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Windham Rotunda Obituary | WWE Windham Rotunda AKA Bray Wyatt cause of death

Windham Rotunda, Legendary WWE Wrestler Known as Bray Wyatt, Dies at 36

Windham Rotunda Obituary: Windham Rotunda, the popular professional wrestler better known by his ring name Bray Wyatt, died on August 24, 2023 at the age of 36. Rotunda had been battling COVID-19 and suffered a fatal heart attack.

Early Life and Family Legacy

Rotunda was born into a storied wrestling family in 1987. His grandfather was WWE Hall of Famer Blackjack Mulligan and his father was wrestler Mike Rotunda. His uncles were also wrestlers – Barry Windham and Kendall Windham. With wrestling in his blood, Rotunda was destined for the ring.

He started training as a wrestler in his late teens and joined WWE in 2009 at age 21. He initially wrestled under the names Alex Rotundo and Husky Harris but it was the Bray Wyatt character that catapulted him to stardom.

The Eerie Bray Wyatt Character Takes Hold

In 2012, Rotunda debuted the sinister Bray Wyatt persona – the creepy, Messiah-like leader of the Wyatt Family stable. With his Hawaiian shirts, long hair and beard, and wide-brimmed hat, Wyatt cut an imposing figure. His entrance was iconic – the arena going dark as Wyatt walked to the ring carrying a lantern, with audience members lighting the way with their cellphones.

Wyatt would preach eerie sermons and lead his “family” of wrestlers Luke Harper and Erick Rowan against opponents. Wyatt’s ramblings were oddly philosophical, warning people to “follow the buzzards” and speaking in religious metaphors about light and dark. This nuanced character work earned him critical acclaim.

Championship Success and Reinvention

In 2017, the Bray Wyatt character reached new heights when Rotunda won the WWE Championship title at Elimination Chamber. Wyatt briefly feuded with WWE stars John Cena and Randy Orton as champion before losing the title.

Rotunda continued to reinvent Bray Wyatt over the years. In 2019, Wyatt introduced a sinister split personality known as The Fiend. Behind a nightmarish clown mask, The Fiend was an unstoppable force in the ring. This Jekyll and Hyde duality, with Wyatt as the good side and The Fiend as the dark side, captivated audiences.

Sudden WWE Release and Return

In a surprising move, WWE released Rotunda from his contract in 2021 while still performing as The Fiend. After a year away, Rotunda returned to WWE television in 2022. He wrestled for a few months before stepping away in July 2022 to battle COVID-19. Tragically, complications from COVID-19 led to his untimely death at just 36 years old.

Legacy as an Innovative Character

With his creativity and character work, Windham Rotunda made Bray Wyatt one of WWE’s most compelling personalities of the 2010s. His nuanced performance brought depth and psychology to the Wyatt character. Rotunda was praised for his strong promo skills and commitment to fully inhabiting this complex, layered persona.

The eerie magic of Wyatt’s live entrances, the philosophical undertones of his promos and his reinventions like The Fiend set him apart. His chilling vignettes and mission to bring out the darkness in others made Wyatt a standout Superstar.

Tributes Pour In

Tributes from the pro wrestling world poured in after Rotunda’s shocking death, praising his elite performance skills and ability to tell fascinating stories in the ring. Wrestlers like Seth Rollins, Alexa Bliss and Mick Foley mourned the loss of their friend and peer.

Though his career was cut short, Windham Rotunda succeeded in creating a character WWE fans will never forget. Bray Wyatt left an indelible mark as one of wrestling’s most compelling villains. Rotunda’s creativity and commitment to his craft will live on as part of his lasting legacy.

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