Professional wrestler Bray Wyatt, whose real name was Windham Rotunda, has tragically passed away at the age of 36, as announced by WWE's head of creative, Paul “Triple H” Levesque. The news was revealed on Thursday when Levesque tweeted that he had received a call from WWE Hall of Famer Mike Rotunda, Bray Wyatt's father, informing him of the unexpected passing. Levesque expressed his condolences to the family and asked for privacy during this difficult time.
The cause of Wyatt's death was not immediately disclosed, but Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp reported that it was due to a heart attack. Wyatt had been absent from television as he was recovering from a life-threatening illness, which was exacerbated by COVID-19, according to Fightful. However, the outlet had recently reported that he was nearing a return to WWE.
Wyatt was a highly accomplished wrestler, having held the WWE championship once and the promotion's Universal championship twice. He was also part of two tag-team championship teams. Many current and former WWE stars expressed their condolences to Wyatt's family, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who described himself as heartbroken over the news and praised Wyatt's unique and rare character.
Wyatt first signed with WWE in 2009 and initially wrestled in developmental promotions FCW and NXT before being promoted to the main roster in 2012. He made his debut as the leader of a stable called the Wyatt Family, which included Luke Harper, who tragically passed away in 2020, and Erick Rowan. Braun Strowman was later added to the stable.
One of Wyatt's most notable portrayals in WWE was as "The Fiend." This character was introduced through a series of surreal vignettes called "Firefly Funhouse," featuring Wyatt and deranged puppets. The Fiend became a captivating character, presenting a split personality between the Funhouse persona and the indomitable Fiend, creating a suspension of disbelief in the supernatural.
Wyatt leaves behind his fiancee, former WWE ring announcer JoJo Offerman, their two children, and two children from a previous relationship. He comes from a wrestling family, with his father and several other relatives having wrestled in WWE. Wyatt's death comes just a day after the passing of wrestling icon Terry Funk, further adding to the somber atmosphere in the wrestling community. The cause of Funk's death has not been disclosed, but he had been in poor health for some time.
Wyatt's unexpected death has shocked the wrestling world, leaving fans and fellow wrestlers mourning the loss of a talented and beloved performer. His unique character and captivating presence will be remembered as one of the defining superstars of his generation.