WWE wrestler Bray Wyatt has passed away. The beloved wrestler, known for his role as the leader of the Wyatt family and The Fiend, died at the age of 36 after suffering a heart attack.
The death of Wyatt, whose real name was Windham Rotunda, was announced yesterday by WWE chief content officer and former WWE superstar Paul “Triple H” Levesque on his official Twitter account.
“Just received a call from WWE Hall of Famer Mike Rotunda who informed us of the tragic news that our WWE family member for life Windham Rotunda - also known as Bray Wyatt - unexpectedly passed earlier today. Our thoughts are with his family and we ask that everyone respect their privacy at this time,” Levesque wrote.
Wyatt hadn’t been on WWE programming since his final match against LA Knight in the Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match at the Royal Rumble in January. At the time, Fightful Select (via Wrestling Inc.) reported that Wyatt took some time away to recover from a “career- and life-threatening” illness.
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select revealed on Twitter that the reason Wyatt was sidelined was due to his contracting covid, which reportedly exacerbated his heart issues.
“There was a lot of positive progress towards a return and his recovery,” Ross Sapp tweeted. “Unfortunately today he suffered a heart attack and passed away.”
The third-generation wrestler first debuted in WWE in 2010 as Husky Harris before being repackaged as the cultist leader of the Wyatt Family in 2013 alongside Erick Rowan and the late Luke Harper. Wyatt would later headline Wrestlemania in a match against The Undertaker, win the WWE tag team championships, and become the WWE World Heavyweight and Universal Champion. Toward the end of his career, Wyatt took the WWE universe by storm with the debut of his new character, The Fiend: an amalgamation of a Blue’s Clues-esque TV host and a Freddy Krueger-like horror villain.
WWE superstars John Cena, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Alexa Bliss, as well as AEW superstars like Wyatt’s former tag team partner Matt Hardy, shared their heartbreak over Wyatt’s passing on social media.
Wyatt was the type of wrestler who could have an audience hanging on the edge of their seats, whether it be from the awesome pageantry of his ever-creative Firefly Funhouse segments, his otherworldly entrances, or his explosive in-ring moves. Wyatt’s notoriety within the world of professional wrestling eventually led to a touching moment where The Undertaker passed the torch to Wyatt as the company’s next phenom. Wyatt’s passing also comes days after the passing of WWE Hall-of-Famer Terry Funk.