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10 great wrestlers who have passed on and their legacies

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Andre the Giant and cast of The Princess Bride
Andre the Giant and cast of The Princess Bride

"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory" -- Leonard Nimoy

Professional Wrestling has been around for a long time and its modern form has existed since the early 1920s. Naturally, with that kind of longevity, there are many athletes who are sadly no longer on this mortal coil.

We salute ten of the best who have slipped the surly bonds of earth and become truly immortal.

#10 Kerry Von Erich

Kerry Von Erich
Kerry Von Erich

Kerry Gene Adkisson, better known by his ring name Kerry Von Erich, was one of the most promising young stars of the 80s. Tall, powerfully built, and handsome, many believed that he would be on the level of Hulk Hogan early in his career.

Fate was not so kind. The tale of the von Erich dynasty is one filled with myriad tragedies. Clan patriarch Fritz von Erich was rumoured to be a stern taskmaster, harder on his sons than anyone else in the business.

Fritz von Erich
Fritz von Erich

Kerry's brothers who survived to adulthood all followed in their legendary father's footsteps to become professional wrestlers. However, by 1993, four of his brothers were already gone.

Addicted to painkillers because of a terrible motorcycle accident, he pushed himself to wrestle just six months after the terrible ordeal. He faced Brian Adias in a short bout that re-injured his shattered leg. Doctors had no choice but to partially amputate his right foot.

Brian Adias, the man who cost von Erich a foot.
Brian Adias, the man who cost von Erich a foot

Sent into a tailspin of depression by his brothers' deaths and his own limited mobility, Kerry descended even further into addiction, and he was fired from WWE for his frequent drug-related arrests. Faced with the end of his career and a lengthy jail sentence, he finally hit rock bottom.

After a phone call to his frantic brother, Kerry Gene Adkisson succumbed to his demons and took his life.


Kerry is survived by his daughter, Lacey von Erich. She has wrestled for TNA and other promotions in the past but her in-ring days seem to be over.

Lacey von Erich
Lacey Von Erich

Lacey is planning to write a book on her father and his famous lineage.

Wrestling fans the world over will always revere Kerry von Erich and his family's legacy. The former WWE Intercontinental and NWA World champion was formally inducted, along with his family, into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.

A lot of people focus on Kerry's battles with addiction, and eventual suicide. That is the true tragedy of Kerry Von Erich, because what should be spoken about are his great matches, like when he faced Ric Flair for the NWA championship.

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Christopher Scott Wagoner is a fiction writer and freelance journalist from Austin, Texas. Dune is his favorite novel and Dean Malenko is his favorite wrestler.
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