Maybe the biggest star in the history of Japanese pro wrestling, Mitsuharu Misawa wrestled for New Japan and All Japan and had classic battles against the likes of Kenta Kobashi and Toshiaki Kawada. After becoming the president of All Japan, he decided instead to form his own wrestling company, NOAH, which became, for a time, the top promotion in the country. He wrestled only two matches on American soil, both for independent company Ring of Honor, which occurred shortly before his death in 2009. He died at 46 after receiving a back suplex that impacted his spine. An official cause of death was never released.
There is much debate about how much effect steroid use has on the premature deaths of professional wrestlers. As this list will be updated with causes of death, where available, it is beneficial to have some idea of the side effects of steroid use. While the true long term side effects are not fully known, it is believed that just a few of the side effects of steroid use include: heart disease, liver damage, kidney damage, cancer, strokes and blood clots, depression, thoughts of suicide, paranoia, hallucinations, severe mood swings, and ‘roid rage’ – severe, agressive behavior that may result in violence.
Beloved female wrestler Chyna was found dead in her home in Redondo Beach, California in April 2016. Chyna, whose real name was Joan Laurer, was just 45 when she passed away, and police were uncertain as to her cause of death. Chyna entered the professional wrestling scene with a bang in 1996, when she won Rookie of the Year for the Women's Championship. She eventually became the only undefeated female champion in the history of the WWF. She parlayed her success in the ring to success on the screen, appearing in music videos and adult films later in her career.