Wrestling is a popular form of entertainment that pits incredibly athletic peoples’ strength and skill against each other. As entertaining as this can be to watch, wrestling is also a very dangerous sport that can result in serious injury, and even death. While death during a wrestling match is uncommon, it’s not unheard of. In todays’ video, we’re going to take a look at famous wrestlers who died in the ring.
It’s common knowledge that entertainment companies like World Wrestling Entertainment and other pro wrestling matches are scripted and partially choreographed. As a result, it is often scorned and looked down upon. While pro wrestling is technically “fake,” however, that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable in its own right. Professional wrestling is actually a type of theatre, which features storytelling, melodrama, and larger than life characters. Furthermore, while the outcome of each match is already predetermined, it still requires expert wrestlers to ensure the show goes smoothly. Choreographing fights is a difficult and impressive art, and pro wrestlers still require actual wrestling skills to perform.
Every time two pro wrestlers step into the ring, they are relying on each other to keep the show running smoothly, as well as keep each other safe. One wrong move can easily land someone in the hospital- or worse.
There are countless ways that pro wrestlers and “real” wrestlers can hurt themselves in the ring. An undiscovered medical condition can make certain wrestlers more vulnerable without them even knowing it, which can have deadly consequences. Faulty equipment can also lead to serious injury or death. Even the wrestling ring itself can be dangerous in certain circumstances! For example, former wrestler Seth Rollins nearly met his end in a WWE match because the steel cage had a metal spike, and he almost impaled himself on it! Finally, wrestlers can easily cause serious injury or death by misplaced moves. A jab to the stomach may not cause any lasting harm, but if a wrestler were to miss and hit a more vulnerable body part, there could be serious consequences.
As exhilarating and impressive as wrestling is, it is also incredibly dangerous. Wrestlers are all too aware that each match could be their last if they aren’t careful. Reckless behavior is almost certain to result in injury or even death. In today’s video, we’re going to take a look at famous wrestlers who took things too far, and ended up dying in the ring. Make sure you stick around, because we’re going to reveal how one cheap gimmick ended up costing wrestler Owen Hart his life.
Hijo del Perro Aguayo
Hijo del Perro Aguayo was a legendary Mexican pro wrestler, also known as a luchador. During a tag team match alongside his partner Manik, Hijo del Perro Aguayo faced Extreme Tiger and Rey Mysterio Jr.
During the match, Mysterio landed a hard kick to Aguayo, who flew into the ropes. He knelt there, unconscious, for two minutes before people began to realize something was seriously wrong. The match ended abruptly, and they later discovered that his head had hit the ropes, causing his vertebrae to snap and causing a cervical stroke. His opponent, Mysterio, was heartbroken and felt incredibly guilty, but the family of the late Aguayo were sympathetic, and even asked Mysterio to be his pallbearer.
Owen Hart was well known for playing the character Blue Blazer, a superhero who wore a mask. In 1999, WWF decided to help him make an unforgettable entrance befitting of his gimmick. They created a wire system designed to make him “fly” into the ring. While Hart dangled 78 feet above the ring, however, the wire system malfunctioned, and Hart plummeted to his death. Thankfully, the horrifying incident wasn’t televised, but the crowd of 16,000 people watched every second. At first, most people assumed the drop was part of the act, and it wasn’t until an announcer explained the situation that they realized they had just watched a man die tragically.
In 1997, Japanese wrestler Plum Mariko faced Mayami Ozaki and Rieko Amano alongside her tag team partner, Command Bolshoi. Partway through the match, Ozaki landed a terrifying Liger Bomb against Mariko, and she was left unconscious. They continued the match, however, not realizing just how dire the situation was. After the match, her partner and opponents realized she was still not moving, and she had begun snoring- a common sign of brain bleeding. She died of brain damage at age 29.
Tragically, Plum Mariko’s death is one that could have been avoided all too easily. She had suffered a multitude of intense injuries throughout her career, many of them head injuries. As her career progressed, she became more forgetful and suffered headaches. Despite the obvious signs of brain damage, her promoters forced her to continue wrestling, which ultimately led to her death.
Mitsuharu “Tiger Mask” Misawa
Mitsuharu Misawa, also known as “Tiger Mask,” was a staple of Japanese wrestling, just as famous as John Cena or Hulk Hogan are in America. In the 1980s, he became increasingly popular as a wrestler, and also founded the Pro Wrestling NOAH federation. He was also named professional wrestler of the year a total of three times throughout his career.
After decades of wrestling, however, tragedy struck. On June 13th, 2009, Tiger Mask was put into a back suplex by his tag team opponent, Saito. The back suplex is an incredibly common move that rarely results in injury. However, years of wrestling had taken their toll on Mitsuharu Misawa’s body, and he suffered a heart attack from the impact, and was declared to be dead upon arriving at the hospital.
Make sure you stick around until the very end, because we’re going to reveal how one wrestler tragically died while in the ring, but still managed to somehow miraculously win the match! And if you’re enjoying this video so far, please take a moment to like this video, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more.
Oftentimes, the death of a wrestler in the ring is due to a mishap from their opponent. In the case of Brian Ong, however, it was actually due to something else. In 2001, Brain Ong was accidentally killed when his opponent attacked him with a flapjack. In this move, one opponent lifts the other into the air and pushes them down, causing them to land on their face and chest. Brian Ong’s opponent, Dalip “The Great Khali” Singh executed the move perfectly, but Brian Ong held onto his opponent’s shirt. This caused him to land harder than he normally would have, and he sustained severe injuries to both his head and spine, resulting in his death.
However, it was later discovered that Brian Ong had already been dealing with numerous injuries at the time, but was pressured to continue wrestling by his company, All Pro Wrestling. APW was later deemed to be at fault, and paid $1.5 million in settlement money.
Wayne Van Dyke
Wayne Van Dyke was better known as Richard Delicious, and while he was never a huge wrestler, he was very involved in small promotions in Florida. When he was 29 years old, however, he suffered from multiple heart attacks during a match, which eventually led to his death. Years of wrestling take a huge toll on the body, and Wayne Van Dyke’s heart unfortunately gave out. After his first heart attack, medics attempted to revive him with CPR, which punctured his lung and broke at least one of his ribs. On his way to the hospital, he suffered two more heart attacks, and sadly died in a coma.
Oro was an incredibly young professional wrestler, whose full name outside the ring was Jesús Javier Hernández Silva. In 1993, however, he participated in a six man tag team event when he was just 21 years old. Before the event, he told his other opponents that he was planning on doing a “Kobashi bump,” a complicated and potentially dangerous move. However, it’s uncertain whether or not this was the cause of his death. There are many different stories surrounding Oro’s untimely death, but they all come to the same conclusion; he somehow died in the ring during that fateful match.
Luther Lindsay was an incredibly influential wrestler, and paved the way for other African American wrestlers after him. In fact, he was the first African American to ever face a white man in the wrestling ring while in the South, and he only rose in popularity after that.
In 1972, however, Luther Lindsay went up against Bobby Paul, and managed to pin his opponent with a finishing belly flop. He won the match, but when Luther Lindsay didn’t get up after winning, spectators realized something was wrong. Horrifically, he had died in that final move from a heart attack.
As you can see, wrestling is an incredibly dangerous sport that ends up costing some people their lives. Do you think that wrestling is worth the risk, or do you think it’s just too dangerous? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!