Truly shocking and horrible news today out of the world of professional wrestling:
Bray Wyatt, one of the most successful and popular WWE superstars of his generation, had died unexpectedly at the age of 36.
The tragedy was confirmed late Thursday by company executive Triple H in a statement on social media.
“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,” wrote Triple H.
“Our thoughts are with his family and we ask that everyone respect their privacy at this time.”
No cause of death has been announced at this time.
Wyatt joined WWE’s main roster in 2010 under the name Husky Harris, prior to departing a year later.
He rejoined the main roster in 2013 as the leader of The Wyatt Family, which is when his career truly took off.
Wyatt was a three-time world champion in WWE, including the WWE Championship on one occasion and Universal Championship on two occasions.
He took a brief hiatus from August 2018 to April 2019 and returned with a new character, a mix of Bray Wyatt and his other side, The Fiend.
Wyatt had memorable matches at WrestleMania over the years with such company icons as The Undertaker and John Cena.
The veteran performer also came from a long line of wrestlers:
His father was Hall of Famer, Mike Rotunda and his grandfather was Blackjack Mulligan, while his uncles were Barry and Kendall Windham.
Before joining the world’s biggest wrestling promotion, Wyatt wrestled under the name “Alex Rotundo” in the FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling).
Wyatt was married to former WWE ring announcer JoJo Offerman.
They had two kids and Rotunda had two other children from a previous marriage.
As soon as news of his passing went viral, tributes started to pour in from those who knew him, cared about him and/or worked with him.
Wrote Matt Hardy on Instagram, for example:
Absolutely shattered to learn that my friend, Windham Rotunda, has passed away. It’s devastating to think he left us at only 36 years young. My condolences go out to his family, wife & children. I’m so sorry, my compeer. Miss you already.
May Windham Rotunda rest in peace