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5 Wrestling Deaths That Changed Pro Wrestling

Big DallasContributor IJanuary 4, 2011

5 Wrestling Deaths That Changed Pro Wrestling

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    John Harrelson/Getty Images

    While the deaths of pro wrestlers, young and old, sadden us all, select few stick with us for years and years. Some deaths barely faze us, others change the aspect of pro wrestling forever.

    While wrestlers seem larger than life, in reality many of them are very fragile. A WWE superstar usually wrestles four or five times a week. Injuries always take their toll, but being on the road for much of the year can cause stress and depression.

    The pain that also comes with being a wrestler drives many people to prescription medication. In this slideshow, you will be reminded of the five wrestlers who's death made a large impact on the world of the WWE.

5. Lance Cade

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    While Lance Cade was a successful superstar (multi-time tag champ) he was never considered a huge draw. However, the reason I feel his death was more influential than Test's (Andrew Martin) was that Lance Cade's death and Linda McMahon's quote "I may have met him once" dealt a huge blow to her Senate campaign.

    • Reason for Death: Steroids
    • Effect: Damaged Linda McMahon's Senate run, brings even more pressure onto WWE for steroid use.

4. Eddie Guerrero

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    Arguably one of the most beloved wrestlers in history, Eddie was found dead in the fall of 2005 after a long battle with drugs and alcohol. His nephew, Chavo, found him dead in his hotel room following a heart attack. While many of his actions were that of a heel, he was forever loved by the fans.

    • Reason for Death: Heart attack, and previous use of drugs and alcohol.
    • Effect: WWE Championship stayed on Batista, the Wellness program was implemented shortly after.

3. Owen Hart

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    The man who should have gotten the push. Many people believed after Bret left in 1997 that Owen Hart should have been pushed to the main event scene, and he almost was. But, thanks to a free-fall of over 60 feet, Owen plunged to his death in 1999.

    • Cause of Death: Internal injuries, impact of fall.
    • Impact: End of extreme stunts such as this in the WWE, caused WWE to be heavily scrutinized, last in-ring death in WWE to date.

2. Andre the Giant

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    One of the most loved, respected and big individuals in wrestling history. Known as the "Eighth Wonder of the World," Andre was a one-time champion and an international icon. Ironically, the reason for his fame (large stature) ultimately caused his downfall.

    • Cause of Death: Health problems, enlarged pituitary gland.
    • Effect: WWE to launch its Hall of Fame, make Andre their first entrant.

1. Chris Benoit

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    The most infamous event in WWE history. Chris Benoit had been brain damaged and had taken steroids and pain killers his adult life. Finally, he snapped. He killed both his wife and son then killed himself. I, unlike the WWE, can talk about this event.

    • Cause of Death: Countless head injuries, headbutts, chairshots.
    • Effect: Played a large part in the ban of steroids, painkillers and head shots. Caused the cancellation of Raw for one night, caused Vince McMahon to break character for one of the only times, caused Benoit to be erased from all WWE history.

Why?

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    Why, might you ask, did I write this?

    So people may remember. It seems not often that I remember the deaths of these great wrestlers, and the sadness they brought upon the sport. I ask you to respect their work, maybe not their actions, but their skill.

    And hope theirs may be the last. Hope that no one else may pass away from this sport.

    Thoughts? Upset I didn't include Test or Mr. Perfect? Or Sensational Sherri? Leave a comment.

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