WWE’s RAW is approaching its 1000th episode and they have spent the last two months parading out retired wrestlers to celebrate the show’s milestone. The list of available talent has been reduced to the usual suspects (Roddy Piper, DDP, etc), because many of the past superstars who have appeared on RAW, have passed away.
New York Post sportswriter Phil Mushnick has taken aim at WWE and Vince McMahon (yes, I’m just as surprised as you…the Post actually writes about non-gossip issues). He points out the number of past perfomers who have died before the age of 45. In his Sunday column, he says that if “the WWE would present a roll call of past WWE/WWF performers who didn’t live past 45”, but quips that it would probably take too long.
Do you blame McMahon for the untimely death of so many of his employees? Here is a list of every wrestler, manager, and referee who have died before the age of 45.
WWE has taken steps to reverse the trend of their wrestlers dying of abnormal causes. They have instituted a WWE-sponsored rehab program. Any performers who has ever worked for the company can go to rehab on WWE’s dime. Scott Hall, Sabu, and Sunny have all recently taken advantage of the program.
- Bam Bam Bigelow (Scott Bigelow)
- Bertha Faye (Rhonda Sing)
- Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor)
- Brian Pillman
- “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
- Chris Benoit
- Chris Duffy
- Crash Holly (Mike Lockwood)
- Crush (Brian Adams)
- Earthquake/Golda (John Tenta)
- Eddie Guerrero
- Giant Gonzalez (Jorge Gonzalez)
- Joey Marella
- Johnny Grunge (Mike Durham)
- Kanyon (Chris Klucsarits)
- Lance Cade/Garrison Cade (Lance McNaught)
- Mariana/Miss Cleavage (Marianna Komlos)
- Mike Awesome (Michael Alfonso)
- Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig)
- Owen Hart
- Rad Radford/Louie Spicolli (Louis Mucciolo Jr.)
- Rick Rude (Richard Rood)
- Road Warrior Hawk (Michael Hegstrand)
- Skip/Chris Candido (Chris Candito)
- Test (Andrew Martin)
- The Executioner (Terry Gordy)
- Umaga/Jamal (Edward Fatu)
- Yokozuna (Rodney Anoa’i)
Former WWE wrestlers who have died between the ages of 45 and 50 include: “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Ludvid Borga, Luna Vachon, Rocco Rock, Sensational Sherri, and Steven Dunn.