Professional wrestling is full of shocking deaths. Reports have it that wrestlers die at a far younger median age than any other sport. Whether it's because of direct drug abuse or because of effects of years of steroid use, or even due to travel hazards, pro wrestlers generally have shorter life expectancies.
Wrestling, and wrestlers, in particular, seem to attract scandals like probably no other sport. Some ridiculous, and some are downright tragic. All these have managed to affect the way the audience looks at the sport.
So, let’s take a trip down memory lane and examine some of the most controversial deaths in pro-wrestling history.
#3 Chris Benoit double-murder and suicide
One of the most shocking deaths in pro wrestling was the demise of Chris Benoit and his family. Chris Benoit was one of the biggest WWE superstars, and was at the height of his popularity, when he murdered his wife Nancy Benoit and their four-year-old son. After murdering his wife and son, he then killed himself by stringing a weightlifting cord around his neck.
For several weeks, the mainstream media put pro wrestling under a microscope, searching for the motive behind this vicious and disgusting murder-suicide. Many theories were brought forward, such as prescription painkiller abuse, steroid abuse, and brain trauma. In fact, the Sports Legacy Institute stated that Benoit, a 40-year-old man, had a brain that resembled an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient.
The toxicology report released after Benoit's death listed Xanax, hydrocodone and elevated levels of testosterone. Unfortunately for Vince McMahon and the WWE, the investigators did not piece together clues that Benoit was the murderer until a few days after his body was found.
On June 25, the day the bodies of Benoit and his family were found, WWE aired a 3-hour tribute to Chris Benoit. Just a couple of days later, they would learn they had dedicated their show to a murderer. Since then, WWE has erased any mention of Chris Benoit from their history books.