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Disturbing WWE Wrestler Death Stats Report Garners Mainstream Attention

Currently featured as one of the top stories on is yesterday’s report comparing WWE wrestler death stats to similar sized samples in other fields of sports and entertainment.

Alongside an image of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, the front page headline reads “Tragic legacy of huge wrestling event” with the description noting “An alarming number of performers from 1991’s Wrestlemania VII are now dead.”

The Yahoo! Sports article notes that over 25 percent of the performers from Wrestlemania VII have died prematurely (14 deceased of 51 total), with many of the deaths being attributed to drug use.

A graph is enclosed in the article listing the deceased wrestling talents, as well as their age and cause of death. It reads:

* “Macho Man” Randy Savage (58) – heart attack

* Andre the Giant (46) – heart failure

* Mr. Perfect (44) – drug overdose

* Miss Elizabeth (42) – drug overdose

* “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (39) – heart attack

* Dino Bravo (44) – gunshot

* “The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich (33) – suicide

* Joey Marella (31) – car accident

* Hawk (46) – heart attack

* Hercules (47) – heart disease

* Earthquake (42) – bladder cancer

* Crush (44) – unconfirmed

* Big Boss Man (41) – heart attack

(The article forgot to list Sensational Sherri, who died of a drug overdose at the age of 49. This list does not include Gorilla Monsoon (62, natural causes) and Lord Alfred Hayes (76).)

By comparison, of the 44 starters to play at the Super Bowl in 1991, none have passed away. Additionally, only two of 44 professional boxers who held a major championship belt that year are deceased.

To read the Yahoo! Sports article, click here.

  • Jacob

    Steroids, Cocaine, and pain killers lead to a early heart attack.

  • Dan

    It’s an industry where 300 pound guys are working and travelling constantly. Many of them are taking steroids and/or other drugs such as cocaine. They work in a job where they are being thrown around, smacked around and jump off of tall objects. The risk factor is incredibly high, so there’s no real mystery of why professional wrestlers have a short life expectancy. This is only a fraction of the number of early deaths. It’s sad but we are all responsible for our own choices.
    Check out this site…

  • me

    all see here is nothing but blind people full of excuses how can a heart attack count get a clue

  • Joe

    Tell my father that 58 is too young for a heart attack, he had one at 53. I don’t care what national averages are, I said that it is NOT UNCOMMON for a heart attack at 58.

    Joey Marella fell asleep at the wheel because he was tired, he should not have been driving in that condition in the first place, not to mention that he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. It was not wrestling that killed him.

    I concede on the Von Erich argument, I hope you enjoy your 1/3 victory over me.

  • dan

    how can a heart attack count… it would come with the job and all the stress/ constant adrenaline rushes over the years of wrestling.. nothing to do with drugs half the time.. just the workload there body has been through, plus how is it the companys fault they all know and willingly sign contracts so this newspaper is bs

  • Sexton Hardcastle



    I aint sayin… Im just sayin…

  • Leon

    this is stupid and pointless…

  • phoenix

    @venom: Every wrestler that dies they(media) bring up all the old wrestlers that died. Also people(media) are wondering why people are doing so much googling over Macho’s death that is because he wrestled in the best generation of wresting that isn’t an imo that’s the truth.

  • Timmy


    Sorry, but your defense completely falls through:
    Savages age (58) is 8 years below the national average for a first heart attack

    Von Erich committed suicide after finding he was going to be caught for drug issues directly stemming from his wrestling career.

    Marella was a referee that died in a car accident, importantly this was from falling asleep at the wheel after working at WWE show, and obviously with all of the complaints about road hours from wrestlers the few refs aren’t immune to the same troubles.

    You can try to defend the “health” of wrestling all you want, but the news is correct in this case.

  • venom


    I agree with you. Funny how Macho Man died and they bring this garbage up.

  • Joe

    I have a problem with this. It was published as an attack on the wrestling business, but several of those deaths aren’t exactly related to wrestling.

    Andre’s death can certainly be attributed to his growing disorder; Dino Bravo was shot, Von Erich took his own life; Marella in a car accident; and Earthquake of cancer.

    As for Macho Man, a heart attack at 58 is not uncommon, I believe that if he had not crashed his his car he would have survived the heart attack.

    So the other 7 that died from causes that are common among wrestlers is a much lower percentage of the 51 on the WMVII card (13.7%).

    Thank you news media for grasping at straws

  • This is nothing but utter junk science.

  • jim and boxing are regulated.hence not many deaths..wrestling has rules made by the owner of the company.