So I saw an article in some paper, can't remember which one, it was a link on 411mania. Anyways the article was about Vince McMahon defending Linda from all the attacks she's be getting regarding her Senate bid.
Basically how people are clips like Eugene and the Katie Vick incident out of context blah blah blah. Anyways, there was a small bit about a 'primer' for media outlets that has WWE facts and 'FAQs'. On it mentions that since 1982 only five wrestlers have died while still under contract with WWF/WWE.
Sure enough I google the question and found a link to WWE Corporate. It is the last question on the page.
What has me stumpped is the 5th wrestler. THe questions mentions the causes too
According to coroner reports, one individual died by accident, one by suicide and three by heart disease.
Obviously Owen Hart is the accidental death and Benoit is the suicide. Guerrero and Pillman are two of three who dies by heart disease, but I just can figure out who the third one is. Which leads me to believe is before the time that I was a big wrestling fan. (1993 is when I really started to watch for those questioning)
I even used google and wiki, but just could not find the answer. Umaga, Test, Crash Holly, Mr. Perfect, Davey Boy Smith were all released, or working somewhere else before they died. I thought of maybe Andre but even he wasn't working for the WWF at the time. (According to Wikipedia his last match was with AJPW)
Dino Bravo and Adrian Adonis were other thoughts, but they don't count as both of the were also not under WWF contract and neither dies of heart disease.
The only other person I can possibly think of is Gorilla Monsoon, who (again according to Wikipedia) did die of heart failure due to complications of diabites. But would he count? He did have a lifetime contract essentially, but he wasn't anywhere close to an active wrestler at the time.
(edited by Loosie on 9.8.10 0932) Loosie. Your friendly nieghbourhood Canadian.
'Quickdraw' Rick McGraw died in '85 while working for the WWF, with his death being shortly after Piper destroyed him with multiple DDT's (possibly the first time the move was used in the WWF) on TV. With Katie Vick coming back to haunt Vince, I guess he must be disappointed that Kevin Kelly's wife isn't in Connecticut voter focus groups.
Its probably Gorilla. I also don't know if I would go around saying, we only had 5 people die in our company and one of them took out his entire family with him not something I would brag about it in a political campaign. I find that number a little odd since I thought for sure Andre was under contract when he died and didn't one of the referees die of an overdose or something back in the 80s? I think, the most disturbing part is how many people die after leaving the company which either paints a better picture for the WWE or not. I also heard she had a massive lead in the polls and they were already sending out victory party invites. Last I heard she was down 20 points.
Gorilla's son Joey Marella died in 1994 when he fell asleep at the wheel. (Again according to wikipedia) Harvey Whippleman was with him, but survived. Joey was not wearing a seatbelt. But again I don't think he counts since the FAQ specifically states wrestlers.
As far going around 'stating we only had 5 wreslters die' I think it's more to clear the air that all the more recent 'former WWE' wreslters deaths are being mislabelled by some media outlets as WWE Wreslter died. So its more of a 'hey they used to work for us but don't anymore. So don't pin this on us.'
It think it looks both good and bad on the WWE. It looks bad because it looks like the WWE is cutting the guys off just when it looks like they are going to die. But at the same time most of them (esp. Umaga) were released because they refused to get help (like Carlito). And really there is only so much WWE can do to these guys to get them to go to rehab. If suspension and demotions don't work the next step is termination. And hopefully Carlito does not become the next to have a story like this.
(edited by Loosie on 9.8.10 0952) Loosie. Your friendly nieghbourhood Canadian.
Also bear in mind there might be some semantics at play here with respect to the use of term "under contract". Guaranteed contracts were not a common thing until the height of the Monday Night Wars, and I seem to remember that Brian Pillman was noted as either the first or one of the first that Vince ever handed one out to. Always used to pay them a "percentage of the gate", or, in other words, whatever the promoter felt like.
Originally posted by hansen9jWhen the list came up after Benoit, the 5th person was Russ Haas.
Russ is an interesting call. Because that should bring the number up to 6 (4 being heart disease). However, this again could be a technicality to make the numbers 'look better' as Russ Haas was under a developmental contract at the time. So he wasn't technically a WWE Wrestler on a WWE contract.
Edit: Pretty much what Hogan's my Dad said. Semantics.
(edited by Loosie on 9.8.10 1128) Loosie. Your friendly nieghbourhood Canadian.
No, I mean that when Benoit happened, WWE said five people had died under contract, and listed them as Pillman, Eddy, Owen, Benoit and Russ Haas. I agree that you can use semantics to include others, but as an answer to "which five were they referring to", those are the five. So no McGraw, no Marellas, no Fabulous Moolah.
It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects. "Well. Shit." -hansen9j Let's Go Riders! (4-2, 2nd West Division)
I'd be curious, in hindsight, to see what some of those were, and if history has been as kind to them. We always do that when the WON awards issue comes and we go "oh my god? How did the Diamond Cutter win for Best Move?"