Former WWE Tough Enough Winner Matt Cappotelli Dies at Age 38

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 30, 2018

Roman and Seth celebrate in the ring during the WWE show at Zenith Arena on may 09, 2017 in Lille, France. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Matt Cappotelli, who won WWE's Tough Enough reality show competition in 2003, died at the age of 38 on Friday.

Cappotelli's wife, Lindsay, announced on Facebook her husband died one year after having brain surgery:

"Hey Team Capp...I've been struggling with what to say and how to say this, and I'll probably end up rambling, but here goes. Today my love-my strong, sweet, beautiful love-took his last breath at 3:30 a.m. and went Home to be with Jesus...exactly one year after his brain surgery. You think you can be prepared for this when you know it's coming, but you just can't. The only person who's comfort I want right now is the one who can't give it to me. I miss him so much. I know where he is now is so much better, but it doesn't change how much I miss him."

WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon offered her condolences:

Stephanie McMahon @StephMcMahon

#RIPMattCappotelli You showed everyone what it means to never give up and to always stay positive. It was a honor to know you. https://t.co/rHsOgXIsfm

Cappotelli and John Morrison were named co-winners of Tough Enough III to earn WWE contracts.

John Morrison @TheRealMorrison

My first best friend in the wrestling business and to this day one of the best people I’ve ever known Matt Cappotelli has passed on. I’m gutted about this news. Matt inspired everyone around him especially me early in my career. He is loved and will be missed.

Per WDRB's Gil Corsey, Cappotelli was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017. He was previously diagnosed with the disease 12 years earlier while he was still training in WWE's development system at Ohio Valley Wrestling.

Cappotelli was OVW heavyweight champion at the time of his diagnosis in 2005. He won the title from Johnny Jeter.