Professional wrestlers have been haunted by diseases since time immemorial, and cancer is possibly the worst of them all. The disease is perhaps one of the most hated and feared one in the world. With over 100 different types under its name, cancer ruins lives. Due to the sheer enormity of the disease, the ones that come out fighting always have a special place in our hearts.
Some wrestlers have been haunted by it and some have gone on to win their wars against the fatal disease. There is also a category of wrestlers who are still fighting this disease. In this list, we take a look at five wrestlers who have been able to overcome the dreaded disease and one who unfortunately succumbed to it.
#6 Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns has done it all. Inside the squared circle, the Tribal Chief has won the prestigious Grand Slam and has main evented multiple WrestleManias. He is one of the biggest merchandise sellers and has been exceptional in representing the promotion globally.
But before he even stepped into the world of pro wrestling, Reigns was diagnosed with Leukemia, a deadly blood cancer. The Needle Mover overcame the fatal disease before cementing his legacy in WWE.
However, the disease came back looking for a rematch with Reigns in 2018, causing the then Universal Champion to relinquish his title. A one-sided rematch it was, with Reigns defeating Leukemia yet again in just four months. Reigns hasn't looked back since then, delivering one classic after another.
#5 Jim Duggan
The current generation of WWE fans would probably think of Jim Duggan as a goofy retired wrestler who shows up every now and then. However, his resume is pretty impressive. Duggan was the winner of the first-ever Royal Rumble match and has held numerous championships throughout this lengthy career.
Unfortunately, he makes the list because he was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
He was diagnosed with the disease back in 1998, but successfully defeated it and returned to action sooner than expected. Furthermore, after surviving the fatal disease, he wrestled at WCW, the topmost promotion of that time.
#4 Bret Hart - The most skilled wrestler of all time
Throughout his life, Bret Hart has gone through some bad health issues. He had a stroke after a bicycle accident that paralyzed one side of his body, and earlier in 2016, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The Hitman announced the same through a Facebook post on February 1. A while later, Bret revealed that he had a successful surgery to remove the tumor. However, he mentioned that he and the doctors will be monitoring the situation until the damaging cells are completely removed from his body.
Bret was able to defeat prostate cancer, but was later diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), one of the most common types of skin cancer.
#3 Michelle McCool
Michelle McCool, a former WWE superstar and The Undertaker’s wife, left her mark in the business before she decided to retire from wrestling back in 2011. Michelle was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2016, revealing the same via a post on Instagram.
She stated that not using enough sunscreen while out in the sun is what cost. McCool also mentioned that she was having holes cut out of her skin due to the disease. She underwent successful treatment the same year and was cured.
#2 Zack Ryder
Unlike most of the wrestlers in this list, the disease hit Zack Ryder when he was in high school. The former Intercontinental champion had a tumor in his foot while he was studying and unfortunately, it spread to both of his lungs.
Ryder then needed surgery to survive the same and also underwent chemotherapy. The passion for WWE is what he points out as the reason that drove him to beat the disease.
After beating the disease, Ryder decided to skip college and join a local community college so that he could take up wrestling classes and live his dream. This inspirational story is perhaps one of the reasons everyone loves Ryder.
#1 Kris Travis
Some of the other entries on this list had inspirational stories of cancer survivors. Kris Travis, on the other hand, suffered the tragic effects of the disease. Based out of United Kingdom, Travis was a major name on the European circuit. After starting his career back in 2002, Travis was forced to take a hiatus when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.
It was a stomach tumor that got hold of him and though he successfully defeated the disease initially, a year later, it had returned. His wrestling career was once again put on hold due to this. He passed away on 31st March 2016 at the age of 32 and received tributes from all over the world, including from WWE and TNA.
Suggested: These wrestlers passed away at a very young age.