The professional wrestling world has been rocked by the deaths of some World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars in the same year and almost the same month. Unlike any other athletes or sports entertainers, professional wrestlers are more prone to dying before the age of 55.
For whatever reason, these behemoths of the squared circle end up perishing. Unfortunately, this includes many of the greatest wrestlers of all time. It’s almost a strange occupational hazard at this point to be a pro wrestler, considering all the bumps you get in the ring. Check the list of 7 Wrestlers You Didn’t Know That Died In 2018.
7. Jim ‘the Anvil’ Neidhart
James Henry Neidhart was an American professional wrestler known for his appearances in the 1980s and 1990s in the World Wrestling Federation as Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, where he was a two-time WWF Tag Team Champion with Bret Hart in The Hart Foundation. He also won titles in Stampede Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, Mid-South, Memphis and the Mid-Eastern Wrestling Federation. He is part of the Hart wrestling family through marriage
He passed away at age 63 on August 13, 2018, reportedly after suffering a medical emergency. New reports have indicated that Neidhart’s suffered a fall in the early morning hours of August 13 in a Land O’Lakes, Florida house, hitting his head and later suffering from convulsions and seizures which ultimately led to his death.
6. Big Bully Busick – 7 Wrestlers You Didn’t Know That Died In 2018.
Nicholas Busick was an American professional wrestler and police officer, better known by his ring name Big Bully Busick. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation in 1991, where he portrayed a stereotypical bully from the 1920s with a “turtleneck, bowler hat and king-sized cigar”. Busick is also known for his appearances with Georgia All-Star Wrestling and the Global Wrestling Federation.
Busick had chronic atrial fibrillation. While exercising in 2005, he suffered a cardiac arrest and was saved via a defibrillator. He refused to seek hospital treatment at the time, but underwent surgery a few years later to correct the fibrillation.
In 2015, Busick was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He initially had trouble swallowing, before bleeding in his throat. He underwent surgery and chemotherapy, during which he went from weighing 265 lb to 187 lb. In June 2016, Busick announced he was cancer-free. The following year, Busick was diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent neurosurgery. Busick died on May 8, 2018, in Weirton, West Virginia, where he was receiving hospice care.
5. Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino was an Italian-born American professional wrestler, best known for his work with the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF, now WWE). There, he held the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship (WWWF Heavyweight Championship during his second reign) for more than 11 years across two reigns, the first of which is the longest single reign in the promotion’s history at 2,803 days.
Called “The Italian Strongman” and “The Strongest Man in the World” early in his career, Sammartino earned the title “The Living Legend” during his lifetime. Known for his powerful bearhug finishing move, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.
Sammartino underwent heart surgery in 2011. He died on April 18, 2018, at the age of 82 from multiple organ failure due to heart issues following a two-month hospitalization. WWE honored his life with a ten-bell salute before a house show in Cape Town.
4. Brickhouse Brown – 7 Wrestlers You Didn’t Know That Died In 2018.
Frederick Seawright was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Brickhouse Brown. He was a top heel in Southern promotions in the 1980s and 1990s.
In April 2017, Brown announced his diagnosis of stage 4 prostate cancer. In May 2018, he said the cancer had spread to his brain, despite treatment that impaired his eyesight and reduced his weight to 150 lb. Several Southern promotions held benefit shows to help pay his medical bills, and the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Benevolent Fund helped him pay his rent.
Brown was reported dead on July 20, 2018, from prostate cancer. The next day, Cauliflower Alley President B. Brian Blair said Brown was still alive after waking up in the night and telling his mother, who thought he was dead and was awaiting the coroner, that he was hungry.
Brown died on July 29, 2018. His funeral took place in Florida on August 11, which would have been his 58th birthday.
3. Johnny Valiant
John L. Sullivan was an American professional wrestler and manager, better known by his ring name, Johnny Valiant. He competed in the World Wide Wrestling Federation, which became the World Wrestling Federation during his time with the promotion. He won the World Tag Team Championship two times.
Sullivan was struck at 5:30am and killed by a pickup truck in Ross Township, a northern suburb of Pittsburgh, on April 4, 2018. Police are treating it as an accident. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police told local news Sullivan was not in a crosswalk, and the driver of the vehicle remained on the scene.
2. Nikolai Volkoff
Josip Hrvoje Peruzović better known by his ring name of Nikolai Volkoff, was a Yugoslav-born American professional wrestler who was best known for his performances in the World Wrestling Federation. Although the Volkoff character was often portrayed as a villainous Russian, Peruzović originated from Croatia.
In the 1970s, he was Bepo of the Mongols tag team, one of the masked Executioners and feuded with Bruno Sammartino over the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship as Volkoff. In the 1980s, he was known for teaming with The Iron Sheik, with whom he won the WWF Tag Team Championship at the inaugural WrestleMania event, and later with Boris Zhukov as The Bolsheviks.
Peruzović died at home on July 29, 2018, at the age of 70, days after being released from a hospital in Maryland where he had been treated for dehydration and other medical issues.
1. Matt Cappotelli – 7 Wrestlers You Didn’t Know That Died In 2018.
Matthew Lee Cappotelli was an American professional wrestler. Cappotelli, along with John Hennigan, won a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) contract by winning Tough Enough III. During the show, Hardcore Holly stiffed him during a match in training, leaving him bleeding. After winning, he made sporadic appearances on WWE shows. At Vengeance Cappotelli competed in The APA Invitational Bar Room Brawl which Bradshaw won.
In July of 2017, Cappotelli announced he was diagnosed with grade IV glioblastoma multiforme – an aggressive brain cancer. In May 2018, Cappotelli’s wife announced that, after consultations with his neuro-oncologist, Cappotelli was ceasing medical interventions for the tumour. He died on June 29, 2018, at the age of 38.