Tributes have been paid to three former stars of the wrestling world who died on the same day this weekend. Brian Lawler, Nikolai Volkoff and Brickhouse Brown all passed away on Sunday aged 46, 70 and 57 respectively. The WWE said it was “saddened” to hear Lawler and Volkoff had died, while the National Wrestling Alliance sent its “deepest condolences and sympathies”. US and Olympic wrestler Kurt Angle said it had been “a very sad day in the history of sports entertainment”. Lawler, son of former wrestler Jerry “The King” Lawler, was known for his tag team partnership with Scott Garland. Their Too Cool duo saw them perform in the late 1990s and early 2000s under the aliases Grand Master Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty.
Lawler, who was being held in jail in Tennessee on DUI (driving under the influence) and evading arrest charges, was found in his cell on Saturday. The former wrestler, who was also known as Brian Christopher, reportedly hanged himself and died the following day after his life support was turned off. Hulk Hogan was among other wrestling stars to pay tribute, thanking Lawler “for always stealing the show”. Nikolai Volkoff was born Josip Peruzovic in what is now Croatia. His WWE character was known and much hated for pretending to be a villainous Russian. The former wrestler, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, died at his Maryland home following a recent spell in hospital.
Women’s champion wrestler and member of the Hart wrestling family Natalya Neidhart tweeted photos of Volkoff together with a tribute calling the 70-year-old “so special” to her family. Brickhouse Brown was born Frederick Seawright in 1960 and was best known for his association with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). The former pro wrestler, who enjoyed most of his success in the 1980s and ’90s, was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. His death was confirmed in a Facebook post by former wrestler Luke Graham, whose on-stage brother Eddie Graham was Brown’s trainer. “No false finishes, no more swerves, no more kickouts. After a hard fight he has left us,” Graham’s post read. Wrestler Diamond Dallas Page was among others in the wrestling community to tweet calling Sunday a “super sad day for me and wrestling fans everywhere” following the three deaths.