Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Death in the PWI Top 25 of '97, Top 50 of '93

Since 1991, Pro Wrestling Illustrated has released a yearly issue of the top 500 wrestlers in the world. The list is called the PWI Top 500. From '91 to 1996 four or five of the top 25 have since died. But of the top 25 of 1997, seven of those wrestlers are now dead. That's 28 percent. Twenty-eight percent of the top wrestlers in the world just 14 years ago. The seven include two Japanese wrestlers, two Canadians, an Englishman, an American, and a Mexican-American.

#2 Mitsuharu Misawa (Died at 46 in 2009 from cardiac arrest)
#7 Shinya Hashimoto (Died at 40 in 2005 from a brain aneurysm)
#10 Chris Benoit (Died at 40 in 2007 from suicide)
#16 Owen Hart (Died at 34 in 1999 from an 80 foot fall)
#19 Randy Savage (Died at 58 in 2011 from a heart attack while driving)
#22 Davey Boy Smith (Died at 39 in 2002 from a heart attack)
#24 Eddie Guerrero (Died at 38 in 2005 from heart failure)

Also in the Top 25 that year are wrestles who had strokes at a relatively young age (Bret Hart, Lex Luger) and wrestlers who have or had severe drug problems (Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, Sean Waltman).

When looking at the Top 50 from the same era, 24 percent wrestlers on this list in 1991 and '92 are deceased, while 28% of the 50 best wrestlers in the world in 1993 are now dead, including:

"Ravishing" Rick Rude
"Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning
Davey Boy Smith
Brian Pillman
"Dr. Death" Steve Williams
"Macho Man" Randy Savage
"Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert
Bam Bam Bigelow
Brian "Crush" Adams
Owen Hart
Road Warrior Hawk
Terry Gordy
Chris Benoit

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