Last week, WWE wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage died in a car crash in Florida. He was 58.
When Savage’s death was announced on Friday, there was speculation that he might have suffered a heart attack before crashing his car. As of now, there’s been no confirmation of that speculation. But if Macho Man did die of heart-related conditions, he would not be alone when compared to his fellow wrestlers who have also died before turning 65.
I conducted a brief, non-exhaustive survey of the wrestling stars to die in the last 20 years before reaching their 65th birthdays. This includes both men and women who were in WWF/WWE or WCW. I culled my list from a larger list, and then looked up individual wrestlers. I left off Terry Garvin because there’s speculation on his birth year. (He does have a really cool surname, though).
Of that group, a good number of these deaths were heart- or drug-related, if not both. Additionally, there were two suicides.
Some things to point out:
- Andre the Giant was a huge guy, so it’s understandable that he’d have heart issues.
- Yokozuna and Earthquake were also huge guys, so it’s understandable that they’d have general health issues.
- Dino Bravo was rumored to have been murdered because of mob connections.
- Owen Hart died during a WWE performance.
If looking purely at this list, it would seem that “Macho Man” Randy Savage is one of the older wrestling stars to die. In this list, he’s second only to Gorilla Monsoon.
Again, this list does not include every wrestler, and is not meant to imply that Gorilla Monsoon and Randy Savage were the oldest former wrestlers at the times of their deaths. It does succeed in showing, though, that in dying at 58, Savage outlived some of his colleagues by at least 10 years. In the grand scheme of things, 58 would be considered a young age. But in pro-wrestling, where these guys put their bodies through all sorts of physical activity, Savage was almost elderly.