This is sad news. It's also creepy for me, as I was watching 24/7 a few days ago, and the Eliminators were on the ECW show early on in their careers. It popped into my head that I was surprised a tag team from the 90s has 2 members that are both still alive.
I don't think he ever worked for Vince, so I can buy the "not on our watch" excuse here.
Dean! Have you been shooting dope into your scrotum? You can tell me! I'm hip!
I saw him in a few house shows and really liked watching him wrestle Taz and Shane Douglas. Every once in a while when he was getting the better of his opponent, he would blurt out, "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" and a lot of the crowd would repeat it.
I enjoyed watching him as part of the Eliminators and the Gangstanotors. Very sad.
If they wanted a specious link between Kronus and WWE just to make the news seem tidier, ECW was bankrolled in part by WWE and the Eliminators did appear on a couple Raws in 1997.
Comparing ECW deaths to WWE deaths is definitely a case where the ECW locker room was always much more, let's say, problematic than WWE's, and it's not a coincidence that it suited people like Louie Spicolli, Chris Candido, and Tammy Sytch well after they left the WWF. But really, it's never been about picking and choosing which deaths WWE should and shouldn't be blamed for.
But what will become of Sean Royal and Chris Champion now that we have passed through the year 2002? Perhaps Kevin Kelly's wife has installed a glass ceiling to prevent them from returning to us. edit: