Famous or not, death is never a fun subject to hear or talk about. If it’s a family member, a friend, co-worker or someone in the entertainment world, it’s always upsetting.
if someone involved in the entertainment world was to pass away, you are likely to hear about it on the local news. Like when Michael Jackson passed, or a little more recent Mob Wives star Big Ang. No matter the celebrity there is coverage following the death.
The same goes for WWE superstars. When a big name superstar passes away the WWE will usually dedicate RAW to that superstar showing some of their greatest moments during their career. It is something you never want to see when RAW is starting, the whole locker room on stage while the bell is being rung.
The Ultimate Warrior, Mae Young, Dusty Rhodes and Rowdy Roddy Piper are superstars who just recently passed. The week following their departure the WWE had amazing video tributes and highlights playing on that weeks RAW.
However, there were also superstars who might not have had a big name, but gave their heart and soul to the company and when they passed it was ignored. Ignored or hardly acknowledged you could say. Why would you ignore a death of a superstar? Could it be their beliefs, or maybe how they died? A drug overdose or suicide? Something the company wasn’t proud of?
Whatever the reason, we know that these superstars below have passed with little to no comment made by the WWE or memorial ceremony made by the company’s editors.
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12 Hercules Hernandez – 2004
Debuting in WWE in 1985 and managed by Freddie Blassie, his first major exposure was WrestleMania II against Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. However, it was in losing fashion.
Having a title shot against Hulk Hogan at Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hernandez would put Hogan in the “Hercules Backbreaker”, yet still lose by pinfall. This was arguably the biggest match of his career.
Unfortunately for Hernandez, he then would spend most his time as a midcard wrestler, never seeing many main event matches and as a jobber.
Hernandez passed away in March of 2004 at the age of 47. The cause of his death was attributed to heart disease.
11 Chris Kanyon – 2010
Kanyon came into the WWE during the invasion angle. The former tag team champion and United States champion struggled. Either he was injured or he was jobbing for the WWE until they released him from his contract in 2004. One of the reason as per Kanyon, the WWE released him because he was gay.
Suffering from a bipolar disorder, Kanyon died in April of 2010, weeks after he threatened to take his life. His was found by his brother Ken Klucsarits in his New York home next to an empty bottle of antidepressants and a note of apology for his family.
10 Crash Holly – 2003
The former 22 time WWE Hardcore Champion was the on screen cousin to WWE superstar Hardcore Holly. Together they were The Holly Cousins.
Crash won his first ever Hardcore Championship from Test early in the new millennium. It was Crash who came up with the “24/7” rule. He won his titles by sneak pins, often after the champion was beaten down by someone else, and quickly ran away after the victory backstage.
Crash passed away in November of 2003. He was found at his friend Stevie Richards' home in Florida. He was partially clothed with a pool of vomit around his face and empty bottles of prescription pills and alcohol were nearby.
9 Dino Bravo – 1993
The Italian-born Canadian professional wrestler began wrestling for the WWE in 1985. He was a one-time Tag Team Champion and a one-time Canadian Champion. For all the success he had in the wrestling world you would believe when he passed they would acknowledge it, but, that was not the case.
Dino was found dead in his home in March of 1993 while watching a hockey game, hit by 17 bullets, seven to the head and 10 to the torso. The role he played in illegal cigarette smuggling in Canada is believed to have been what led to his officially unsolved murder.
8 Ludvig Borga – 2010
Tony Halme (real name) was part of the Finnish parliament from 2003 to 2007. Yet, years prior to his political career he was a WWE wrestler known as Ludvig Borga.
During his short stint with the WWE, 1993-1994, Borga defeated Marty Jannetty at SummerSlam and ended Tatanka’s two year undefeated streak, pinning him with one finger after hitting him with a steel chair while the referee was distracted.
Borga did not have a good personality backstage. Jim Ross wrote a blog stating “Borga has issues and was not a great guy to be around. He was obnoxious and could be a bully if allowed.”
Borga died in January of 2010, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, from and unlicensed handgun. He was 44 years old.
7 Doink the Clown - 2013
Doink the Clown was part of WWE cartoon period in the early 90s. The originator of Doink was Matt Osborne. His primary role in the WWE was a jobber. Nonetheless, he would beat other jobbers at non-televised events.
Doink wasn’t exclusive to Osborne as several other characters has dressed up for the part. However, in 2010 Osborne reinvented Doink to resemble Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker.
The man behind the character we all loved passed in June of 2013, at the age of 55. At first there was nothing acknowledging his death, as it was wrongfully thought to be drug abuse. Once it was ruled out the WWE released a few lines about the death.
6 Chris Candido – 2005
Chris had a short career with the WWE, more famous for his career in ECW and Smokey Mountain Wrestling. With the WWE he was a one-time Tag Team Champion as part of The Bodydonnas tag team.
Candido’s passing had nothing to do with drug or alcohol abuse. Candido had surgery for a broken tibia and fibula in his leg. In April of 2005 Candido was feeling ill and his condition worsened during the day. He would eventually collapse and was rushed to a hospital, he was diagnosed with pneumonia. His lungs were drained, but he would pass away soon after.
It was released that the 33-year-old died due to a blood clot, a complication from surgery.
5 Lance Cade – 2010
Trained by his childhood idol Shawn Michaels, Lance Cade was known best for his time in WWE. Cade was a three time Tag team champion with partner Trevor Murdoch. In 2008 Cade went towards a singles career, which led to having an alliance with Chris Jericho, helping him beat John Cena and Triple H.
Later in 2008 Cade would be released from the WWE after what Jim Ross called “A major league mistake”. His abuse of prescription pills cause him to have a seizure on a plane needing medical care.
Cade passed away in August of 2010, at the age of 30. The cause of death was due to apparent heart failure.
4 Viscera - 2014
Wrestling in three separate eras of the company is a big accomplishment for superstars these days, and that’s what Viscera did. At first wrestling as the name Mable, then returning as Viscera in part with The Undertakers Ministry of Darkness.
A one-time Hardcore Champion, one-time Tag Team Champion and a King of the Ring winner are the accomplishment he achieved in WWE. In his last stint with the company he was released in 2008.
Viscera passed away in February of 2014, just four days after turning 43. He passed away due to a heart attack, there was no mention of his passing on WWE TV.
3 Umaga – 2009
When he stepped foot into the WWE ring this wrestler was unstoppable. First as part as the 3-Minute Warning, a group of enforcers for RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff. This gimmick lasted about a year.
When returning to the WWE he became Umaga, the same name for the final and most painful part of the Samoan tattooing process, meaning “the end”, he was a monster beating up on mostly jobbers. That was until he handled Ric Flair at Backlash. He would be released from WWE due to a drug problem and refusing to go to rehab.
Umaga, part of the Anoa’I Family that gave us The Rock, Roman Reigns, and The Usos, passed away in December of 2009.
2 Test – 2009
Test was probably most famous for his on-air relationship with Stephanie McMahon where he competed in a “Love her or Leave her” match at SummerSlam in 1999. He went on to beat Shane McMahon and got his blessing, which led to the engagement of Test and Stephanie. That was until DX member Triple H stepped in drugged her and the two got married.
Test went on to be part of the T & A tag team managed by Trish Stratus, never winning tag team gold. However, Test has tag team gold along with European, Hardcore and Intercontinental gold to his resume.
Test passed away in March of 2009 just four days before his 34th birthday. His death was ruled as an accidental overdose of oxycodone.
1 Jack Tunney – 2004
The Canadian was known for his professional wrestling promoting. He was also the president of the WWE, in charge of the company from 1984-1995. He was rarely on WWE programming unless there was a big announcement to be made.
Jack and WWE would part ways after 1995 when his business partnership with Vince McMahon ended. His firing from WWE was never known to the public, he vanished from the television screens and the wrestling scene.
Tunney passed away in January of 2004, at the age of 69 due to a heart attack in his sleep. Not only was he not mentioned on WWE TV but not a single representative from the company attended his funeral.
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