Top 15 famous wrestlers who died in the ring: all the details explained

Top 15 famous wrestlers who died in the ring: all the details explained

Lenah Ann, Cyprine Apindi
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM

Wrestling is a combat sport that comes with plenty of risks, especially if you practice it without the necessary protective gear. Today, the world has numerous professional wrestlers who participate in local and international games. Some have lost their lives in the ring. Discover the famous wrestlers who died in the ring.

Famous wrestlers who died in the ring
Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Premature deaths are not uncommon in the wrestling ring. Wrestling, one of the mixed martial arts, is a great yet risky sport. The world has bid farewell to some famous wrestlers who died in the ring multiple times.

Famous wrestlers who died in the ring

Professional wrestling is a fantastic sport, but it comes with risks of injury or death in severe cases. Below is a list of wrestlers who died in the wrestling ring.

1. Emiko Kado

  • Full name: Emiko Kado
  • Date of birth: 28 January 1976
  • Date of death: 9 April 1999
  • Age at death: 23 years

Emiko Kado was a Japanese female professional wrestler who passed away shortly after launching her professional career. She had her first match in February 1999 at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall in front of 1550 people. She lost her debut match to Aja Kong. Emiko Kado's wrestling-related ring death was the second to occur in Japan.

2. Larry Cameron

  • Full name: Larry Cameron
  • Date of birth: 4 November 1952
  • Date of death: 13 December 1993
  • Age at death: 41 years

The late Larry Cameron is among the wrestlers who have died in the ring. Besides wrestling, he was a professional footballer whose career was cut short by injuries. On 13 December 1993, Larry Cameron suffered a heart attack during his match with Tony St. Clair in Bremen, Germany.

3. Masakazu Fukuda

  • Full name: Masakazu Fukuda
  • Date of birth: 17 May 1972
  • Date of death: 10 April 2000
  • Age at death: 27 years

The late Masakazu Fukuda was a professional wrestler who is best known for his appearances in WAR and NJPW. He was born in Ōtawara, Tochigi, Japan, and died in Kesennuma, Miyagi. Masakazu Fukuda died after suffering a fatal head injury during a match with Katsuyori Shibata in the Young Lion Cup Tournament.

4. King Kong Kirk

  • Full name: Malcolm Kirk
  • Date of birth: 18 December 1935
  • Date of death: 23 August 1987
  • Age at death: 51 years

Malcolm Kirk was commonly known as King Kong Kirk, Kojak Kirk, Killer Kirk, or Mucky Mal Kirk. He started as a professional rugby league player before becoming a professional wrestler. He collapsed in the ring during a tag team match at the Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. Kirk died of a heart attack in the ring.

5. Silver King

  • Full name: César Cuauhtémoc González Barrón
  • Date of birth: 9 January 1968
  • Date of death: 11 May 2019
  • Age at death: 51 years

César Cuauhtémoc González Barrón, alias Silver King, is one of the wrestlers who died in the last ten years. He was a Mexican luchador enmascarado or masked wrestler. He collapsed in the ring on 11 May 2019 during a match in Camden Town, London, England, against Juventud Guerrera.

6. Brian Ong

  • Full name: Brian Ong
  • Date of birth: 28 May 1974
  • Date of death: 28 May 2001
  • Age at death: 27 years

The late Brian Ong is among the wrestlers who died in the ring. On 28 May 2001, Brian Ong died after receiving a flapjack wrestling move from Dalip Singh Rana, alias The Great Khali. Ong had suffered a previous concussion during the session, but the trainers told him to continue training.

7. Plum Mariko

  • Full name: Mariko Umeda
  • Date of birth: 1 November 1967
  • Date of death: 16 August 1997
  • Age at death: 29 years

Mariko Umeda, alias Plum Mariko, was a Japanese professional wrestler who competed for Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling from 1986 to 1992. She then competed in the JWP Joshi Puroresu from 1992 until her death. Mariko was prone to accidents, and her injuries contributed to the growth of an abscess in her brain. She was the first professional Japanese woman to die in the ring.

8. Jeanette Wolfe

  • Full name: Janet Boyer Wolfe
  • Date of birth: 13 June 1933
  • Date of death: 28 July 1951
  • Age at death: 18 years

Janet Boyer Wolfe, alias Jeanette Wolfe, was the foster daughter of Billy Wolfe and Mildred Burke. Her dad operated a troupe of women wrestlers associated with the NWA. He trained her in the sport. On 28 July 1951, she was body-slammed on the mat by Ella Waldek and lost consciousness. She was declared dead, and the cause was ruled out as brain haemorrhage.

9. Oro

  • Full name: Jesús Javier Hernández Silva
  • Date of birth: 24 December 1971
  • Date of death: 26 October 1993
  • Age at death: 21 years

Jesús Javier Hernández Silva, alias Oro, was a luchador enmascarado or masked professional wrestler. Oro means gold. He was a second-generation wrestler, and several of his brothers and cousins were also wrestlers. Wrestler Kahoz clotheslined him during the match. He twisted and fell on his head. He suffered brain damage after the accident and died on 26 October 1993 before being taken to a waiting ambulance.

10. Gary Albright

  • Full name: Gary Mitchell Albright
  • Date of birth: 18 May 1963
  • Date of death: 7 January 2000
  • Age at death: 36 years

The late Gary Albright was a professional wrestler best known for his work in Japan. He competed in the UWF International (UWFi) and later All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW). He was also known for his work with Stampede Wrestling in Canada under his birth name as well as the ring name Vokhan Singh.

He died on 7 January 2000 at a wrestling show in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, against Lucifer Grimm. He was hit with a cutter and immediately collapsed to the canvas. He passed away shortly after being taken out of the ring to receive medical care.

11. Moondog Spot

  • Full name: Larry Wayne Booker
  • Date of birth: 6 June 1952
  • Date of death: 29 November 2003
  • Age at death: 51 years

Larry Wayne Booker, known by the ring names Larry Latham and Moondog Spot, was a professional wrestler from the United States. He was known for his brutal manoeuvres. He made his last appearance in the ring on 29 November 2003 during a tag team match. The superstar suffered a heart attack inside the ring.

12. Mitsuharu Misawa

  • Full name: Mitsuharu Misawa
  • Date of birth: 18 June 1962
  • Date of death: 13 June 2009
  • Age at death: 46 years

The late Mitsuharu Misawa was a Japanese professional wrestler and promoter. He is best remembered for his time in All Japan Pro Wrestling. He also formed the Pro Wrestling Noah promotion in 2000.

On 13 June 2009, Misawa teamed with Shiozaki against GHC Tag Team Champions Saito and Smith in a title match at Hiroshima Green Arena. He took a back suplex from Saito about ten minutes into the match. He died after efforts to resuscitate him failed.

13. Iron Mike DiBiase

  • Full name: Michael DiBiase
  • Date of birth: 24 December 1923
  • Date of death: 2 July 1969
  • Age at death: 45 years

The late Iron Mike DiBiase's adoptive father was known as The Million Dollar Man. DiBiase died in the ring on 2 July 1969 in Lubbock, Texas, after losing to Man Mountain Mike. He began his professional wrestling career in 1940. He suffered a cardiac arrest in the ring and passed shortly after.

14. Perro Aguayo Jr

  • Full name: Pedro Aguayo Ramírez
  • Date of birth: 23 July 1979
  • Date of death: 21 March 2015
  • Age at death: 35 years

Perro Aguayo Jr was a Mexican luchador or professional wrestler and promoter who achieved fame in lucha libre. He was best known as the leader of the Los Perros del Mal stable. In October 2008, he left CMLL to start his own independent professional wrestling promotion Perros del Mal Producciones.

On 20 March 2015, Aguayo wrestled in a tag team match, teaming with Manik against Rey Mysterio Jr. and XTiger. He was drop-kicked by Mysterio Jr. and suffered a cervical spine trauma that killed him.

15. Owen Hart

  • Full name: Owen James Hart
  • Date of birth: 7 May 1965
  • Date of death: 23 May 1999
  • Age at death: 34 years

The late Owen Hart worked for Stampede Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He used his real name and the ring name The Blue Blazer.

Hart died on 23 May 1999 during his entrance from the rafters of Kemper Arena in Kansas City. The equipment that was lowering him to the ring malfunctioned, and he fell to his death in front of a live audience.

Recap of the famous wrestlers who died in the ring


Date of birth

Date of death

Emiko Kado

28 January 1976

9 April 1999

Larry Cameron

4 November 1952

13 December 1993

Masakazu Fukuda

17 May 1972

10 April 2000

King Kong Kirk

18 December 1935

23 August 1987

Silver King

9 January 1968

11 May 2019

Brian Ong

28 May 1974

28 May 2001

Plum Mariko

1 November 1967

16 August 1997

Jeanette Wolfe

13 June 1933

28 July 1951


24 December 1971

26 October 1993

Gary Albright

18 May 1963

7 January 2000

Moondog Spot

6 June 1952

29 November 2003

Mitsuharu Misawa

18 June 1962

13 June 2009

Iron Mike DiBiase

24 December 1923

2 July 1969

Perro Aguayo Jr

23 July 1979

21 March 2015

Owen Hart

7 May 1965

23 May 1999

Who are the WWE wrestlers who have died recently?

The WWE wrestlers who died recently include Bray Wyatt, Terry Funk, The Iron Sheik, Jerry Jarrett, Droz, Peggy Lee Flower, and “Superstar” Billy Graham.

What famous wrestler died recently?

Bray Wyatt, Terry Funk, The Iron Sheik, Jerry Jarrett, Droz, Peggy Lee Flower, and “Superstar” Billy Graham are among the famous wrestlers who died recently.

There are several famous wrestlers who died in the ring. These are professionals who were at the height of their careers when their lives were cut short. recently published Dusty Rhodes' biography. Virgil Riley Runnels Jr., alias Dusty Rhodes, was an American professional wrestler, booker, and trainer.

He most notably worked for the National Wrestling Alliance and the World Wrestling Federation, later known as the WWE. He was considered a star wrestler. His doughy physique presented the persona of the American Dream personified.

Lenah Ann photo
Lenah Ann
Lenah Ann is a Kenyan-based content creator with 2 years of experience. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media and Communication from Dedan Kimathi, Kenya in 2021.
Cyprine Apindi photo
Cyprine Apindi
Cyprine Apindi is a content creator and reporter with over 4 years of experience based in Kenya. She holds a Diploma in Mass Communication from Kenyatta University.