WWE superstar Bray Wyatt dies at age 36

World Wrestling Entertainment star Bray Wyatt dies at 36
Posted at 1:36 PM, Aug 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-25 16:38:37-04

(KGTV) – Pro wrestling star Windham Rotunda, best known to fans as Bray Wyatt, passed away Thursday, World Wrestling Entertainment announced.

The 36-year-old is survived by his wife and four children.

In a tweet Thursday, WWE Chief Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque said, “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.”

“Known for his captivating performances and incredible in-ring presence, Wyatt was a defining superstar of his generation,” WWE said.

The cause of Rotunda's death was not immediately released.

Rotunda began his career in 2009 in the WWE’s developmental circuit before debuting on the company’s NXT brand in summer 2010.

After finding success at NXT, Rotunda eventually made his way onto the WWE’s main roster in late 2010.

In 2013, Rotunda debuted his now-famous character of Bray Wyatt, described as an evil cult leader and the head of the Wyatt Family.

Over the next several years, Bray Wyatt engaged in memorable rivalries with some of WWE’s top talent, such as John Cena, The Undertaker, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and The Shield.

Wyatt won the WWE Championship in 2017.

During his run in WWE, Rotunda was praised across the pro wrestling industry for his work as Wyatt and his most recent character, The Fiend.

After news of his death became public, numerous WWE stars paid tribute to Wyatt. 

"Devastated by the news of the passing of Windham Rotunda," WWE star John Cena said in a statement. "My heart goes out to the entire Rotunda family. Windham brought the best out of me in so many ways. I’m forever grateful for the moments we shared. A sad day for all those he reached around the world. RIP."

Former WWE great Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, tweeted, “Im [sic] heartbroken over the news of Bray Wyatt’s passing. 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. My love, light, strength & mana to the Rotunda family and Funk family during this tough, heartbreaking time. As always, ‘thank you for the house’”

Current AEW wrestler Matt Hardy, who teamed with Bray Wyatt during his time in WWE, said on X/Twitter, "Absolutely shattered to learn that my friend, Windham Rotunda, has passed away. It’s devastating to think he left us at only 36 years young. My condolences go out to his family, wife & children. I’m so sorry, my compeer. Miss you already."

Wyatt was the son of Mike and Stephanie Rotunda. Wyatt’s grandfather Robert Deroy Windham (Blackjack Mulligan), father, two of his uncles, and brother all wrestled in the WWE.

His grandfather also played college football at UTEP and saw preseason action for the New York Jets. Wyatt redshirted on the Troy football team in 2007.

Rotunda last wrestled for WWE at the Royal Rumble in January, taking on LA Knight in the Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match. He was not seen on WWE programming in any capacity since that match.

Rotunda's death comes a day after the passing of 79-year-old pro wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk.