On August 24th, the pro-wrestling world was stunned by the announcement that 36-year-old WWE wrestler Bray Wyatt, real name Windham Lawrence Rotunda, had suddenly passed away.

Bray Wyatt welcomes viewers to the latest episode of Firefly Funhouse

Bray Wyatt welcomes viewers to the latest episode of Firefly Funhouse

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Making the unfortunate announcement on X, WWE Paul Chief Content Officer “Triple H” Levesque, informed the wrestling world and its fans, “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,” he added.

Triple H via X

According to Sean Ross Sapp of wrestling-centric news outlet Fightful Wrestling, Wyatt is believed to have died of a heart attack relating to his ongoing fight with an as-of-yet-undisclosed illness.

“I was given permission to reveal that earlier this year Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt) got COVID that exacerbated a heart issues,” wrote Sapp. “There was a lot of positive progress towards a return and his recovery. Unfortunately today he suffered a heart attack and passed away.”

Sean Ross Sapp via X

Sean Ross Sapp via X

The news of Wyatt’s death was a massive shock to the pro-wrestling world, especially as it came following the wrestler’s mysterious, months-long absence from television.

Wyatt was last on WWE television back in February, at which time he was working the lead-up to a match against WWE superstar Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania 39.

Bray Wyatt hypes up his return to Smackdown

Bray Wyatt hypes up his return to Smackdown

However, this build-up would be abruptly canceled, with Wyatt thereafter disappearing from television with no official explanation for his absence.

As such, Wyatt’s last match was at a WWE house show in Rockford, Illinois on February 26th in which he defeated LA Knight.

Bray Wyatt delivers his 'Sermon to the Snake' on the April 17th, 2017 episode of Raw

Bray Wyatt delivers his ‘Sermon to the Snake’ on the April 17th, 2017 episode of Raw

Sadly, just ten days before his death, Wyatt’s father and former WWE Legend Mike “I.R.S.” Rotunda told Sportskeeda WrestleBinge that he believed his son was on track to return to WWE television.

“You read a lot of stuff on the internet, which I wouldn’t believe a lot of it or, in my case, any of it,” said Rotunda. “So, Bray Wyatt, I’m sure he will return to WWE hopefully shortly, and we’ll go from there.”

Sadly, that return did not happen.


Wyatt debuted in WWE back in 2009 in the developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling. After a failed run with the WWE villain team Nexus as the character “Husky Harris”, Wyatt returned to FCW and reinvented himself as Bray Wyatt, a Southern-style cult leader, before going on to become a three-time WWE Champion and two-time Tag-Team Champion.

In 2019, Wyatt would reinvent himself once again as ‘The Fiend’, a manifestation of his dark side whose appearance was provided by horror make-up legend Tom Savini. A wildly popular character, The Fiend was at one point the WWE’s top merchandise seller.

Bray Wyatt debuts as The Fiend at SummerSlam 2019

Bray Wyatt debuts as The Fiend at SummerSlam 2019

However, in the years leading up to his death, Wyatt would begin to go through a personal downfall.

On December 26th 2020, Wyatt’s best friend and fellow wrestler Brodie Lee, real name Jon Huber, died unexpectedly after a short battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a rare condition which causes one’s lung tissue to thicken until it can no longer function.

Huber’s death was said to have led to Wyatt experiencing a case of major depression, all of which was only made worse when he was released by the WWE just eight months later.

Bray Wyatt and Jon Huber in 2017

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Then, in September 2022, Wyatt would find a spot of good fortune and re-sign with the WWE.

But after an exciting return, his final run with the company – which concluded in a poorly received match at the 2023 Royal Rumble against LA Knight – would ultimately be deemed lackluster by both critics and audiences alike.

Bray Wyatt takes on LA Knight during the Full Pitch Black Match at the January 28th, 2023 WWE Royal Rumble

Bray Wyatt takes on LA Knight during the Full Pitch Black Match at the January 28th, 2023 WWE Royal Rumble

In the wake of Wyatt’s death being made public, a number of current and former WWE wrestlers took to social media to give their condolences to the wrestler and his family.

“Devastated to hear of the passing of Windham Rotunda, Bray Wyatt.” wrote WWE Legend William Regal on X. “My deepest condolences to Mike, Bo, Barry and all his family. Rest well my friend.”

William Regal via X

William Regal via X

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“Man…the first dude that took me under his wing when I got signed in 2009,” said WWE Superstar Ettore “Big E” Ewen. “We spent so much of our adult lives together. Praying for Jojo. Praying for his kids. I will miss your laugh & your boyish charm, my friend. Goodbye, Windham.”

Ettore Ewen via X

Ettore Ewen via X

Sharing a picture of herself with Wyatt in his ‘The Fiend’ persona, Alexa Bliss told fans, “I’m just in shock.”

“Extremely heart broken and at a loss for words,” she continued. “What I can say is what an amazing human being Windham is. An Amazing & kind friend. one of the most creative minds to ever walk this earth. Windham, you’ve brought so much joy and happiness to everyone around you. It’s going to take me some time to really process this. Sending my love to the Rotunda Family, Jojo & their babies. We love you Windham.”

Alexa Bliss via Twitter

Alexa Bliss via Twitter

“I’m heartbroken over the news of Bray Wyatt’s passing,” wrote Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. “Always had tremendous respect and love for him and the Rotunda family. Loved his presence, promos, in ring work and connection with @wwe universe. Very unique, cool and rare character, which is hard to create in our crazy world of pro wrestling.”

“Still processing losing the goat, Terry Funk yesterday and now Bray today,” added the wrestler-turned-Hollywood-actor. “My love, light, strength & mana to the Rotunda family and Funk family during this tough, heartbreaking time. As always, ‘thank you for the house’ #ohana”.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson via Twitter

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson via X

As of writing, the WWE is currently making plans to take care of Wyatt’s family as they deal with this difficult time.

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