In a shock to the wrestling world, WWE legend “Bray Wyatt,” whose real name was Windham Rotunda, passed away suddenly at age 36.
While Wyatt hadn’t been seen on screen since February 2023, it emerged that he had been battling an unspecified illness, according to The Daily Caller.
WWE enthusiasts and colleagues, including superstar Dwayne Johnson and WWE boss Triple H, have paid heartfelt tributes, underlining his massive contribution and impact on the wrestling world.
On Thursday, Triple H tweeted, “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.”
Bray Wyatt’s brilliance was evident in his ever-evolving, imaginative personas. Widely remembered as the cult leader of the Wyatt Family, where he led the team alongside Erick Rowan and the late Luke Harper (Brodie Lee), Wyatt challenged giants like John Cena, Kane and The Shield.
His unexpected release from WWE in 2021 was soon followed by a sensational return in October 2022, portraying a character mirroring his real-life persona. This comeback featured his real-life brother, wrestler Bo Dallas, in the form of the mysterious Uncle Howdy.
Wyatt’s scheduled face-off with Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania in April 2023 was ultimately interrupted, leading to reports of his undisclosed illness. The tragic cause of death has been identified by wrestling reporter Sean Ross Sapp as a heart attack.
“I was given permission to reveal that earlier this year, Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt) got COVID that exacerbated heart issues,” Sapp explained, “There was a lot of positive progress towards a return and his recovery. Unfortunately, today, he suffered a heart attack and passed away.”
A storm of tributes has been coming in on social media, capturing the widespread sense of disbelief and grief from the wrestling community. WWE star Alexa Bliss shared, “Just in shock. Extremely heart broken And at a loss for words.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted, “Im heartbroken over the news of Bray Wyatt’s passing. Always had tremendous respect and love for him and the Rotunda family. Loved his presence, promos, in ring work and connection with @wwe universe.”
Beyond the wrestling ring, Windham Rotunda was a father to two daughters from his previous marriage and a son with WWE announcer Jojo, to whom he was engaged.
This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.