As you have likely heard by now, independent wrestler Reid Flair, youngest son of legendary star Ric Flair, was found dead this morning in a hotel room in Charlotte, N.C.
He was just 25 years old. This is surely one of the saddest and most tragic wrestling-related stories in recent years.
Reid memorably noted to James Guttman of World Wrestling Insanity in 2011 that his main goal in wrestling, rather than main-eventing or winning titles, was simply to "have the respect" of his famous father.
You have to feel for Ric: The legend has had a hectic time of it the last few years with divorces, financial issues and health problems all coming his way. And now this.
The only official word from the Flair family so far has been a short statement from Ric's PR agent, Melinda Morris Zanomi, which was released on Legacy Talent's official Facebook page earlier today:
We are heartbroken to confirm that Ric's son, Reid, has passed away today March 29, 2013 in Charlotte, NC. The investigation into the cause of death is ongoing. Reid was an incredible son, brother, friend, and professional wrestler. No words can describe the grief that Ric and his family are experiencing and they do request privacy during this devastating time.
Following the sad news, many in the wrestling community have reached out to offer their condolences to the two-time Hall of Famer and his family.
Heavy heart. Our thoughts, prayers, and sympathy to Ric Flair and family at the passing of Reid Flair. Such a sad day.— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) March 29, 2013
Former WWE writer Court Bauer also fondly recalled the Nitro segment in his message of condolence.
In the last couple of hours, Ric Flair's former employer Dixie Carter noted she was "devastated" by the news:
Devastated to hear about the passing of Ric Flair's son, Reid. Please join all of us at TNA in praying for Ric & his family at this sad time— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) March 29, 2013
Former WCW commentator and long-time family friend Mark Madden wrote of his sorrow, too, saying: "What a tragedy. I knew Reid practically since he was born."
Former WWE announcer Todd Grisham called Reid "a great kid" on his Twitter.
Been on a flight all day just heard about the passing of Reid.My thoughts and prayers go out to Ric Flair and his family.— The Miz (@mikethemiz) March 29, 2013
Many of these messages are genuinely touching.
While this is undoubtedly an awful and nightmarish period for the Flair family, hopefully they can take some solace in the fact that the wrestling community as a whole stands with them during this difficult time.