Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ring related deaths of American professional wrestlers

     Over the past few decades an alarming  number of American professional wrestlers have died.  Below is a list of the ring related deaths of National and Modern era American wrestlers.

Steve Romero (Jay Youngblood)  9/2/85.   Died following a tag team match in Melbourne, Australia.  He reportedly died from complications of a lacerated spleen.

Owen Hart  5/23/99.   Fell to his death while performing an entrance stunt during the Over the Edge WWE pay per view in Kansas City, Missouri.

Larry Booker (Moondog Spot)  11/29/03.  Sustained a fatal heart attack during a tag team match in Memphis, Tennessee.

Larry Cameron 12/13/93.  Experienced a fatal heart attack during a match in Bremen, Germany.

Chris Candido  4/28/05.  Suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism while recovering from orthopedic surgery to repair injuries sustained during an April 24, 2005 match.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ivan Koloff and sarcodosis

     In his autobiography "Is That Wrestling Fake?"  The Bear Facts, Oreal Perras (Ivan Koloff) reveals that he was diagnosed and treated for sarcoidosis.

     Sarcoidosis is a disorder of unknown cause.  It affects individuals worldwide and is more common is blacks than whites.  The condition is characterized by the presence of lesions called granulomas in involved organs.  While virtually any organ can be affected, the most commonly involved site is the  lungs.  Other frequently involved organs include skin, joints, and eyes. 

     When sarcoidosis affects the lungs, symptoms include shortness of breath, cough and chest pain.  Fatigue, sweats, and fever are often present.  In mild cases the individual may not have any symptoms.  In severe cases the condition can lead to respiratory failure and death.

     A diagnosis of pulmonary sarcoidosis requires finding the hallmark lesion on biopsy and excluding other disorders that could produce similar symptoms.  Not all cases require treatment.  Many times the condition will go into remission spontaneously.  For patients needing treatment the most common therapy is with the steroid prednisone.

Ivan Koloff

  1. Koloff, I with Scott Teal. (2006) "Is That Wrestling Fake?"  The Bear Facts.  Hendersonville, Tennessee:  Crowbar Press.

Photographs are for illustrative purposes only.  Wrestling with Death does not claim ownership.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mike Von Erich battles toxic shock syndrome

     On August 22, 1985 professional wrestler Mike Adkisson (Mike Von Erich) underwent surgery at Brookhaven Hospital in Dallas, TX for a shoulder injury sustained while wrestling on tour in Israel.  He  did well post-operatively and was discharged to home.  However, he was admitted to Baylor University Medical Center  four days later with a high fever.  He was subsequently diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome.

      The term toxic shock syndrome has been used to describe several different clinical conditions.  A number of microorganisms, including Staphylococcus aureus, Group A streptococcus, and  Clostridium sordellii can produce a toxic shock syndrome.

     When a toxic shock syndrome occurs after surgery, it is most often due to Staphylococcus aureus.  S. aureus is normally found on the skin of humans.  If the bacterium passes through the skin barrier defenses and invades surrounding tissue it can produce inflammation and infection.  When a particular exotoxin known as TSST-1 (toxic shock syndrome-1) is released an intense inflammatory reaction can occur.  The syndrome is characterized by fever, hypotension (low blood pressure), rash, and evidence of 3 or more organ systems not functioning properly.  Individuals can become very ill and be at risk of dying.  Approximately 6% of cases that occur after surgery are lethal.  Treatment is with supportive care and antibiotics.

     Although Mike Von Erich did survive this lethal illness, it is believed he never made a complete recovery.  He later committed suicide on April 12, 1987.

Mike Von Erich


  1. MMWR Recomm Rep 1997; 46(RR-10):1.

The medical resource was used in the preparation of this blog.  Photographs are for illustrative purposes only, Wrestling with Death does not claim ownership.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Murdered American professional wrestlers

     Over the past few decades a number of American professional wrestlers have died prematurely.  While most deaths can be attributed to prescription/illicit drug overdose, some have been murdered.  Below is a list of wrestlers from the National and Modern Eras who were murdered.

Chris Adams

Frank Goodish (Bruiser Brody)  7/16/88..

Adolfo Bresciano (Dino Bravo)  3/11/93.

Chris Adams  10/7/01.

Nancy Benoit (Manager/Valet, Woman)  6/22/07.

Photographs are for illustrative purposes only.  Wrestling with Death does not claim ownership.