Home » WWE News » Staggering Number Of Raw Wrestlers That Have Died Young, NY Post Writer Slams WWE

New York Post sportswriter Phil Mushnick has once again taken aim at WWE and company chief Vince McMahon over the staggering number of wrestlers to have died before the age of 45. He quipped in his column Sunday, “A former WWF/WWE content man wonders if, in the upcoming 1,000th episode of Raw, Vince McMahon will present a roll call of WWF/WWE TV performers who didn’t live past 45. Or would that take too long?”

In the past, Mushnick has branded the professional wrestling industry, particularly WWE, as a “death mill.” Although the majority of the performers died after parting ways with WWE, Mushnick attributed their premature deaths to their lifestyle while under the employ of McMahon. Other media outlets have likewise provided statistics showing the high number of wrestlers who have died young from car crashes, suicide, heart failure and steroid-related health problems.

Of individuals who appeared on Raw as a wrestler, manager or referee and died before the age of 45, the list includes the following 28 names:

* Bam Bam Bigelow

* Bertha Faye

* Big Boss Man

* Brian Pillman

* “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith

* Chris Benoit

* Chris Duffy

* Crash Holly

* Crush

* Earthquake/Golga

* Eddie Guerrero

* Giant Gonzalez

* Joey Marella

* Johnny Grunge

* Kanyon

* Lance Cade

* Marianna/Miss Cleavage

* Mike Awesome

* Mr. Perfect

* Owen Hart

* Rad Radford

* Rick Rude

* Road Warrior Hawk

* Skip

* Test

* The Executioner (a/k/a Terry Gordy)

* Umaga/Jamal

* Yokozuna

Additionally, of individuals who competed on Raw and died between the ages of 46 and 50, the list includes the following names: “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Ludvig Borga, Luna Vachon, Rocco Rock, Sensational Sherri and Steven Dunn.

  • mabry

    Dave is totally right, i would like to point an example about this subject… Scott Hall…. he is still alive, but how many of us, fans of him are afraid that one of this days, news of his death will come up!!!, and thats not WWE´s fault, its just Hall´s, that doesnt seem to know(or doesnt want to) how to get out of the hole he got himself into….

  • mabry

    this jackasses should cut it out allready. I do understand how demanding it must be to be a WWE superstar, but first, many of these guys, either died for some sicknes or by suicide, or by accidents. And the rest, well, i dont think anyone had a gun on their heads making them consume drugs, wich is the cause to so many heart attacks… thats up to each, so its not the company`s fault. Owen is the one death that can be completaly blamed on WWE, but the rest, i dont think so… and besides, isnt a little sick to try to get popular or noticed by bringing up the names of this people that are allready dead???, let them RIP you douche!!!!….

  • Dave

    I don’t think we can argue that going back to the 80’s and 90’s, wrestlers really lived the lifestyle, so to speak, a lot more than they do these days. Drugs and steroids were rife, and wrestlers really lived a rock and roll lifestyle. And that took its toll on them. It is widely accepted that previous drug problems led to the deaths of people like Brian Pillman and Eddie Guerrero. They may have died of heart attacks, but their hearts were already weakened from their previous excesses.
    But the WWE of today is much changed from the WWF days. Now, with the Wellness Program, the banning of many moves that involve head trauma and their making rehab available to former employees who need help. These really show that WWE is even prepared to sacrifice the quality of its product, in order to protect its wrestlers.
    But my worry is that we will still see ex wrestlers dying early as their bodies succumb to their past excesses. I expect that wrestlers of today will see much improved health in their latter years.

  • mark

    RIP to all these great wrestlers. It is so sad to see so many die so young. You cant really blame WWE for all those deaths. However, I do agree wrestlers should be better protected. their Welness program has attempted to do this. I agree with drugs testing and banning shots to the head.

  • lazlo woodbine

    The lifestyle clearly played a part with some of them though. Bulldog, for example, was addicted to booze and painkillers for most of his career, and was pretty obviously abusing steroids. All three of those things are bad for the heart.

  • Joe

    Why stop at 50? I want Vince held responsible for Moolah, Captain Lou, and Freddie Blassie!

  • ant

    umaga had a freakin heart attack for gods sake like how is that the wwes fault

  • Stevie P

    Pillman had a heart problem, Giant Gonzales had diabetes, Joey Marella fell asleep at the wheel, Johnny Grunge had sleep apnea, Kanyon was bipolar, Marianna had breast cancer, Hawk had a heart attack, Terry Gordy had a heart attack, Yokozuna had a whole mess of physical problems, Dr. Death had throat cancer, Rocco Rock had a heart attack and Steven Dunn had a blot clot.

    How are any of those listed above WWE’s fault?

  • voice of reason

    it is unfortunate that these people have died prematurely, i myself have watched many videos on youtube of wrestlers who have died prematurely & was shocked by some of the stars that passed away for example test, kanyon & lance cade but most of these people passed away after parting company with the wwe now i am not standing up for the company but fact is fact.

  • Karl

    According to what I could find Marianna Komlos (Miss Cleavage) stated that she died of breast cancer. Is Mushnick accusing McMahon of giving her cancer?

  • Men on a Mission

    … didn’t realize Kanyon died …

  • Men on a Mission

    I can name at least 2 that committed suicide, and one that had an illness, so to me, that hardly seems fair.

  • Tom… Just Tom

    How come this so-called writer didn’t do a list of football players who passed away before 45? Or baseball players? Or ANY sport for that matter? It cracks me up when douchebag writers feel that wrestling is such a bane on humanity. Consider that at least three of these wrestlers died from cancer, one from a car accident, others from heart failure, and sadly, due to depression (at least two suicides). Also, who is to say that they wouldn’t have died if they weren’t in the wrestling business?

  • The Awesome One

    RIP to every wrestler on that list we lost some that were to young and talented.

  • purcey


  • Unique

    And a lot of them died because they were fat….. Is that wwe’s fault?

  • Unique

    Several of these ‘wwe’ wrestlers were only with the company for a short time. Attributing their deaths to the lifestyle that they lived while with wwe is absurd!

  • @TrevorAllen23

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