Lance Cade was a fixture of the tag team division in the mid-2000s, and earmarked as a huge star for the future.
The Texan was seen as the future of the WWE. He debuted in his early-20s, becoming one of the youngest ever tag team champions in history (alongside his partner Trevor Murdoch).
Sadly, he was fired by the WWE in 2008, before passed away just two years later. Lance Cade’s death made him one of the youngest WWE wrestlers to die, passing on much too soon.
Why Did WWE Fire Lance Cade?
WWE fired Lance Cade after he suffered a seizure on a WWE flight, following his abuse of prescription drugs in the WWE.
Cade had a long history of an addiction to painkillers. He attended rehab for his addiction after he was fired by the WWE, indicating he was aware of the dangerous situation.
His addiction came to a head during a WWE flight in 2008. After overdosing on various prescription drugs, Lance Cade suffered a seizure in the air, which proved to be life-threatening.
Luckily for him, former WWE announcer Lilian Garcia was on hand to give him medical attention, and make the flight crew aware of the predicament.
The flight was grounded, and Cade was rushed to hospital to receive urgent medical care.
Due to the situation, WWE had no choice but to fire Lance Cade immediately. His contract was terminated on October 14, 2008.
Sadly, his addiction would kill him just two years later.
Jim Ross Says Firing Lance Cade Was A Mistake
On his blog in 2008, Jim Ross wrote about his regret on firing Lance Cade from the WWE, noting that it was a surprise to everybody.
“Lance Cade was abruptly released from his contract this week much to the surprise of many of us. I have always thought that Cade had a wealth of physical potential and he was always a polite young man in my dealings with him. Like many fans, I too did my share of arm chair quarterbacking as to why Cade was not featured in a more prominent role on WWE TV programming. However it seemed that in the past several weeks those issues were being addressed even to the point of Cade defeating HBK on a recent Monday Night Raw.
The story that I have read on many internet sites about the reason for Cade’s sudden dismissal isn’t accurate. Many pundits speculate that Cade was dismissed because of a bad performance in a recent TV bout against DX on Raw which is absolutely untrue. Lance’s dismissal had zero to do with his in-ring performances or his lack of ability.
Lance Cade was dismissed from the WWE because, like many humans, he made a major league mistake while utilizing bad judgment that cost him his job. This included Lance having a seizure on an airplane and having to have emergency medical care. Luckily, Lilian Garcia was on the same flight and was instrumental in helping Lance get taken to a hospital where a battery of tests were run that luckily determined that there was nothing seriously wrong with the young man such as a brain tumor, etc.
Everyone makes mistakes, Lord knows I have made plenty in my career, but in this day and time some mistakes just simply can’t be condoned. To some fans, Lance Cade will likely still be perceived as the victim in this matter and his punishment too harsh.
Under the circumstances of the situation, I don’t know what other decision the WWE could have made. I’m just relieved that it wasn’t me in my former role that would have had to address this matter. I really like this kid and hope that he continues to follow his dreams. Second chances are not foreign in the wrestling business so perhaps that could be in Lance’s future but that’s just a personal observation.
Lance Cade is a talented young man whose best days should be ahead of him and I wish him nothing but success. Lance has been knocked down and now it is up to him to get off the canvas and get back in the game. I’m damn sure pulling for him.”
How Did Lance Cade Die?
Lance Cade died on August 13, 2010 in San Antonio Texas. At first, his death was ruled as apparent heart failure, owing to the years of drug abuse on his body.
However, a staffer of the San Antonio medical examiner said he had accidentally died from “mixed drug intoxication, complicating a cardiomyopathy”.
It was clear that his painkiller addiction was the leading cause of Lance Cade’s death. He was only 29-years-old when he died, having his entire life in front of him.
Early on in his career, Cade was signposted as being a star for the future. Being trained by Shawn Michaels and put with Chris Jericho on TV, he clearly had some big supporters in the WWE.
Lance Cade was even rehired by the WWE before his death. He wrestled in FCW in 2009 (WWE’s developmental territory) upon re-signing, but was released the next year, four months before his death.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.