Social media is a wonderful tool that gets us closer to our favorite celebrities but there are times where its powers can lead us into dark places, particularly when it comes to those that begin to – whether intentionally or not – broadcast their dark thoughts to the rest of the world. As a long-time professional wrestling fan, I have seen many dark times and moments featuring performers that were once some of my favorite to watch on television, and having the ability to review their final moments is both blessing and curse because of how emotional it is.
There are moments below that deal with some unfortunate and emotionally-heavy situations involving depression and suicide that have occurred in the world of professional wrestling – while we all enjoy the aspects of wrestling which involve compelling in-ring action and captivating storylines, the performers we are watching are real people with real feelings, and sometimes they do not end positively. The final message a wrestler sends can be downright chilling. How bizarre was it for Warrior to return to RAW and deliver a cryptic promo, only to pass away the following day? We're going to get into that here and several other wrestlers who have sent some cryptic messages before passing on.
15 Chyna's Incoherent Video Chats
For many wrestling fans in the 90s, Joanie “Chyna” Laurer was a fixture on WWE programming, and was considered a genuine star at the height of her popularity. Wrestling fans had never seen anything like Chyna before – her presence exuded confidence, strength and beauty, which was a refreshing change from the other “divas” that were on the roster in non-wrestling capacities. It is truly unfortunate that Chyna was not able to get control of her demons during the latter half of her life, and even more unfortunate that it is well documented on social media and various forms of pop culture.
Particularly for those that were fans of Chyna because of her strength and character, it was unfortunate to see her incoherent video chats released in 2016. Chyna's final video was especially bizarre, with her signing off with: “I hope you have a beautiful day,” she said. “Wake up, wake up, wake up. Or sleep in. Or stay in bed all damn day today. It’s Sunday, right? Love you all, peace.”
It became even more chilling because these were the final reported public viewings before Chyna’s body was found after overdosing.
14 Sean O’Haire's Cry For Help
When the Invasion story-line began in 2001, there were a lot of wrestlers that were foreign to WWE audiences. However, one person that stuck out because of their look and move-set – it turns out that the wrestler was Sean O’Haire. O’Haire had a strong 6-foot-frame which made him look like an absolute bad-ass, but he also performed a top-rope Swanton Bomb.
Couple this with when O’Haire began re-debuting with a series of vignettes in 2003 that caught the eye of wrestling world as a “devil’s advocate” character and his passing in 2014 becomes even more sad. To take things down a serious road for a moment, depression is nothing to baulk at, and O’Haire’s tweet listed above, which occurred almost one year before he committed suicide, was an obvious cry for help. Viewing it now makes it even more spine-tingling, and should make us all open our eyes when others are crying for help.
13 Ultimate Warrior's Final Promo
I have had only a few genuine “mark-out” moments in my lifetime as a wrestling fan, and incidentally they are all associated with wrestling from the 80s and 90s. Being able to revisit a time when wrestling was spectacular to me is exciting, and there was no shortage of excitement or electricity when The Ultimate Warrior finally returned to WWE and was inducted into the Hall of Fame during WrestleMania XXX weekend.
The most exhilarating part of this ordeal was when Warrior returned to Monday Night RAW and cut a very passionate promo about his return to WWE, stating that “We are all Ultimate Warriors”. Warrior then gave the chilling words:
"Every man's heart one day beats its final beat, his lungs breathe their final breath and if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit will be immortalized."
Warrior passed away the following day due to a heart attack, which is by far the creepiest case of foreshadowing we've ever heard in a promo.
12 Shawn Osborne's Final Letter
More than likely one of the lesser-known cases on this list, but certainly one of the most chilling. Shawn McGrath, or known as “The Bad Seed” Shawn Osborne in WWE Developmental Territories from 2003-2008 is unfortunately one of the fallen brothers of professional wrestling. The reason that Osborne’s death is one of the most unsettling deaths in wrestling history is the manner that it was publicized afterwards due to the lengthy suicide note he left behind which was later posted publicly by Stacy “The Kat” Carter in which he explains in excruciating detail the circumstances that lead to his suicide. A link to his letter is posted here but be warned that it is not for the faint of heart and is truly spine-tingling to read a man’s final words.
11 Roddy Piper - Defiant Till The End
“When they think they have all the answers, I change the questions!”. “Do not throw rocks at a man with a machine gun!”. “Do I seem a little bit two-faced?”.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper was the original bad-guy during his wrestling runs in NWA and WWE in the 1970s and 80s, but his entertaining persona and promo delivery made it hard to hate him at times. As new wrestling fans became introduced to “Hot Rod” through WWE videos and appearances, generations of fans became very fond with Piper’s work and approach to the wrestling business. This made it all the more jarring when his death was announced in 2015 because he was such a big part of why many of us loved wrestling.
His final tweet to us, only hours before he passed away in his sleep, were in reference to his Podcast being controversially shut down when he retweeted something, echoing the message “Ain’t NOBODY shutting me down!”. In true Roddy Piper fashion, he remained a bad boy right until the end, and we all truly miss him for that.
10 Owen Hart's Pre-taped Promo Before His Accident
Owen Hart’s final moments in this world have been well documented in wrestling history, and are too emotional to recap each time that he is mentioned. I personally find this entry to be the most unsettling and unfortunate to both read and write because of how viscerally close we all were to Owen at the time of his passing.
The content of Owen’s final wrestling promo are not uncomfortable on its own – it is actually fairly comical given the blundering Blue Blazer character that he was portraying at the time – but it is the context in which we watch the video now. Owen’s final promo – which you can view here – takes place quite literally minutes before he unfortunately fell from the rafters during his entrance at Over the Edge 1999. What an absolute loss to the wrestling world, and to the world as a whole, as there is not a single bad thing that has ever been said about Owen Hart.
9 Axl Rotten Only Does Things His Way
For those that were fans of the original ECW, Axl Rotten was one of the main-stays on the roster that could be depended upon to deliver on the ultra-violence mantra that ECW was best known for. Along with Balls Mahoney – who unfortunately could also appear on this list since he passed away in 2015 – they were known as the “Hardcore, Chair-Swinging Freaks” because of their use of steel chairs on their opponents skulls in their matches.
While we can remember Axl for his time in ECW, the way that his life ended is something we would like to forget. Hours before committing suicide, Axl posted his on Twitter – “The way I do things may not be the way you do things but you will find out there is only 1 way. My away!”. We may never know exactly what he was referring to, but knowing that this is coming from someone who was about to take their own life gives the words a very unsettling feeling.
8 Dusty Rhodes Praises A Protege One Final Time
“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes’ impact and legacy on professional wrestling is remarkable in itself, but if we were just to focus on the influence and impression that he had on the wrestlers training at the WWE Performance Centre and members of the NXT Roster, it is significant on its own. NXT has been the breeding ground for some of the most popular WWE talent currently on wrestling programming, and is responsible for bringing this talent into the main stream.
When Rhodes passed away in 2015, it was heartbreaking for anyone that had followed his career, but those that worked with him lately in the Performance Center felt it the most because of how close they had become to him. Dusty’s last tweet before he suffered a heart attack and passed away was in regards to his feelings towards current SmackDown Wrestler Becky Lynch, and how she is in his “top five (wrestlers) of the last five years”. If I were to put myself in Becky Lynch’s shoes, this tweet would be encouraging, but I could not help but feel immense pressure to live up to “Dream’s” expectations.
7 Randy Savage Tweets, Then Goes Off The Grid
When Randy Savage began to move out of the wrestling spotlight, considering that his last televised professional wrestling appearance was in TNA in 2004, everyone had always hoped that we would have the pleasure of seeing him inside of a WWE ring one last time, if not at least for a Hall of Fame induction (I was always personally waiting for a WrestleMania V “Mega Powers Collide” rematch with Hogan, but I digress). As someone that follows his favorite wrestling legends on Twitter quite closely, I was very excited to see Savage make this tweet because I thought that it could be referring to him beginning negotiations with WWE.
Unfortunately, this tweet is significant for another reason – it was the last tweet that Randy Savage produced before he passed in 2011. Savage was not much for social media, particularly as he began to relax in his old age, and the fact that these were some of his last words to his audience makes it very sad to view again after all this time.
6 Reid Flair Should Have Had Better Times Ahead
When young lives are cut too short, it is very disheartening. It is even more unfortunate when a young life is cut short and it is exploited in the name of a professional wrestling angle. When Ric Flair’s youngest son unfortunately passed away from an accidental overdose in 2013, only days after this tweet was posted where he was looking forward to progressing his wrestling career, it was a very tragic time for both himself and his daughter Charlotte.
While this would normally be tragic on its own, WWE decided to reference his death during an interview to help promote a feud between Charlotte and Paige on Monday Night RAW (for those that do not remember this, you can view it here).
Referencing the Flair family tragedy so close to it occurring was unnecessary, and made Reid's tweet about “better times ahead” even more chilling because his involvement in this angle did not serve any purpose other than shock value.
5 Did George Steele Predict His Fate?
Growing up as a wrestling fan in the 1980s, I was drawn to the big characters of the era and was not particularly enthralled with the athleticism of it all yet. This all means that when a hairy, blue-tounged wrestler named George “The Animal” Steele was chasing after Randy Savage’s girlfriend Miss Elizabeth, I was instantly captivated. George Steele was a very interesting wrestling character who played the part of a Neanderthal to perfection, complete with the look and mannerisms.
Like many older wrestlers who entered the age of social media, Steele was not much of a tweeter. However, only months before his death in February 2017, he tweeted out “It won’t be long”. While the tweet is in reference to the release of his autobiography, Steele was slowly dying of kidney failure, which makes it seem that much more ominous.
4 Was A Nelson Frazier Return In The Works?
The Attitude Era showcased many different types of performers – some were comedic and others were scary and demonic. Nelson Frazier Jr, also known as Viscera or Big Daddy V (or King Mabel for some of us older wrestling fans) was one of the performers who was able to get both a serious and comedic reaction depending on the character he was playing at the time. Frazier was one of the longest tenured employees in WWE before his passing in 2014, with tenures ranging from 1993-1996, 1998-2000 and finally 2004-2008.
Unfortunately for Frazier, he did not experience a fourth tenure in WWE because he passed away from a heart-attack in 2014, but not before sending out a farcical tweet “promoting” his return at that year’s Royal Rumble. Whether he was actually in talks with WWE will remain a mystery, but it is upsetting to know that a return was on his mind up until his death.
3 Chris Kanyon's Plans Don't Come To Fruition
I am a very proud Canadian, and I follow Canadian wrestlers – both independent and big-time – very closely because I firmly believe that we have some of the best wrestling talent in the world. Enter Chris Kanyon, who was one of the most under-rated talents in both WCW and WWE – if anyone was ever given the privilege to see Kanyon truly unleash his talent in the ring, consider yourselves lucky. What makes Kanyon’s tweet above chilling is that he had genuine plans to make a return to professional wrestling, but his plans did not pan out. Kanyon was well-known for having unfortunate bout with depression for much of his career, and he unfortunately took his own life less than six months after this tweet was posted. Those that were close to him miss him greatly, and those that got to watch him in the ring wish this tweet came true.
2 Vader Sharing His Sad Diagnosis
Thankfully, this entry does not involve a wrestler who has tragically passed. Unfortunately, it is about a wrestler who has given us a looming date to be concerned about. About a year ago, Big Van Vader tweeted out that he was diagnosed with heart-failure was given only two years to live. While Vader has since mentioned that he regrets discussing his diagnosis publicly, these types of tweets will eventually be on a future list like this if it turns out to be true. Vader’s presence and legacy in the world of professional wrestling will surely be missed, and it is unfortunate that so many fans did not get to experience him during his hey-day as a true Mastodon. We can only hope that Vader's initial diagnosis isn't as grim as doctors may have thought.
1 Chris Benoit
I usually like to incorporate humor into my posts about wrestling, but this is a topic that should be treated delicately, especially when an entry is written about Chris Benoit. Out of respect for the entire Benoit family, I will not be recapping the events that occurred in June 2007 (as any wrestling fan can very easily recall them, as well as recall what they were doing at the time of the events), but some information was brought forward that can send genuine chills up your spine.
One of the last times that Benoit’s voice has been heard by the public was when he was leaving a voice-mail for his family, and is heard speaking very sweetly to both his wife and son, who would tragically not survive the situation. If you are looking to view the voicemail for yourself, you can see it here but I would not suggest it as it is not for the faint of heart.