Another Pro Wrestler Gone Too Soon

The news of the death of former professional wrestler James Hellwig, better known as the Ultimate Warrior, was devastating to hear. He was only 54 years old and had just been inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame. Any of us who were fans of pro wrestling and remember the days when the Warrior beat Hulk Hogan for the heavyweight title are mourning his loss.

Many pro wrestlers live to be a ripe old age before passing (Captain Lou Albano, Killer Kowalski, Fabulous Moolah, Jay Strongbow, "Classy" Freddie Blassie, just to name some who lived past 70), but it seems that far too many pro wrestlers are doomed to die young.

Some of them die from natural causes, others from accidents, still others from substance abuse or an unhealthy lifestyle.  Here's a list of wrestlers who passed away before the age of 65.

Mike Von Erich - suicide, age 23

David Von Erich - acute enteritis, age 25

Kerry Von Erich - suicide, age 33

Adrian Adonis - car accident, age 33

Owen Hart - wrestling stunt accident, age 34

Eddie Guerrero - heart failure, age 38

Yokozuna - heart attack, age 38

"British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith - heart attack, age 39

Chris Benoit - suicide, age 40

Rick Rude - heart attack, age 41

Miss Elizabeth - drug overdose, age 42

The Big Bossman - heart attack, age 42

"Earthquake" John Tenta - cancer, age 42

"Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning - drug overdose, age 44

Dino Bravo - murdered, age 44

The Junkyard Dog - carr accident, age 45

Bam Bam Bigelow - drug overdose, age 45

Hercules Hernandez - heart disease, age 45

Andre the Giant - heart failure, age 46

Big John Studd - cancer, age 46

Road Warrior Hawk - heart attack, age 46

Gorgeous George - heart attack, age 48

Uncle Elmer - diabetes, age 54

The Grand Wizard - heart attack, age 54

Doink the Clown - drug overdose, age 55

"Macho Man" Randy Savage - heart attack, age 58

Paul Bearer - heart attack, age 58

Gorilla Monsoon - heart attack, age 62

S.D. Jones - stroke, age 63

The Ultimate Warrior was a character who seemed to be an action figure come to life. He came from an era when professional wrestling seemed to be live action superheroes vs. supervillains. Whatever the cause of his death, his passing is a tragedy. May he rest in peace.