Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ramblings: WWF Stars Dropping Like Flies

There's no way out of here, when you come in...you're in for good.”
David Gilmour

When I heard that another of the old World Wrestling Federation (WWF) wrestlers had died, it was one of those…“if ya sneezed, ya missed it” moments. Just a minuscule blurb on the radio recently that Bam Bam Bigelow was found dead in his home of unknown causes and then back to some music. The news was relegated to merely a 20 second sound bite.

But for a youngster growing up in the late 80‘s, Bam Bam was just one of several wrestlers that fed our imaginations with wonder. We watched these giants faithfully every week and never missed a pay-per-view. We would follow the story lines and the growing rivalries between wrestlers, however hokey they might have been and cheer when our guys won and groan when they lost. Growing up with these wrestling legends was just part of being a boy.

So it was with genuine sadness and surprise when I discovered, along with Bam Bam Bigelow, so many other wrestlers from my youth had passed away. Shockingly, most have left this world at much too early an age.

Bam Bam Bigelow, 42, was found dead in his home in Florida of unknown causes.
Big Boss Man - Died from a massive heart attack in 2004 at the age of 42.
Andre the Giant - In 1993, Andre was found dead due to congestive heart failure from a build-up of fluid in the body. He was 46.
British Bulldogs Davey “Boy” Smith - died in 2002 from a heart attack at age 39. His partner, “Dynamite Kid“, had a leg amputated and is now confined to a wheelchair.
‘Ravishing” Ric Rude - Died in 1999 at the age of 40 after suffering heart failure from a possible overdose of steroids.
Miss Elizabeth - In 2003, Elizabeth was pronounced dead at age 42 of an accidental drug overdose.
Earthquake - Died at the age of 42 after a lengthy battle with bladder cancer in 2006
Big John Studd - Died from liver cancer in 1995 at the age of 46.
Mr. Perfect - Found dead in a Florida hotel room in 2003, just before a scheduled wrestling match. Cocaine was the official cause of his death. He was 44.
The Renegade - In 1999, committed suicide by shooting himself. He was 33.
Hercules - Died in his sleep of a heart attack in March of 2004. He was 46.
Junkyard Dog - Died in a car accident in 1998. He was 45.
Dino Bravo - Bravo was murdered in 1993 at age 44. Rumored to be involved in a cigarette smuggling ring run by organized crime. His murder goes unsolved.
Brian Pillman - Died in 1997 at age 35 from heart disease.
Texas Tornado (Kerry Von Erich)
In 1993, Kerry committed suicide. He was 33.
He was the third brother in the Von Erich family to have committed suicide (Mike in 1987 and Chris in 1991...brother David was a possible drug overdose).
Adrian Adonis - Died in a car accident in 1988. He was 34.
Yokozuna - 34, died of heart attack in 2000.
Road Warrior/ Legion of Doom “Hawk” - Died in 2003 at the age of 46 of a heart attack.
Owen Hart - Hart fell to his death in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 23, 1999, during a WWF pay-per-view event. He was 34.

As you can see, we have lost an alarming number of big-name wrestlers from what must be considered a rather elite pool of athletes. But I’m not here to point fingers at the ills of steroids or the intoxication of fame. Or even any X-File theories.

Retired WWF wrestler, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper described it best when he said,
“Each individual wrestler is affected by a sickness…and the amount of the sickness in the wrestler is directly proportional to the manipulation used by the promoter.“(2002).
All I know for certain is that these larger-than-life wrestlers provided countless entertaining hours for me growing up…and now they’re gone. And that’s a hard pill.
(1st appear. Vantage/Newman U.)

David Gilmour -->"There's No Way Out Of Here" off David Gilmour (1978)
(A must own).


-tom said...

WWF just ain't what it used to be...

Thanks for stopping by the blog, looks like you're off to a good start. I'll add a link to you. Keep it coming.

LOVE that Gilmour song. My favorite by him.

Casey said...

Thank you Tom,
I will add your link, as well.

lhawkw said...

I just learned that Bad News Brown died a couple of weeks ago. So sad. Then I did some research and discovered all of the other WWF guys that have died. I was shocked, especially with the Junkyard dog, Earthquake and the Big Bossman. I had heard nothing about it.

Casey said...

It certainly looks like the media is ignoring these legends.
Thanks for the comment.