Professional wrestlers and drug use to go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, professional wrestlers and unexpected death go hand-in-hand as well. The amount of wrestlers that died prior to their 50s is astounding. There are certain pay-per-views where there are little any wrestlers alive. Head trauma and injuries surely play a part in the deaths of wrestlers but most wrestlers have passed away because of drug usage. Wrestlers partied hard during wrestling's peak. Then there was no drug testing then. Not until the steroid scandal did WWE try to stop the drug use in wrestling. Nowadays, wrestlers have took a step back from the tremendous usage of drugs. We have yet to see a drug test failure in 2017. The death of any professional wrestlers devastates the entire wrestling community. The deaths listed hear affected the hearts of all wrestling fans. When fans hear it was drugs, it hurts us even more. To those that survived the drug use such a Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash, we applaud you. To those who couldn't escape the vice grip drugs have over you and have since passed, we miss you.
Here 15 wrestlers who passed away from drug usage.
15 Sensational Sherri
Sensational Sherri was a popular Women's wrestler during the 1980s. She began to wrestle less frequently and managed many wrestlers. She managed the likes of Randy Savage, Rick Martel, Shawn Michaels, and many others. She went over to WCW and managed Harlem Heat until she was fired from the company in 1997. She made rare wrestling appearances until a memorable return to WWE in 2005. She was brought in by Kurt Angle to perform sing Shawn Michaels' entrance theme. She was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2006 by Ted DiBiase. In 2007 the professional wrestling world lost Sherri due to a drug overdose. Drugs such as oxycodone were found in her system. Sherri is often not mentioned with the likes of The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young which is very unfortunate.
14 Louie Spicolli
Louie Spicolli wrestled in the WWE as Rad Radford, a character who capitalized on the popularity of grunge at the time. He tried to join The Bodydonnas tag team and that is the only thing he did of note while with the WWE. Spicolli was found unconscious after overdosing on Somas. He was able to recover but WWE released him since the Steroid Trial was not too long ago. He went to a much worse drug environment in ECW and feuded with Tommy Dreamer until leaving for WCW. He immediately joined the NWO and feuded with Larry Zybysko. Spicolli was supposed to face him but the match never happened as Spicolli passed away on a combination of Soma and wine.
13 Crash Holly
Crash Holly played the goofy, lovable cousin of Hardcore Holly. From there, he made his name with Hardcore Championship. He implemented the 24/7 rule where title could be defended anywhere, anyplace, and anytime. This entire thing got him incredibly over with the crowd but after it ran it's course, Holly was left with practically nothing. He went to Smackdown and joined Matt Hardy's cult along with Shannon Moore. He was released in 2003 after four years with the company. Holly did some independent shows including TNA. Holly was found dead surrounded by vomit and bottle of pills next to him. He had choked on his vomit and the death was ruled a suicide. Holly was an underrated wrestling talent and was great at whatever he was given.
12 Miss Elizabeth
Miss Elizabeth was Randy Savage's ex-wife. She managed him for much of his wrestling career. She made her final appearance at WrestleMania VIII. She left the company and remained out of the wrestling business until she joined her ex-husband in WCW. WCW completely ignored the fact that they were divorced at this point and continued to have her valet him. When she turned on him in favor of Ric Flair, it made no sense as they were divorced years prior. Elizabeth went on to date Lex Luger and many believe he is responsible for her death. She passed away from a combination of painkillers and vodka while at the young age of 42. Elizabeth added a lot to Macho Man's character and helped to get him more over than he already was.
11 Bam Bam Bigelow
Bam Bam Bigelow wrestled in all three major wrestling promotions in the '90s. He began in the WWE and his most memorable moment was main eventing WrestleMania XI and losing to football star Lawrence Taylor. In ECW, Bigelow was pushed to the moon and was given the World Title. He became one of the few individuals to pin Tazz. He then went to WCW and fell into obscurity. Bigelow wrestled on smaller independent wrestling shows from his departure from WCW until his death. Bigelow died in early 2007 from multiple drugs in his system including cocaine and anti-anxiety pills. Bigelow was only 45 years of age. Bam Bam Bigelow could do a ton of different things despite his size and this made Bigelow a unique big man for his time.
10 The British Bulldog
The British Bulldog was one-half of the legendary tag team The British Bulldogs. His career saw him bounce back-and-forth from WWE and WCW for the entire 1990s. Despite being in the main event scene for two different companies, Bulldog failed to win the World Title in both companies. In 1998 he joined WCW seriously injured his back during a match. His back injury led Bulldog becoming over-reliant on pain medication. He returned to WWE and had a horrible run with the company was released. Bulldog suffered a heart attack in 2002. After an autopsy it is believed that he had an anabolic steroid in his system. Bulldog was one of the best wrestlers of his time to never win world title. That list includes his deceased friend Owen Hart.
9 Luna Vachon
Luna Vachon was one of the scariest wrestlers of her time. She is the niece of legendary WWE wrestler "Mad Dog" Vachon. She managed Bam Bam Bigelow until leaving for indies in 1994. She had a lackluster WCW run and returned to WWE as Goldust's manager. She feuded with Sable and competed for the Women's Championship on more than one occasion. She left WWE in 2000 with her husband Gangrel and managed him on the indies. The two divorced in 2006 after 12 years of marriage. Luna had fell on hard times prior to her death as her house burned down in December of 2009. She passed in August of 2010 from an overdose of oxycodone. Vachon was one of wrestling's first strange characters and she made whatever she was asked to do work.
Umaga was one of WWE's best monster creations. He ran through everyone including Ric Flair, D-Generation X, and many others. Unfortunately his push was halted by John Cena. He was undefeated for nearly a year and he got a shot at the WWE Championship and lost to Cena by roll-up. From there the mystic and awesomeness was gone. He was released from WWE in 2009 after a run that should have seen him much more successful. He was let go after refusing to go to rehab. He died later that same year from a heart attack. The attack believed was believed to have stemmed from a drug overdose. WWE ignored this death at the time which was sad to see. Umaga was one of my favorites looking back at it. He completely destroyed whoever was thrown in his path and it's a shame he couldn't overcome his demons.
Crush was brought in as the third member of Demolition. After the team dissolved he became a colorful face character. He was based out of Hawaii and was a very generic good guy. He turned heel against Randy Savage and Crush had his best match against Savage at WrestleMania X where he lost to Savage. He joined The Nation of Domination with a completely new and darker look. He left in protest to the Montreal Screwjob and went to WCW. In WCW he form a team called Kronik alongside Bryan Clark. They were WCW's answer to the APA. After a terrible return match with the WWE, Crush would never wrestle for a major wrestling company again. He died in 2007 with a mixture of painkillers and muscle relaxers in his system.
Test was brought in as additional muscle for Vince McMahon's Corporation. He went on to form T&A with Albert and Trish Stratus. Then he would be managed by Stacy Kiebler. Looking back at his career, you could say it was a huge disappointment. With the look and somewhat decent wrestling ability, you would have expected more. After a short run in TNA, Test retired from the wrestling business. His wrestling career saw him accomplish one Intercontinental Title run and two different tag title reigns. Test died in 2009 from an accidental overdose of oxycodone. Test's brain was tested for CTE and it was determined that he suffered from it like many other athletes. Test had arguably one of the better looks in wrestling history and WWE failed to do anything substantial with him.
5 Rick Rude
Rick Rude was one of wrestling's most talented all-around workers. He was a great talker, with a great body, and who had a tremendous amount of in-ring talent. He wrestled for the WWE and WCW. In WWE, he won the Intercontinental Championship. In WCW, he won World Heavyweight Championship. Sadly, a rally bad bump took Rude's in-ring career. He managed D-Generation X in 1997 before leaving for WCW. Rude managed Curt Hennig in WCW. He was preparing for an in-ring return at the age of 40. Sadly, Rude's life was taken away from him because of multiple medications in his system. These drugs caused him to overdose and made his heart fail. Rude finally joined the WWE Hall of Fame this year and his induction was long overdue.
4 Mr. Perfect
Mr. Perfect much like Rude was an extremely talented in-ring talent. His gimmick was "perfect" for the time and could be used in today's WWE. He was never given a World Championship run in any major wrestling organization which is one of wrestling's greatest tragedies. He became on of WWE's greatest Intercontinental Champions. Injuries derailed Perfect's WWE career and he left for WCW. He turned on The Four Horseman and joined the New World Order. He won the United States Title. After WCW was clearly going under Hennig went to the indies before making a return in 2002. His return was exciting but everything after that was bad for him. He was released after the Plane Ride From Hell. In 2003, he passed away from cocaine usage.
3 Road Warrior Hawk
Hawk was one-half of the legendary Road Warriors. He and Animal ripped through the tag divisions all over the world. They wrestled in the WCW and Japan and captured their respective tag titles. They arrived to the WWE in the early '90s. They captured the gold there as well. During their second WWE run, they were completely embarrassed. They had their signature hair shaven and were made to look like fools by The New Age Outlaws. They returned as the flop that was the L.O.D 2000 and Hawk's real-life issues were brought to TV. They pushed him off the stage and that was the end of the Road Warriors in WWE. Hawk died in 2003 after doing a one-off match that same year.
Chyna is the most recent person on this list to pass away from drug usage. Chyna's physique made her different from all the women of her time. She was by no means a great wrestler but her presence was undeniable. She is the only woman to win the Intercontinental Championship. Chyna's career took a turn for the worse when her boyfriend at the time Triple H left her for Stephanie McMahon. Her life then went into a downward spiral. She became an adult film star and made several films including one with her boyfriend at the time X-Pac. These films have stopped her from joining the Hall of Fame but her death may have changed that. In 2016 Chyna passed away from an accidental overdose of pain medicine.
1 Eddie Guerrero
Eddie Guerrero is wrestling's most beloved wrestler. People loved him so dearly and his death led had wrestling fans the saddest they have ever been. He wrestled in ECW and WCW prior to joining the WWE. WCW had him so fed up and they drove him to the point where he had to leave. His first run with WWE saw him get fired for his drug use. He wrestled at several smaller shows before making his return in 2002. Guerrero was finally given a chance at the World Title in 2004 when he defeated Brock Lesnar at No Way Out 2004. A year later the wrestling world lost Guerrero way earlier than they should have as years of drug use caught up to him and he passed away.
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