5 Wrestlers who died under suspicious circumstances

Hamish Woodward

Professional wrestling is a sport that sees a lot of its athletes dying early, whether that is through injury, illness or more suspicious circumstances.

It is an industry that shares more similarities than the Mafia than other traditional sports, with a seedy undercurrent of dishonesty present throughout the history of the sport.

Because of this, some wrestlers have met their demise in much more suspicious ways than you may expect. From the mob and the Yazuka, to being framed for the death of your entire family, nothing is out of order when it comes to wrestling.

Here are just some of the most suspicious deaths in the history of wrestling.

1. Dino Bravo

Former WWF wrestler Dino Bravo died in his home in March 1993.

He was found shot dead in his home in Laval, Quebec, and the circumstances surrounding his murder remain a mystery to this very day.

Despite theories linking his death to organized crime or wrestling conflicts, no arrests were made and nobody ever saw prison time for his murder.

His passing shocked the wrestling community, leaving a lasting impact. It serves as a sobering reminder of life’s uncertainties, both inside and outside the ring.

2. Hiromitsu Gompei

Japanese wrestler Hiromitsu Gompei was killed in 1995 while training in the New Japan Dojo, and remains one of wrestling’s most shameful secret.

While nobody has ever been charged for his death, it was ruled to be due to head injuries suffered during a training session for NJPW.

He was just 22-years-old at the time of his death, with wrestlers like Kensuke Sasaki and Hiroshi Hase, although the latter was blamed for killing the youngster by Riki Chosu.

3. Chris Benoit

The death of Chris Benoit is perhaps the most shocking in the history of professional wrestling.

On a weekend where he was supposed to wrestle against CM Punk for the ECW Championship, Benoit called in sick to work and stayed at home with his family.

This ended in disaster, as Benoit, his wife and his son were all found dead in their homes in June 2007.

It was later concluded that Benoit killed his family, before hanging himself in his home gym. However, this has been disputed by many, who think the former World Heavyweight Champion was murdered and framed for the death of his family.

His death is probably the most famous in WWE history, given how his death changed wrestling for the better, despite the horrific – and suspicious – nature of his demise.

4.Bruiser Brody

Nobody has ever been convicted of the murder of Bruiser Brody, despite his death occurring nearly 40 years ago.

The difficult-to-work-with superstar was a legend all across the world, with his signature long hair and beard still instantly recognisable to this day.

Brody’s refusal to lose reared its ugly head one day in 1988, when he was stabbed in the showers before a match with Dan Spivey was due to take place in Puerto Rico.

Suspected murderer José Huertas González was acquitted in court, although the circumstances surrounding his trial make Bruiser Brody’s death even more suspicious.

5. Rikidozan

Perhaps the most suspicious death in wrestling history is the organised crime killing of one of the most famous wrestlers of all time.

Rikidozan is credited with bringing professional wrestling to Japan, and giving a hero to the Japanese people after the disaster of World War II.

However, he died at the age of 39 in suspicious circumstances, with the Japanese organised crime syndicate, the Yazuka, being credited with his death in 1963.

Despite his untimely death, reportedly at the hands of the Yazuka, Rikidozan is still considered one of the greatest Japanese wrestlers in history and the Grandfather of Japanese wrestling.

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