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An unfortunate side effect of the pro wrestling business is that sometimes the constant grind of the schedule leads to unforeseen and unexpected deaths.
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A lot of the times in the past, wrestlers have relied on either painkillers or drugs to help them cope with injuries. While overdoses have contributed to a lot of deaths by professional wrestlers, some of the most unexpected pro wrestlers' deaths have not involved drugs.
Sometimes the effect of taking steroids over the years finally takes its toll on a wrestler. Years spent trying to keep up with the rest of the business have everlasting effects beyond the initial use of the drug.
But since most deaths are shocking and sad regardless of the circumstances, the following deaths in the world of professional wrestling were unexpected and heartbreaking for various reasons.
#8. Brian Pillman
But being a former NFL player, he was extremely agile and athletic. His matches with Jushin Thunder Liger showcased that. Since he was so athletic, he was able to have matches with the normal-sized guys and the giants like Psycho Sid. It's usually the little guys who make the big guys look better.
Pillman's probably more remembered for his 'Loose Cannon' persona and his run with the Hart Foundation in the mid-1990s. I often wondered why he was a part of the group, but upon further research, he wrestled in Stampede Wrestling and was considered 'a brother' by a lot of the Harts.
He was starting to help give the WWF an edge at the time of his unexpected death. He was in the middle of a storyline with Bret Hart and former tag partner Stone Cold Steve Austin at the time.
The details surrounding his death noted that he was supposed to wrestle Mick Foley at In Your House 18: Bad Blood. He didn't show up an hour before the show, prompting bookers and other wrestlers to wonder where he was.
Jim Cornette called the hotel he had been staying at, and it was they who informed Cornette and the WWF that they had found him dead in his room.
His official cause of death was revealed to be a heart attack caused by atherosclerotic heart disease. Austin revealed that the heart disease was the same thing that had killed Pillman's father.