13 Wrestlers Who Died In The Ring

1. Jeanette Wolfe

In the middle of the 20th century, womens' wrestling was gaining in popularity in the United States. Its undisputed world champion at the time was Mildred Burke. While she was admittedly married to the promoter of womens' wrestling, Billy Wolfe, she was, from all accounts, an unbelievably tough woman who would often beat up male wrestlers, and was not to be messed with. At the beginning of 1951, the couple adopted Janet Boyer, an 18 year old girl from Minnesota who they intended to groom to be Mildred's replacement as world champion when the time came for her to hang up her boots. They gave her the ring name of Jeanette Wolfe. On July 28th 1951, just six months into her professional wrestling career, she wrestled two matches on a show in East Liverpool, Ohio. A wrestler fighting twice on the same show was not uncommon at the time. Her first match was a singles contest against Ella Waldek, which Wolfe lost after being flung to the canvas with a bodyslam. After the match, she complained of having a "bursting headache", but she still came out for her second match, a tag match with Eva Lee against Waldek and Mae Young (yes, that Mae Young). Early on in the match, she made an unplanned tag out to Lee and promptly collapsed on the ring apron, holding onto a rope still. She was rushed to hospital but never regained consciousness and died aged 18, just months into her career. An autopsy determined that she had suffered a traumatic rupture of the stomach and a blood clot between the brain and its lining (brain haemorrhage). Either injury could have resulted in her death. It also later emerged that Wolfe had been complaining of headaches for weeks, but these complaints had been ignored. Although her death was ruled an accident, police initially arrested all of the other three participants in the match with a view to charging them with manslaughter but they were all eventually released without charge. In a eery turn of events, Wolfe's death led to Waldek becoming something of a macabre special attraction, with crowds flocking to see her and chant "murderer" at her. Waldek herself wrestled for another 20 years but wrestling also took its toll on her body: a kick that she received to the solar plexus meant that she was unable to have children. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2b43py_10-most-horrifying-wrestling-injuries-of-all-time_sport

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Dean Ayass is a well known name to British wrestling fans. A commentator, manager, booker and ring announcer who has been involved in the business since 1993, Dean's insight into the business is second to none.