The pro wrestling world is reeling from the loss of one of its most popular performers, Chris Wheldon, who passed away on June 13, 2018 at just 49 years old. Wheldon built a reputation as an immensely talented and kind-hearted wrestler over his decades-long career. This article will look back on Wheldon’s wrestling journey, his shocking death, and the outpouring of tributes from across the wrestling community.
Wheldon’s Rise in Pro Wrestling
Chris Wheldon first stepped into the wrestling ring in 1991 at age 19. He started out performing in independent promotions around his hometown in Rhode Island before getting his big break in 1995.
That year, Wheldon signed with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and debuted as “Metal Chris” – an energetic, heavy metal-inspired character that fans loved.
Over the next several years, Wheldon honed his craft and connected with audiences wrestling for ECW, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and various independent leagues. His athleticism, charisma, and daredevil moves made him stand out from the pack.
Becoming a Fan Favorite in WWE
In 2005, Wheldon achieved his dream of joining World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He made his WWE debut as “Burning Blade,” a fiery masked luchador character.
Wheldon’s high-flying in-ring work quickly earned him the admiration of WWE fans. Throughout his 13 years with WWE, he competed in memorable matches and formed an endearing bond with the audience.
Outside the ring, Wheldon visited children’s hospitals and supported various charities, cementing his reputation as one of wrestling’s “good guys.”
Shocking Death from Rare Blood Disorder
In April 2018, Wheldon was hospitalized after collapsing during a match. He was diagnosed with a serious and extremely rare blood platelet disorder that ultimately claimed his life just months later.
On June 13, WWE confirmed the devastating news that Wheldon had passed away due to complications from his illness. He was just 49 years old at the time of Chris Wheldon death .
Wheldon’s shocking and untimely passing sent waves of grief throughout the wrestling world and his global fan base. Many expressed disbelief that such a seemingly healthy performer could be taken so soon.
Outpouring of Tributes for Wheldon
Since the news emerged, social media has been flooded with tributes honoring Wheldon’s life and career. Countless fellow wrestlers praised Wheldon’s kindness and professionalism.
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon called Wheldon “an inspiring talent that embodied the spirit of WWE.” Ring of Honor COO Joe Koff stated: “Chris was a one-of-a-kind performer who brought joy through wrestling.”
Fans have also shared their favorite memories and matches paying respect to Wheldon. His legacy as a world-class wrestler and role model will live on in the hearts of all whose lives he impacted.
Conclusion: A Pro Wrestling Legend Gone Too Soon
The death of Chris Wheldon has left a tremendous void in the wrestling world. His incredible 18-year career saw him evolve into one of the industry’s top stars thanks to his athletic gifts and magnetic connection with fans.
While the circumstances around Wheldon’s passing are devastating, his spirit will continue inspiring current and future wrestlers. Chris Wheldon’s journey serves as a reminder to live life to the fullest both in and out of the ring.