Former WWE Champion Dies at Age 36
Bray Wyatt was known as Windham Rotunda.
WWE star Bray Wyatt has passed away at the age of 36, WWE chief content officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque announced on social media. "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," Levesque wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Our thoughts are with his family and we ask that everyone respect their privacy at this time." Here's what to know about the young superstar, and what his famous colleagues had to say about his untimely passing.
"WWE is saddened to learn that Windham Rotunda, also known as Bray Wyatt, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 24, at age 36," the company said in a statement. "Known for his captivating performances and incredible in-ring presence, Wyatt was a defining Superstar of his generation and accomplished many feats in WWE, including becoming WWE Champion in 2017," the statement continued. A cause of death was not immediately known, but he was rumored to have had health issues.
"Rotunda began his career with the WWE under their developmental brand NXT in 2010 under the moniker of Husky Harris. He moved to the main roster in 2014 as the cult leader Bray Wyatt of the Wyatt Family faction whose members included Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman," said ABC News. "He was regarded as one of the premiere talkers of his generation, tantalizing the crowds with the catchphrase 'follow the buzzards' and would often sing 'he's got the whole world in his hands.'"
Said Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on X: "I'm 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' #ohana"
"Devastated by the news of the passing of Windham Rotunda. 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," said John Cena on X.
"During his time with WWE, Rotunda won multiple championships, including the WWE Championship and WWE Universal Championship. Rotunda was released from the company in July 2021 but made a much-heralded return in October 2022. He adopted the character of The Fiend, a demon like character who styled himself like Mr. Rogers in a Firefly Funhouse with maniacal puppets," reports ABC News. "Rotunda is survived by his partner, former WWE ring announcer JoJo Offerman, and their two children. Rotunda also had two other children from a previous relationship."