3 Professional Wrestlers Die on Same Day of Separate Causes
Brian Lawler, Josip Peruzovic and Frederick Seawright all lost their lives on Sunday, authorities said.
The world of professional wrestling has been left in mourning after three former stars died of separate causes over the weekend.
Brian Lawler, Josip Peruzovic and Frederick Seawright all lost their lives Sunday, authorities said.
Lawler, who was better known as Brian Christopher, was found unresponsive Saturday after he had apparently tried to take his own life inside a Tennessee jail cell. He had been arrested in July for DUI and evading police.
He was rushed to a hospital, and died the following day after being taken off life support. He was 46 years old.
"He was really good at his job," Inside Edition’s Steven Fabian said of the wrestler, who rose to prominence in the WWF (now known as the WWE) in the late 90s. "His job was to be a really annoying bad guy who had one of those faces you just really wanted to punch."
Christopher, who also went by the moniker "Grandmaster Sexay," wrestled in the shadow of his famous father.
“You can't talk about Brian Christopher without talking about his dad, who was Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler, one of the most famous names in professional wrestling, both in the ring and as a commentator,” Fabian said.
Christopher’s arguably most famous role was as one-half of a tag team partnership with fellow wrestler and antagonist Scott Taylor. Together, they were known as the Too Cool duo.
“They actually had a very famous moment during a Royal Rumble, where they … did this sort of dance performance, this hip-hop dance performance, that the crowd loved — it was a huge moment, arguably the most famous moment of Brian Christopher’s career in pro wrestling," Fabian said.
Josip Peruzovic, known in the wrestling world as Nikolai Volkoff, also died this weekend.
Peruzovic died at his Maryland home after a recent hospital stay. He was 70.
Peruzovic was a mainstay in the ring during the 1980s, as his Russian character served as a literal punching bag at the height of Cold War anxiety in the U.S.
“He would wear a USSR shirt, and wear that sort of iconic Russian hat, and he would sing,” Fabian said. “He had a terrible singing voice and he would sing the Russian national anthem to the entire arena, which of course, the whole crowd would boo him, because he was an awful singer and he was playing a Russian sympathizer."
Peruzovic was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
A third wrestler, Frederick Seawright, better known in the ring as Brickhouse Brown, died Sunday as well after losing his battle with prostate cancer. He was 57.
Seawright rose to prominence in the 1980s and remained active until his cancer diagnosis last year. One of his many opponents included Jerry Lawler, Brian Lawler’s father.
“No false finishes … no more swerves … no more kickouts,” former wrestler Luke Graham wrote in a Facebook post confirming Seawright’s death. “After a hard fight ... he has left us."
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