Throughout WWE history, we have seen many former WWE Superstars that died far too young. We all know that it was due to things like drugs, alcohol, and even unprotected sex that caused disease. Regardless of how they die, they do so because they took up things they should not have.
Some stopped and that led to them having a chance at a better life, but the damage done was too much for them to recover from. This put a huge blackness on the world of pro-wrestling, and WWE felt that this was a terrible thing. After the death of Eddie Guerrero, WWE set up what is now known as the WWE Wellness Policy.
Once Chris Benoit passed, the policy was heavily upgraded with suspensions being handed down to anyone who failed. Many have sadly been suspended and even fired from the WWE due to this. People like Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio failed the drug testing and most recently WWE Superstar Paige was suspended twice in a row for her failure.
Most believe this policy helped clean up the world of pro-wrestling, which gave us healthier stars, which is always good. However, the past wrestlers of WWE were a huge issue and there were many wrestlers who would have failed today’s WWE Wellness Policy.
15. Bret Hart
You may be shocked to know that the Hitman himself was once a drug addict. Bret Hart mentioned himself that everyone used steroids seemingly, so he was not above it. However, this was by no means the random thing we’re talking about. Bret Hart claimed he used cocaine in his 2007 autobiography, where he also attacked other wrestlers who used drugs.
He mentioned in the book that he went to a party and used cocaine there to seemingly earn the trust of other wrestlers who were seeing him as the son of Stu Hart and NOT the man he became. Of course, if Hart would have been tested today, he would have failed very easily and no one knows how much cocaine he used after this if he ever did.
14. Miss Elizabeth
Lex had his demons too, and we’ll get to them soon, and it seems she followed in his footsteps. The two were due to get married at one point but Liz made domestic violence claims when Lex blackened her eyes and split her lip up. Lex would then get arrested for driving under the influence, and with Elizabeth in the car, no less. This caused her to be sent home in a cab.
Sadly on May 1st 2003, Luger made a 911 call to report that Elizabeth wasn’t breathing when he found her. She wasn’t responding to attempts to revive her, and was taken to the hospital where she pronounced dead due to severe toxicity involving vodka and painkillers. Elizabeth was just 42.
13. Eddie Guerrero
The man who made the entire WWE Wellness Policy happen was Eddie Guerrero. His heartbreaking death left every fan sad. It was one of the worst things we could go through as fans at the time, especially when he was still an active and amazing performer even at the age of 38.
He would sadly pass away in 2005 due to an undiagnosed arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease and enlargement of his heart. This was caused due to his years of steroid abuse to get bigger like so many others did before him. Of course, he had not used in some time but his use for years led to a problem with his heart. Due to all of this, WWE made the policy to help catch people before things got too far.
12. Curt Hennig
Mr. Perfect, also known by his real name Curt Hennig, may have literally been one of the best in-ring workers of all time. When it comes to great technicians, he’s in the top five. Many knew he had demons like others in the 80s and 90s, but he would get the chance to return to WWE in 2002 where he made an appearance in the Royal Rumble Match in the Rumble match itself. Vince McMahon was so impressed by his return that he offered Curt a contract to return.
Sadly on February 10, 2003, Curt Hennig was found dead in a Florida hotel room. The cause of death was determined as a cocaine intoxication, which is not odd to hear for people from the Attitude Era and the 80s wrestling boom.
11. Vince McMahon
Yes, we added Vince McMahon to the list. Let’s be honest, we all knew Vince was on steroids and would never pass the WWE Wellness Policy if he had it in place when he used them. Vince openly admitted to taking steroids during the Steroid Trial he was part of in 1994, due to being indicted by a federal court after steroids took over the WWE in 1993.
It was a terrible time for WWE, but most importantly McMahon, who had to openly admit he took steroids to get bigger to be like one of the boys. Most thought since he used, he would clearly encourage his wrestlers to do so. Since it was the land of the giants, many fell to this because Vince loved big guys and the only way to make it was to become one. This was the entire reason for the indictment as there was evidence to use.
10. The Ultimate Warrior
It should not be shocking to hear that the Ultimate Warrior was a user. Warrior notably took steroids, which he admitted to doing. It is unknown if he stopped taking after he left wrestling, but some believe he did.
He would eventually return to WWE and be part of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014. He would participate in all WrestleMania week activities and then appeared on WWE RAW following the 30th WrestleMania event to deliver an epic but ominous promo. He would pass away a day later.
9. Shawn Michaels
Newer fans to the world of pro-wrestling may be shocked to hear that Shawn Michaels was a terrible user of drugs during his time in WWE. He would come back healthy and as a born again Christian, leading him down the right path and to an amazing last ten years with WWE.
However, during the Attitude Era, Michaels was known for his party problems. At one point, Triple H reportedly had to dress the Heartbreak Kid and get him from place to place due to how bad things would get. Remember Vince getting in trouble for steroid issues? This led him to suspending people for using when issues were coming out in 1993, as WWE had a mini-policy for the worst offenders. This led to HBK getting suspended while Intercontinental Champion, which forced him to come back as champion just to see WWE crown Razor Ramon IC Champ while he was gone.
8. The Texas Tornado
The Von Erich Family are plagued with tragedy due the deaths of most of the family in such short order. One of the members who passed early was Kerry Von Erich, known as the Texas Tornado. All of his major issues started when he had a motorcycle accident in 1986. He did serious damage to his foot in the incident and also dislocated his hip. Doctors managed to save the foot, but Kerry apparently stood too soon on it and it would end up having to be amputated.
He would actually wear a prosthesis the rest of his career, which was kept very secret. Due to the pain this incident had caused him, Kerry would dive into pain killers, Valium, and cocaine to help with the problem. Von Erich would commit suicide by shooting himself in the heart in 1993. Many feel that if a drug policy had been in place, Kerry may have gotten help for his drug problem and even treatment for his pain, too.
7. British Bulldog
Known by most for his classic match with Bret Hart at the 1992 WWE SummerSlam event for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, Davey Boy Smith was one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time. Going by the British Bulldog name, Davey would go on to have great success in WWE both as a singles competitor and as a tag team worker with the Dynamite Kid. Sadly, Bulldog would suffer a back injury in 1998, which led Bulldog to relying on pain killers to help him cope with the pain.
It was well known before all of this that Bulldog used steroids and HGH to help him get bigger when he was an active wrestler with WWE. Combined with his pain killer addiction, he would eventually pass in 2002 while on vacation. USA Today reported steroids did play a part in the death.
If the Kliq was known for anything, it was pretty much for taking over WWE and giving us the terrible rise of X-Pac. He would be given title after title, defeating far more talented people and even develop what is know known as “X-Pac Heat” due to severe hatred from fans whether he was face or heel.
However, one of the biggest things people know about Pac outside of his various title wins was that he loved to party and had drug issues for years. He admitted in an interview with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin back in 2015 that he even shot up drugs before a match with AJ Styles once, proving how far gone he had been at one point in his career.
5. Hulk Hogan
Possibly the biggest star in pro-wrestling history may have had a lot of problems becoming that if a drug policy happened to be around years ago. Hulk Hogan became a star for the WWE with trademark looks that were too tough to miss. His arms were huge and so was he. That wasn’t because he ate a lot of protein and worked out a lot.
4. Lex Luger
Lex Luger used steroids; it was obvious and the biggest open secret in WWE that no one would argue. The question was, did he use more than just the steroids through his WWE career? Many believe it was his demons that brought down Miss Elizabeth to an early death. However, Luger has been blamed for her death due to his demons, which led him to be hated by the wrestling community.
If he would have been subjected to the drug policies we have in place now with the WWE, then he would have never been as big as he was, but he would have at least been clean. Either that, or he would have never been with WWE. He sadly suffered a spinal stroke that led him to be disabled in 2007. But he has since been able to walk a bit and drive.
One of the heartbreakers of the list is Chyna, who passed away just a little while back. She suffered through years of drug abuse. She would kick it at times but get right back on them. She would seek treatment, but nothing worked. This all started for her during the Attitude Era and mostly after Triple H left her for Stephanie McMahon.
It was obvious Chyna used steroids for a while, but she would end up doing every drug one could think of and then getting involved in adult films for a while. She would try to get back into WWE before her untimely death, but she would never be allowed back due to her track record. She would end up passing away in April of this year and her brain would be donated to science to help with the study of CTE.
2. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake Roberts was best known for his pet snake for years, and also known for inventing the popular DDT move that has about a thousand variations nowadays. However, people most know him for his time out of the ring rather than in it sadly. He has had SEVERAL problems with drugs. If there is a drug, he would take it… seriously. Additionally, he has been an alcoholic and went to rehab with no results.
Thankfully, DDP was able to reach his friend Jake and help him get clean and lose a lot of weight in the process. Jake has remained in a good state for a couple years now and fans could not be happier for him because they know he needed to be.
1. Scott Hall/Razor Ramon
Possibly the worst drug and alcohol abuser is Scott Hall. For years we saw so many horrible things happen to him. Even dating back to his early days, he was linked to drugs. He was even fired from WWE when he returned to be part of the NWO in 2002. Once the WWE Draft took place, Hall was let go shortly after in May of that year.
He would go on to TNA and never return to WWE as an active performer again. This was due to several drug problems throughout the 2000s as well. Some of them caught in public in terrible ways. It was hard to watch and hear about as a WWE fan because all we ever wanted was for the guy to get clean. If a WWE drug policy had been around like it is today, perhaps he could have been helped sooner.