WWE star Bray Wyatt dies of a heart attack at 36
The wrestling world was shocked and saddened by the news of Bray Wyatt’s death on Thursday. The WWE star, whose real name was Windham Rotunda, reportedly died of a heart attack at the age of 36. He had been dealing with an undisclosed health issue that had kept him out of the ring since February, but his death was characterized as sudden by his family.
Wyatt was a three-time WWE world champion and one of the most creative and captivating performers in the industry. He came from a long-standing wrestling family, including his grandfather Blackjack Mulligan, his father Mike Rotunda and his younger brother Bo Dallas. He debuted in WWE in 2009 and went on to create several memorable characters, such as the leader of the cult-like Wyatt Family and the sinister alter ego The Fiend.
Vanessa Hudgens pays tribute to Bray Wyatt on Instagram
Among the many celebrities and fans who expressed their grief and condolences over Wyatt’s passing was actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens. The High School Musical star posted a series of photos and videos on her Instagram story, showing her friendship with Wyatt and his family. She also wrote a heartfelt message, saying that she was “truly heartbroken” by his death.
“Windham. I can’t believe you’re gone. You were truly one of a kind. A gentle giant with a heart of gold,” Hudgens wrote. “You always made me laugh so hard. I’m so grateful for the memories we made together. You were like a brother to me. You will be so missed by so many. I love you and your beautiful family so much. Rest in peace, my friend.”
Hudgens also shared a video of her singing along to Wyatt’s entrance theme song, “Live in Fear”, which was performed by metal band Mark Crozer and The Rels. She captioned it with “Your song will always live on in my heart”.
Wrestling community honors Bray Wyatt’s legacy
Wyatt’s death sparked an outpouring of tributes from his fellow wrestlers, colleagues and fans on social media. Many praised his talent, creativity and kindness, and shared their favorite moments and memories with him.
WWE Chief Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque announced Wyatt’s passing on Twitter, saying that he had “unexpectedly passed” and that WWE’s thoughts were with his family. Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, said he was “heartbroken” and had “always had tremendous respect and love” for Wyatt. Mick Foley, a WWE legend and Hall of Famer, called Wyatt “a true visionary” and “one of the most compelling presences that wrestling has ever seen”.
Wyatt’s former tag team partner Braun Strowman, who was released by WWE in June, posted a photo of them holding the Raw Tag Team Championship belts, saying that he was “at a loss for words”. Alexa Bliss, who had been paired with Wyatt on screen as his ally and protege, said that he was “an amazing person” who helped her through some of her toughest times in WWE. She also thanked him for his guidance, friendship and humor.
Wyatt’s last match in WWE was at WrestleMania 39 in April, where he faced Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship. He lost the match after being distracted by Bliss, who turned on him and joined forces with Lashley. Wyatt had not appeared on WWE programming since then, but there were rumors that he was close to returning before his death.