The Harsh Wrestler World and The “45 Curse”
There’s no question about it: a pro wrestler’s career is not an easy one. The bumps and bruises, the almost constant traveling schedule, the training, working out-- that can take a toll on most people mentally and physically. Mix it with drugs and alcohol, and that can take years off of one’s life. There is a disturbing yet slightly understandable trend within the lives of pro wrestlers. The average age of a pro wrestler has been calculated to about 45 years old. With the recent passing of Joanie Laurer better known as The 9th Wonder of the World, Chyna, and ECW’s hardcore legend, Balls Mahoney, being the latest to add to that statistic.
A couple have been murders like in the case of Bruiser Brody, which that case is mired in controversy. Or accidental deaths like the tragedy of Owen Hart, who fell from the ceiling during his entrance in 1999. By far the most tragic deaths would be Chris Benoit’s double murder-suicide, where Benoit killed his wife (who was also a pro wrestler, age 43) his son and himself.
Suicide has been a big factor in this statistic as well. A few guys have battled with depression and bad relationships. There’s been many overdoses on pain killers and other drugs as well. Drug use was a big problem in pro wrestling even after getting clean, like in case of the late great Eddie Guerrero. I feel the new generation has taken note of these tragic losses and will keep the act clean while WWE does its part and ensures the well-being of its performers.
There’s also the deaths of the Von Erichs, though they don’t follow the 45 curse, note that following Fritz Von Erichs’ death, five of his six sons (also wrestlers) had died well before their time-- three by suicide.
• There’s also best friends Eddie and Chris Benoit, whose deaths have a few parallels: • Both died exactly 6 weeks after their birthdays • Both died the night they were booked to win titles • Chavo Guerrero was the last person they both spoke with • They both won their last matches • Both of their matches were against wrestlers that ended up leaving to TNA shortly after (Benoit vs Elijah Burke) (Guerrero vs Mr Kennedy)
Here’s a list of pro wrestlers that have died at or before 45. The (S) indicts Suicide, the (K) indicts Killed
Sean O’Haire: 43 (S) Big Daddy V: 42 Lance Cade: 29 Chris Kanyon: (S) Umaga: 36 Test: 33 Bryan Adams “Crush”: 43 Chris Benoit: 40 (S) Mike Awesome: 42 (S) Bam Bam Bigelow: 45 Earthquake: 42 Eddie Gurrero: 38 Chris Canidido: 33 Big Boss Man: 42 Woman (Nancy Benoit): 43 Crush Holly: 32 Miss Elizabeth: 42 Mr Perfect: 44 British Bulldog: 39 Bertha Faye: 40 Yokozuna: 38 Owen Hart: 34 (K) Rick Rude: 41 Junkyard Dog: 45 Brian Pillman: 35 Kerry Von Erich: 33 (S) David Von Erich: 25 Bruiser Brody: 42 (k) Balls Mahoney: 45 Chyna: 45 Coincidence or Curse?