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Pro-Wrestling Loses One Of Its Brightest Stars To COVID-19

By Andrew Sanford | TV | August 25, 2023 |

By Andrew Sanford | TV | August 25, 2023 |


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Windham Rotunda, known professionally as Bray Wyatt, has passed away at the age of 36. He leaves behind a partner and four children. As reported by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com, Rotunda contracted COVID-19 earlier this year, which exacerbated a heart condition that Rotunda had. Despite positive progress, the wrestler had a heart attack and died yesterday. The wrestling world mourns this tragic loss.

To call Windham Rotunda a superstar would be a massive understatement. Pro wrestling requires many physical attributes. You have to be in incredible shape but also unique. You have to be believable in the ring and on a microphone. The crowd needs to be afraid to go to the bathroom, lest they miss a moment of you onscreen. Superstardom requires a “Total Package” level of talent, and Windham was that total package.

Windham had wrestling in his blood. His father, Mike Rotunda, was the intimidating character I.R.S. in the ’90s. His brother, Taylor Rotunda, wrestled under the name Bo Dallas and recently returned to the WWE with Windham. Still, you would not know of the familial connection unless you were in the know. Windham went out of his way to forge his own legacy as Bray Wyatt.

The character of Bray Wyatt was the most exciting new presence in decades. The lights would go out, and he would enter with a lantern, resembling a bayou-bound cult leader. Seeing sold-out crowds in the thousands raise their cellphone lights to play along was a sight to behold. Later on, he would morph into the character known as the Fiend bringing his terrifying persona to a creative and invigorating new level.

Recently, Windham returned to the WWE after a year away. Again, he reinvented his character in a new and exciting way. He was cutting elaborate promos and building up excitement for another incredible run. Unfortunately, we will never know how the next phase in his extraordinary career would have shaken out. All we know for sure is that it would have been special.