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WWE Wrestler, Bray Wyatt Dies At 36: A Tribute To His Career And Legacy

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WWE Wrestler, Bray Wyatt Dies At 36: A Tribute To His Career And Legacy

Windham Lawrence Rotunda, who was best known for his time in the WWE and for using the ring names Bray Wyatt and The Fiend, has passed away.

iexclusivenews reports that Rotunda died at age 36 after a heart attack on August 24, 2023. WWE’s head content developer and former wrestler Triple H made the announcement of Rotunda’s passing on Twitter.

Since February, Rotunda had been battling a fatal illness that had not been disclosed to the public.

Rotunda had reportedly been making good progress toward recovery just days before he passed away, and two weeks prior to that, he had received a medical clearance for a WWE comeback. However, it was later revealed that COVID-19, which had aggravated a pre-existing heart condition, was the cause of his demise.

A Family Of Wrestlers

Windham Lawrence Rotunda was an American professional wrestler. He is survived by his partner, his four children, his father, grandfather, brother and uncles. Rotunda and his ex-wife, Samantha, married in 2012 and had two daughters together before she filed for divorce in 2017.

Rotunda and WWE announcer JoJo were revealed to be together during this time. They later had a son (born May 2019), whose godfather is wrestler Braun Strowman, and a daughter (born May 2020). They became engaged in 2022.

Rotunda was a third-generation professional wrestler, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Blackjack Mulligan, his father Mike Rotunda, and two of his uncles – Barry and Kendall Windham. His younger brother Taylor Rotunda is also a professional wrestler, best known as Bo Dallas.

A Versatile And Charismatic Performer

Rotunda began his wrestling career in WWE’s then-developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in 2008, where he wrestled under various ring names such as Alex Rotundo, Duke Rotundo and Husky Harris.

He briefly wrestled on WWE’s main roster from 2010 to 2011 under the ring name Husky Harris, most notably as a member of The Nexus, a group of rebellious rookies who invaded WWE shows.

After returning to WWE’s developmental territory, which had been rebranded as NXT, Rotunda was repackaged as Bray Wyatt in 2012. Portrayed as the villainous leader of The Wyatt Family, a bayou-dwelling cult, he returned to the main roster alongside Wyatt Family members Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in 2013.

He soon established himself as one of the most charismatic and captivating performers in WWE, delivering eerie promos and engaging in feuds with top stars such as John Cena, The Undertaker and Roman Reigns.

He subsequently became a three-time world champion in WWE, holding the WWE Championship once and the Universal Championship twice.

He also held the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (with Luke Harper and Randy Orton under the Freebird Rule) and the Raw Tag Team Championship (with Matt Hardy) once each.

WWE Wrestler, Bray Wyatt Dies At 36: A Tribute To His Career And Legacy

WWE Wrestler, Bray Wyatt Dies At 36: A Tribute To His Career And Legacy

In 2019, he debuted a new character called The Fiend, a sinister alter ego of Bray Wyatt who wore a terrifying mask and wielded supernatural powers.

The Fiend quickly became one of the most popular and intriguing characters in WWE history, winning fans over with his unique entrance music, creative vignettes and brutal matches.

A Tragic And Unexpected End

He was released from WWE in July 2021 but returned at Extreme Rules in October 2022, with a new character that claimed to be his “real-life” self but gradually re-incorporated his multiple personalities in addition to some new ones.

His second return would be cut short as after taking time off beginning in February 2023 due to contracting COVID-19, he unexpectedly died of a heart attack that August. During his second return, he only had one televised match, which was at the 2023 Royal Rumble.

Fellow wrestlers, including The Rock, Mick Foley, Alexa Bliss and Matt Hardy, paid tribute on social media. Fans also expressed their shock and sadness over his passing.

Many praised him for his creativity, versatility and passion for wrestling. He will be remembered as one of the most original and entertaining performers of his generation.

Rest in peace, Bray Wyatt. You will be missed by many.