The WWE has entertained fans with dramatic wrestling matches for decades. But sometimes, the dangers of the sport turn real when wrestlers suffer fatal in-ring injuries or health emergencies.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Several WWE wrestlers have died in the ring or shortly thereafter, including Owen Hart, Brian Ong, and Pedro Aguayo Ramirez.

This article will provide a comprehensive look at the tragic on-air deaths of WWE wrestlers, how they occurred, the response, and measures put in place to prevent future in-ring fatalities.

Owen Hart’s Fall at Over the Edge 1999

Owen Hart, a beloved professional wrestler, tragically lost his life during a pay-per-view event called Over the Edge in 1999. This incident sent shockwaves through the wrestling community and fans around the world.

The circumstances surrounding Hart’s death serve as a reminder of the dangers involved in the world of professional wrestling.

Equipment Malfunction Led to 78-foot Fall

During a stunt that was meant to lower Owen Hart from the rafters of the arena, an equipment malfunction occurred. Hart was supposed to descend slowly to the ring, but due to a mechanical failure, he fell approximately 78 feet from the ceiling.

This unexpected and tragic turn of events stunned everyone in attendance and watching at home.

This incident highlights the importance of proper equipment maintenance and safety measures in the wrestling industry. The well-being of the performers should always be the top priority, and steps should be taken to ensure that accidents like this do not happen again.

Transported to Hospital, Died of Internal Bleeding

After the fall, Owen Hart was immediately rushed to the hospital. However, despite the efforts of medical professionals, he tragically succumbed to his injuries. The cause of death was determined to be internal bleeding caused by the impact of the fall.

The untimely death of Owen Hart sparked a discussion about the safety protocols in place within the wrestling industry. It prompted organizations such as the WWE to reevaluate their practices and implement stricter safety measures to protect the wrestlers.

This tragic event serves as a reminder of the risks involved in performing high-risk stunts and the need for constant vigilance in ensuring the safety of the wrestlers.

For more information about Owen Hart’s tragic fall and its impact on the wrestling industry, you can visit WWE’s official website.

Brian Ong Suffered Fatal Head Trauma in 2001

Brian Ong, a talented WWE wrestler, tragically lost his life in the ring in 2001. The incident occurred during a match when Ong collapsed after receiving a flapjack move from his opponent. It was a shocking moment for both the audience and fellow wrestlers, as no one expected such a devastating outcome.

Collapsed After Receiving Flapjack Move

Ong’s collapse came as a result of a high-risk move known as the flapjack. This move involves one wrestler lifting their opponent onto their shoulders before slamming them face-first onto the mat. Unfortunately, something went terribly wrong during the execution of this move, leading to Ong’s collapse.

The flapjack move is known for its potential to cause serious injuries if not performed correctly. The impact of the move can put immense strain on the neck and head, making it a risky maneuver. While accidents are rare in professional wrestling, this incident serves as a reminder of the inherent dangers involved in the sport.

Died Due to Impact on Brain

Following his collapse, Ong was immediately rushed to the hospital, where doctors discovered he had suffered a fatal head trauma. The impact of the flapjack move had caused severe damage to his brain, leading to his untimely demise.

Brain injuries are a serious concern in contact sports, and professional wrestling is no exception. The physicality and high-risk maneuvers involved in the sport make it crucial for wrestlers to prioritize their safety and take necessary precautions to avoid such tragic incidents.

It is important to remember Brian Ong and other wrestlers who have lost their lives in the ring. Their sacrifices and dedication to their craft should serve as a reminder of the risks involved in professional wrestling and the need for safety measures to be implemented and enforced.

Pedro Aguayo Ramirez’s Spinal Injury in 2015

Pedro Aguayo Ramirez, known by his ring name Hijo del Perro Aguayo, was a Mexican professional wrestler who tragically suffered a fatal spinal injury during a match in 2015. The incident sent shockwaves throughout the wrestling community and highlighted the dangerous nature of the sport.

Hit Dropkick Caused Severe Whiplash

During a tag team match in Tijuana, Mexico, Ramirez received a dropkick from fellow wrestler Rey Mysterio Jr. The impact of the move caused Ramirez’s head to snap back violently, resulting in severe whiplash and immediate loss of consciousness.

This devastating injury was a stark reminder of the physical risks involved in professional wrestling. Despite the scripted nature of the matches, the athleticism and acrobatics displayed by the wrestlers can lead to serious accidents and injuries.

While the cause of Ramirez’s death was ultimately attributed to a cervical stroke caused by the injury, it sparked a broader conversation about safety measures and regulations within the industry.

Announced Dead at Hospital Hours Later

After the incident, Ramirez was rushed to a nearby hospital, but sadly, he was pronounced dead several hours later. The news of his passing sent shockwaves throughout the wrestling world, as fans and fellow wrestlers mourned the loss of a talented performer.

The tragedy prompted discussions about the importance of proper medical attention and emergency protocols at wrestling events. It also shed light on the need for increased awareness and education regarding the potential dangers of high-risk maneuvers.

Wrestling organizations and promotions have since taken steps to implement stricter safety guidelines to protect their athletes. This includes mandatory medical check-ups, training programs focused on injury prevention, and stricter protocols for identifying and addressing potential risks in the ring.

Despite the inherent risks, professional wrestling continues to captivate audiences around the world. Fans and performers alike recognize the dedication and passion that goes into the sport, but tragedies like Ramirez’s serve as a reminder of the importance of prioritizing safety in an industry known for its high-intensity and physicality.

WWE Changes to Protect Wrestlers

More Stringent Testing and Wellness Policy

WWE has made significant changes in recent years to ensure the safety and well-being of their wrestlers. One of the key changes is the implementation of more stringent testing and a comprehensive wellness policy.

The company now conducts regular drug testing to detect and deter the use of performance-enhancing substances, as well as recreational drugs. This policy not only protects the health of the wrestlers but also maintains the integrity of the sport.

Moreover, WWE has put in place a comprehensive wellness program that focuses on the overall health and well-being of their wrestlers. This program includes regular medical check-ups, mental health support, and education on nutrition and exercise.

By prioritizing the physical and mental well-being of their talent, WWE aims to prevent any potential health issues and provide a safe working environment.

Banning Dangerous Maneuvers and Routines

Another crucial step taken by WWE to protect their wrestlers is the banning of dangerous maneuvers and routines that could lead to serious injuries or fatalities. The company has implemented strict guidelines regarding the types of moves and routines that can be performed in the ring to minimize the risk of accidents.

WWE’s commitment to safety is evident in their decision to ban certain high-risk moves, such as the Piledriver and the Curb Stomp. These moves, although crowd-pleasing, pose a significant risk to the wrestlers involved.

By prohibiting these maneuvers, WWE ensures the safety of their talent and reduces the likelihood of tragic incidents in the ring.

Additionally, WWE has introduced mandatory training programs for all their wrestlers, focusing on proper technique and safe execution of moves. This not only helps to prevent injuries but also enhances the overall quality of the matches, as wrestlers can perform at their best without compromising their well-being.


The shocking deaths of WWE wrestlers in the ring have prompted vast reforms to safety and wellness procedures. While the sport maintains an element of danger, policies enacted over the past two decades have helped reduce life-threatening risks.

While nothing can undo these tragic losses, their legacies have brought greater awareness to protecting the health and safety of all WWE performers.

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