I’ve made plans. I’ve been smart with my fiscal affairs,” said Hart in an interview with SLAM! Wrestling. “I’ve bought some property on a lake. I plan on doing a lot of boating and fishing. I want to continue to stay in shape. And who knows, I might do ten weeks a year in Japan.”
11 La Parkita & Espectrito II - Why You Shouldn't Call Up Adult Workers
La Parkita and Espectrito II were real twin brothers and professional wrestlers in Mexico. They were part of Mini Division in Mexico, mostly working in comedic matches for the crowds. Although they were a comedy act and had dwarfism, both could move quickly and had talent. Espectrito II would make his wrestling debut in 1994 and La Parkita would make his debut in 1990. Both brothers would work for the two biggest promotions in Mexico, AAA and CMLL.
A chilling tale about these two is how they died. They came into this world together as twins and both died on the same day together. Allegedly, the brothers ordered adult workers to their hotel. These workers decided to spike their drinks, make them pass out, and steal their money. Unfortunately, what the workers spiked their drinks with what caused them to pass out and die in 2009.
10 Chris Adams - Overdosing & A Manslaughter Charge
Debuting in the wrestling industry in 1978, Chris Adams had the potential to become something special. As a Judo expert, he had a lot of experience with making his body physically fit for competition. He would dive into the industry with no formal training and by the mid-80s, Adams would start to become a champion. His best years came with NWA and WCCW in the ‘80s but he did work for the WCW between 1997 and 1999.
Adams life would spin out of control in 2000 when he and his girlfriend were found unconscious from an overdose of the drug GHB and alcohol, his girlfriend would die that night. A year later, Adams' chilling story would climax when he was indicted on a manslaughter charge. Before the trial, Adams would be killed by a gunshot wound from his own friend after the two got into a drunken brawl.
9 Axl Rotten - On Top Of The ECW World To A McDonalds Bathroom
A true legend of ECW, Axl Rotten became one tough S.O.B. after debuting in the wrestling industry in 1987. Although he performed for other promotions, ECW, was his home and the WWE recognized that by hiring him for ECW’s tribute show, One Night Stand, in 2005. Rotten was never the best in shape but loved risky maneuvers, this combination made his body deteriorate over time and eventually, he would suffer from a spinal injury.
The chilling story of Rotten is the man tried to seek financial help for the injuries he sustained through GoFundMe.com. Rotten alleged he was scammed out of $4,000 from the website. While having to use a wheelchair to move around, Rotten’s life was spiraling downward and he took to heroin. His last dying breath was in a McDonald’s bathroom as he overdosed on the hard narcotic.
8 Mike DiBiase - A Death In The Ring
We all know about the legendary Millionaire Man Ted DiBiase but did you know who his stepfather was? The chilling tale of Mike DiBiase has somewhat vanished due to time, however, many of the old timers still remember where they were when they heard about his tragic death. Wrestling since 1950, DiBiase came from an amateur wrestling background and represented the US Navy.
As a hard-nosed performer in the industry, he would rack up championships for many promotions. It was during a summer night in Lubbock, Texas, in 1969 where DiBiase would take his last breath. Every wrestlers biggest fear would come to fruition for DiBiase, as his heart would give out during a live match in front of hundreds of fans. A fun and happy atmosphere went to one of horror as fans and colleagues watched Harley Race attempt CPR on DiBiase to no avail.
7 Dino Bravo - A Hitjob
Debuting in the professional wrestling industry in 1970, it didn’t take long for Dino Bravo to get attention both in the States and his home country of Canada. Mostly a member of the Tag Team Division, Bravo would start to become a solo star by the mid-80s. In 1986, he famously quit the WWE after the company scrapped a feud between Hulk Hogan and himself because Vince McMahon was afraid Hogan would be booed in Dino’s hometown of Montreal.
When he returned a short time later, he donned the bleach blond hair and put on weight to look more muscular. He would work for the WWE until 1992 and retired on his own terms. Here’s the chilling tale of Bravo. In 1993, Bravo would be found shot to death in his home. He was hit 17 times at point blank range. Allegedly, he was involved in an illegal cigarette smuggling ring in Canada and also had ties to the Mafia.
6 Bruiser Brody - One Night In Puerto Rico
He may have looked like a crazy brute but he was also one of the most intelligent wrestlers in the business during his time. Brody would make his wrestling debut in 1973 and by the mid-80s, he would be a household name around the world. His hardcore brawling style and awesome character made him one of the highest paid wrestlers during his prime. Brody not only looked the part and had the intelligence, but he also backed it up in real life by taking a no-nonsense attitude and never backing down.
In 1988, Brody and José Huertas González would be heard arguing in the locker room showers due to money at an event in Puerto Rico. A scuffle would ensue and screams would be heard. Tony Atlas was the first to the scene and saw González hovering over a wounded Brody with a knife in his hand. Due to terrible traffic conditions and ill-equipped medical staff, it took over and hour for Brody to receive any attention. He would die from his stab wounds and González has never been served justice for killing him.
5 The Von Erichs - A Tale Of Depression, Drug Abuse, And Suicide
The historic wrestling family has seen four out of five brothers prematurely lose their lives. Sadly, there are tons of chilling stories about David, Kerry, Mike, and Chris Von Erich. In 1984, Bruiser Brody would flush David’s narcotics down a toilet after finding him unconscious in Japan. Two versions of how he died are out there, one was a heart attack due to an overdose, the other was because of acute enteritis. Either way, no one has denied Brody removing massive amounts of drugs in the hotel room.
Mike would be diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome in 1985, which hurt his wrestling career. He would kill himself in 1987. Chris couldn’t handle the death of his brothers and also took his own life in 1990. In 1986, Kerry would have his right foot amputated because of a motorcycle accident. He would keep the injury a secret and become addicted to painkillers. Kerry would kill himself in 1993, marking an end to the chilling tale of the Von Erich family.
4 Rikidōzan - The Original Strong Style Champion
Regarded as “The Father of Puroresu,” Rikidōzan basically invented the strong style of submission holds mixed with stiff martial arts attacks in professional wrestling. He can be considered the Babe Ruth of Japanese Wrestling and you can argue the industry would have never reached the shores of Japan if it wasn’t for him. Originally from Korea, he would make his debut in 1951 and would tap into the Japanese fan base that was looking for a hero after WWII.
He would be booked as a hero facing off against the heel Americans, which became an instant hit for the untapped market in Japan. He would work with the best of his time, including Freddie Blassie and Lou Thesz. Sadly, this legend has a chilling tale before he died. In 1963, he would be attacked by a Yakuza member with a urine soaked blade in a night club. He would die from peritonitis a week later.
3 Davey Boy Smith - High On Crack During SummerSlam '92
Although this story takes place years before he passed away, it’s a tale that should make anyone shake their head as to why Davey Boy Smith didn’t receive better attention and treatment for his drug abuse problems. According to Bret Hart, Smith was “messed up on crack” during their epic Intercontinental Title match at SummerSlam '92 in the UK. It’s a tale most of us can’t believe because the match is considered one of the greatest of all-time.
In front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, Hart and Smith stole the show that night. You have to ask yourself, why didn’t Smith receive urgent care, love, and a serious sit down about smoking crack and performing? This type of drug abuse, along with anabolic steroids, contributed to his heart failure which ultimately killed him at just 39 years old in 2002.
2 The Ultimate Warrior - His Last Speech
In 1993, James Hellwig would legally change his name to “Warrior” and completely embody the character that made him famous. High energy, a focused determination, and never give up attitude were key traits to not only his character but himself. His wrestling wasn’t the best but when it comes to entertainment, charisma, and looking good in front of a camera, Warrior was the complete package. Warrior’s relationship with Vince McMahon would end on a rocky note during his prime and he would burn a lot of other bridges along the way.
The WWE didn’t recognize him as a legend for a long time, however, the two parties patched things up and embraced a new future together in 2013. He would be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame April 5, 2014, and would deliver his first promo in years on WWE Raw two nights later. That’s the chilling part of this saga, Warrior’s speech was almost as if he was giving himself his own eulogy. He would tragically die the next day from a heart attack.
1 Chris Benoit - His Phone Conversation With Chavo Guerrero
Pretty much every wrestling fan knows the chilling tale of events that led to a double-murder and suicide. However, not every fan knows about the testimony of Chavo Guerrero, who spoke to WWE magazine and came on Chris Jericho’s podcast to lay it all out. Apparently, Chavo, a great friend of Benoit, was talking and texting with Benoit after he killed his wife, Nancy, and youngest son. He knew something was wrong when he heard a groggy Benoit told him, “I love you.”
Benoit also told Chavo his wife and son had been sick after he had already killed them according to police reports. Conspiracy theories opened up after Chavo’s recollection of that weekend but one thing that doesn’t get talked about is Benoit suffering from CTE. It’s the likely explanation as to why Benoit’s brain was showing signs of an 80-year-old man.