WWE Superstar Bray Wyatt “Unexpectedly” Passes Away, Aged 36

The world of professional wrestling is currently in mourning following the passing of former three-time world champion Bray Wyatt, real name Windham Rotunda. The ‘Eater of Worlds’ has been out of action since February due to an unexplained health issue however, many had thought that he was gearing up for his in-ring return in the coming months. Heartbreakingly, that will not now come to pass.

The news was announced late on August 24th (EST) on X, formerly known as Twitter, by WWE’s Chief Content Officer Triple H. The 14-time world champion wrote: “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.”

Following the announcement, a who’s who of the industry has paid tribute on various social media outlets. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson said that he has “tremendous respect and love” for Wyatt and that he was a “very unique, cool and rare character.” Current stars such as Cody Rhodes, Braun Strowman, The Miz, and Chris Jericho have also paid homage.

WWE To Donate All Merch Sales To Wyatt’s Immediate Family

WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is no stranger to controversy however, he has announced that all proceeds from any Bray Wyatt merch sales will be donated to Wyatt’s family. The decision was a welcome one and it proves that the company is no stranger to charitable acts, as they demonstrated once more earlier in the year.

Back in July, the likes of Bianca Belair, Montez Ford, and Big E hosted a charity poker event on behalf of WWE at the ESPY’s. The event gave celebrities who enjoy various slot games and casino classics the chance to test themselves against fellow stars – while contributing to a noble cause. The incentive was well received by the general public. The decision to donate all merch proceeds also comes as favorable news.

Master of Reinvention

Wyatt debuted back in 2014 as a villainous cult leader alongside his Wyatt Family stable and immediately cemented himself as one of the biggest attractions in all of professional wrestling. Throughout the course of his debut year, he would battle it out against some of the industry’s greatest stars, picking up victories against the likes of Daniel Bryan (AEW’s Bryan Danielson), current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, and current World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins.

He would face off against the face of the company John Cena at his first-ever WrestleMania, before battling it out with the legendary Undertaker the following year. His maiden WWE Championship victory came in the winter of 2017 however, once he lost the strap later that year to Randy Orton, the writing was on the wall that his character had gone stale. He would loiter around the mid-card for the better part of a year, before masterfully reinventing himself in April 2018.

It was then that he would welcome fans into the Firely Funhouse and the world would bear witness to one of the most intimidating characters in WWE history, the Fiend. In his new horrifying persona, Wyatt would twice capture the Universal Championship firstly by defeating Seth Rollins in Saudi Arabia, and then by defeating former Wyatt Family stablemate Braun Strowman. The Fiend character would also eventually turn stale following a number of head-scratching creative decisions and in the summer of 2021, Wyatt was released from the company.

Last year, however, he would return at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view with a third new character, and it was an immediate hit with fans. He was scheduled to face off against Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles in April however, was pulled from the card due to an unexplained illness. Four months on from that event, Wyatt tragically passed away.

Cause of Death

According to Sean Ross Sapp of, Wyatt passed away due to a heart attack. He stated that he had been given “permission” to reveal that the former WWE Champion had contracted COVID earlier in the year which exasperated a heart issue, hence why he was pulled from WWE TV. He went on to say: “There was a lot of positive progress towards a return and his recovery. Unfortunately, today he suffered a heart attack and passed away.”

As of right now, it is uncertain how WWE will honor Wyatt’s legacy. However, many expect the upcoming episode of Friday Night SmackDown to be a tribute to their former star. Rival promotions AEW and Impact Wrestling have also paid tribute, and the former is expected to honor Wyatt’s legacy with a 10-bell salute at the upcoming All In event at Wembley Stadium.

Their former star Brodie Lee (real name Jon Huber) was a member of the Wyatt Family and a close friend of Wyatt, who also passed away three years ago. Rotunda is survived by his fiancee and former WWE ring announcer Joseann Offerman and their four children.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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