Hulk Hogan claims wrestlers 'turn to overmedicating' after retiring

Hulk Hogan claims wrestlers ‘turn to overmedicating and drinking’ to adjust to life after retiring from the ring, leading to ‘tragedy’ of young deaths

  • A number of pro wrestling stars who have passed away at premature ages
  • Bray Wyatt suddenly died after suffering cardiac arrest at the age of 36 last week
  • provides all the latest international sports news

Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan has claimed that the ‘turbulence’ some wrestlers experience after finishing their careers in the ring could contribute to early deaths. 

WWE star Bray Wyatt became one of many wrestlers to pass away at a young age when he died after suffering cardiac arrest at the age of 36 last week.  

And Hogan has attempted to shed some light on the possible reasons behind the number of premature deaths among wrestlers, claiming that the busy schedule they live through leads some to turn to overusing pain killers. 

He added that some can’t handle the change of pace in their lives once their career ends and they begin to drink or take drugs.  

‘It was the schedule first off and not having any real ‘rules,’ Hogan said on Joe Rogan’s podcast last week. 

Hulk Hogan claimed wrestlers ‘turn to overmedicating and drinking’ to adjust to retiring

‘Vince McMahon runs the show, okay? So let’s just say, Roman Reigns, a huge star, and when he goes out to wrestle someone like Dolph Ziggler, the referee, Vince or whoever is the agent is going to say Roman Reigns is going to beat you with the Superman punch. Okay fine. 

‘[…] It was the schedule, which was really taxing because we were running really hard back in the day. You could go to Austin, Texas one night, “Oh doc, I hurt my back.” “Okay, Hogan here’s 30 percs.” Next night, you’re in Chicago. “Doc, I hurt my back.” “Oh okay.” Every single town there was a doctor, and that’s how this whole thing gets started. 

‘And then all of a sudden it ends for whatever reason, and you go home and you don’t fit in at home because you’ve been gone for 10 or 12 years, the wife has raised the kids, you walk in and you don’t fit in. 

‘That’s when the drinking starts and, I tell my girl all the time, I get this crazy turbulence in me and it hits me at like seven or eight o’clock at night. 

‘[…] When you’re used to breaking into that sweat, and wrestling a man your own size, and physically getting worn out every night, you miss that. And a lot of these guys go home and they don’t know how to adjust and then all of a sudden they adjust with overmedicating and drinking and next thing you know, there’s a tragedy,’

Hogan also opened up on his own struggles with fentanyl addiction after undergoing several procedures on his back 

‘They almost killed me with that stuff,’ Hogan said.

‘I sweated through the bed and all the way through the mattress several times,’ he added, while discussing the effects of coming off the pan killer. 

Bray Wyatt he died suddenly after suffering cardiac arrest at the age of 36 last week

Wyatt had not been seen in WWE since the Royal Rumble in January in a match vs LA Knight

Wyatt (center) saw his rise to stardom while leading the ‘Wyatt Family’ with fellow superstars Braun Strowman (left), Erick Rowan (right) and Luke Harper (not pictured) 

‘I saw my wife’s teeth come out [of her head] and talk to me. I saw a plastic squirt gun come out of her chest. This was just coming off of the fentanyl. I lost 35 pounds.’

Hogan’s comments came just before Bray Wyatt died last week of cardiac arrest, with it being revealed Monday that he was not wearing his doctor-recommended heart defibrillator at the time. 

According to police records, Wyatt told his fiancé, WWE ring announcer JoJo, that he was going to take a nap. However, she became worried after hearing his alarm going off for about an hour without him waking. 

Upon going to check on him she then discovered his body turning blue as he was laying in bed. Bray was not breathing, prompting JoJo to call 911 as her mother attempted to CPR. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Wyatt’s family members told officers he had developed heart complications that led to him having a ‘weak lower part of his heart’, after developing heart issues after catching COVID back in March of this year.

Wyatt is one of many wrestlers to pass away at a young age. One of the most famous premature death among all pro wrestlers is that of Eddie Guerrero, who passed away November 13, 2005, aged 38, due to acute heart failure resulting from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. 

Another prominent name was Andre the Giant, who suffered congestive heart failure at the age of 46. 

There are countless examples of famed wrestlers who have passed in their 30s, 40s and 50s. The reasons for each understandably vary and of course, in some cases, wrestling is not a link.

The death of legendary WWE superstar Eddie Guerrero back in 2005 stunned the sports world

Andre the Giant’s sudden passing due to congestive heart failure at 46 rocked wrestling

And yet, a 2014 study conducted by Eastern Michigan University analyzed causes of death for those who wrestled between 1985 and 2011. It revealed deaths related to drug overdose were 122.7x higher. Similarly, death via cardiovascular complications was 15.1x greater than the average male.

The passing of WWE Hall of Famer Scott Hall on March 14, 2022 – aged 63 – prompted former colleagues Brett Hart and Kevin Nash to speak to the grim realities wrestlers, particularly from the 80s and 90s, have endured.

‘We’ve lost so many wrestlers from my era, and this is just one more to a list that’s far too long,’ Hart said in a Facebook post following Hall’s death. 

I won’t blame any one thing, but I do believe that if the days of wrestling 300 days a year had been kinder and more considerate, if we could’ve been home with our loved ones more, many of my old friends and brothers would still be here.’

In response to Hart’s comments, Nash replied; ‘100% the meat grinder hasn’t been kind to the crews that ran 300 plus days. 

‘The mental and physical pain of those years scar hard and deep but the men that I shared my life with were such a special breed and many life long friends.’

Such is the scale of premature death from those eras that 17 of the 36 wrestlers who performed in WrestleMania VI (1990) have since passed. 

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