Find Station

Wrestling World Reacts to the Death of WWE Superstar Bray Wyatt

Photo: Jamie McCarthy

Numerous professional wrestlers, fans and others paid tribute to Windham Rotunda, better known by his ring name Bray Wyatt, following news of his death.

Rotunda, 36, a former WWE champion and two-time Universal champion, was reported to have died "unexpectedly, according to former WWE wrestler turned chief content officer Paul 'Triple H' Levesque announcing Rotunda's death, citing the wrestler's father, former wrestler Mike Rotunda.

"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 on his X account.

WWE also shared a tribute to Rotunda on its official X account following Levesque's announcement.

"WWE is saddened to learn that Windham Rotunda, also known as Bray Wyatt, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 24, at age 36. WWE extends its condolences to Rotunda’s family, friends and fans," the company said.

John Cena, one of the Bray Wyatt character's biggest rivals, having shared the ring with him during multiple WrestleMania events, was among several of the industry's biggest names to pay tribute to the late wrestler.

"Devastated by the news of the passing of Windham Rotunda. My heart goes out to the entire Rotunda family. Windham brought the best out of me in so many ways. I’m forever grateful for the moments we shared. A sad day for all those he reached around the world. RIP," Cena wrote.

Rotunda is reported to have died from a heart attack, according to Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, who said he was "given permission" from the late wrestler's "loved ones [who] wanted some details clarified." The 36-year-old reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year, which "exacerbated" heart issues, Sapp reports.

Rotunda's death came days after reports that his lengthy absence from WWE television was due to a was dealing with a life threatening illness but was expected to be nearing a return.

"There was a lot of positive progress towards a return and his recovery. Unfortunately today he suffered a heart attack and passed away," Sapp wrote on his X account Thursday (August 24) night. "I encourage those reading to respect the family's privacy if at all possible, but his loved ones wanted some details clarified."

Rotunda is one of WWE's biggest superstars of the past decade. The third-generation wrestler initially debuted as Husky Harris on the reality show version of NXT and later as a member of the group Nexus before later becoming a mainstay was Bray Wyatt, a cult leader-esque character flanked by Eric Rowan and the late Luke Harper -- also known as Brodie Lee in All Elite Wrestling and other promotions -- as part of the Wyatt Family.

Rotunda would go through several notable incarnations of the character, which later included repackaging himself as a Mr. Rogers-esque host of 'Firefly Funhouse' vignettes as a split personality to 'The Fiend,' a much darker character than he had played previously.

The 36-year-old was among numerous -- and arguably the most surprising of the -- wrestlers released by the company during the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2021 before making his return in October 2022, having only wrestled one televised match at the 2023 Royal Rumble prior to his death.

Rotunda was a third-generation wrestler through his father and maternal grandfather, the late Blackjack Mulligan.

Colin Cowherd Releases His AFC and NFC Playoff Predictions

Jason Whitlock: How 'Feminist Cowards' Are Ruining the NFL

Hall of Fame Wrestler Terry Funk Dies at 79

Colin Cowherd Doubts Kenny Pickett's Potential: 'I Don't See Greatness'

Colin Cowherd: The End is Near For Trey Lance in San Francisco

NFL Commentator Compares Daniel Jones to Patrick Mahomes

Jason Whitlock: The Real Reason Michael Oher Needed a Conservatorship

One Dead, One Injured After Explosion Levels NFL Player's House

Pro Race Car Driver Ashlea Albertson Dead at 24 After Road Rage Incident

Colin Cowherd Rates the Super Bowl Chances of Every AFC Team