2021 is a very trying year for the professional wrestling industry. Due to constraints imposed as a result of the ongoing global process Disease, several promotions around the company have struggled to stay on the water. Even when promotions were able to take place, the mood was often lifeless due to the absence – or extremely low number – of fans in attendance. In that respect, things have become a bit more normal in recent weeks, but who knows what the future holds.
Aside from those concerns, 2021 is a year that will see a number of notable wrestlers and deceased wrestlers. Some are famous stars, while others may not be as famous, but all have an impact on the wrestling industry in some way. Let’s take a look at these superstars.
Here are the names of 5 WWE Superstars who passed away in 2021
Bruce Franklin Reed is an American professional wrestler and soccer player, better known by his stage name Butch Reed. Butch Reed has always been a highly charismatic and powerful performer, whether he’s known as Hacksaw or Natural. The former Intercontinental Champion died on February 5 from complications from two heart attacks. He was the star of Mid-South, Jim Crockett Promotion, WCW, and later WWF.
Rusty Brooks has had the chance to wrestle famous stars like Andre the Giant, Jake Roberts, Jimmy Snuka, Junkyard Dog, Tito Santana, British Bulldogs, Demolition, Ricky Steamboat, and even have a shoot-in. Hulk Hogan’s Won the WWF during his tenure as an uplifting talent in the 1980s.
Brooks had to take MVP, Gangrel, Luna Vachon, Norman Smiley and Konnor of the Ascension through their strides while coaching out of Florida in the following years. Rusty died on February 11, just four days after his 63rd birthday. The cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Despite a career that includes WWF, NWA, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Stampede Wrestling, Herb Abrams’ UWF and others, Barry Orton is more famous as a musician than a wrestler. Barry Orton, son of Bob Orton Sr., brother of ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton Jr., and uncle of Randy Orton, died on March 20 at the age of 62. His cause of death is unknown.
The man with the baggy trunk Tony Marino, then 90 years old, passed away on May 28. Marino is best remembered for his 9 years with the old WWWF, then 15 years with the National Wrestling Alliance. After defeating Toru Tanaka and Mitsu Arakawa in December 1969, Tony and partner Victor Rivera enjoyed a seven-month reign as the WWWF International Tag Team Champions. Marino has also played the role of ‘Batman’ during his career, to cash in on the growing popularity of a particular Caped Crusader.
Melissa Coates, a bodybuilder who appeared on the game show Extreme Dodgeball, trained with Killer Kowalski before spending time in WWE’s growth territories OVW and Deep South Wrestling. She also debuted at WWE Backlash 2005, where she was remembered in Master Lock as part of Chris Masters’ Master Lock Challenge. As Coates transitioned to independents, she worked with NWA Anarchy, Women Superstars Uncensored, Funking Conservatory, and others, and in 2014 she began managing Sabu under the alias Super Genie. Melissa died on June 23, just five days after her 50th birthday.
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