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Pro Wrestler Lance Cade Dead at 29
August 14, 2010 1:39 AM   Subscribe

Another professional wrestling death. Former WWE wrestler Lance Cade has died at age 29 of apparent heart failure. This brings the number of professional wrestling performers who have died before the age of 50 since 1985 to 77.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo (49 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
The number of professional steroid abusers dead before the age of 50 since 1985 is high, go figure.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:49 AM on August 14, 2010


Sorry to the family of Lance Cade... that was a bit harsh.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:50 AM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:54 AM on August 14, 2010


Hardcore legend Mick Foley added: "I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Lance Cade. Only 29 — I had no idea he was so young. My thoughts go out to his family."

I haven't followed WWE/NWA at all recently, and have no idea whether Foley and Cade actually worked together or if Foley was just the first person they could find to give a quote. But regardless, that quote is kind of a kick in the gut.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:56 AM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Chichibio at 2:03 AM on August 14, 2010


.
posted by Mblue at 2:11 AM on August 14, 2010


roll truck roll: That article just pulled tweets from the few wrestlers who have commented on it.

.
posted by cheaily at 2:18 AM on August 14, 2010


Clearly, standing on canvas and pretending to wrestle is dangerous, and should be immediately banned.
posted by Malor at 2:26 AM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the Wrestling Observer:
Lance McNaught, better known as Lance Cade, died this morning of what is believed to have been heart failure after two family members believed there was something wrong with him over the past week.

He was 29.

McNaught's wife Tanya noticed over the past week that he didn't look healthy and seemed to be having trouble breathing and called an ambulance to rush him to the hospital on Tuesday night. He passed out at one point but was revived in the hospital. Lance asked to be released on Wednesday, and after he got home, left and didn't come back.

On Thursday, his father, Harley McNaught, said Lance showed up at his work and he was not looking good. Harley brought him to his father's home in San Antonio and was discovered having passed away late last night.
posted by jamaro at 2:28 AM on August 14, 2010


I used to watch pro wrestling. I have fond memories of watching it as a child on the weekends in the basement rec room with my siblings, and I picked it back up again in my 20's.

Then I started noticing how many dead wrestlers there were. Owen Hart falls to his death, The British Buldog's heart explodes, Mr. Perfect dies of an overdose, Hawk takes a nap and never wakes up, the Big Boss Man's heart explodes, Ms Elizabeth dies, possibly from a combination of Drug addiction and domestic abuse, Yokozuna's heart explodes, Ravishing Rick Rude OD's...

And this is just the ones I remember from those childhood days watching "All Star Cavalcade" under a blanket. The list of casualties is insanely long, and I'm never again going to knowingly patronize this business. All my sympathies for the family and friends of Lance Cade and the sooner pro wrestling is recognized for the brutal murderous racket it is the better.
posted by Grimgrin at 2:32 AM on August 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Billionaire Vince McMahon is 64. He is reported to have suffered few difficulties this week.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:34 AM on August 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


Clearly, standing on canvas and pretending to wrestle is dangerous, and should be immediately banned.

The problem is obviously too much steroids, which Senate Candidate Linda McMahon compares to "vitamins".
posted by delmoi at 3:07 AM on August 14, 2010


The problem is obviously too much steroids

I just found out the other day that are over four hundred described gene variations have been linked to sudden cardiac death. Admittedly steroid abuse is the more likely contributor in this scenario, but I would wait on an autopsy before drawing conclusions.
posted by kisch mokusch at 3:41 AM on August 14, 2010


which Senate Candidate Linda McMahon compares to "vitamins".

Jebus. Really? That's pretty awful if true.
posted by IvoShandor at 4:33 AM on August 14, 2010


Business Week June 3 2010:

Vince McMahon made it clear he was not convinced that such performing-enhancing drugs were even dangerous, saying "the FDA hasn't bothered to tell me or anybody else." The company chairman, who cuts a remarkably bulging figure for a 64-year-old, also refused to answer when asked under oath whether he'd used steroids in the prior 11 years. "Mr. McMahon believed that questions invading his personal and medical privacy were inappropriate and offensive," says Zimmerman.

Although there's been some scaremongering, research has linked steroid use by athletes to liver, cardiac, musculoskeletal, and reproductive system damage, as well as psychiatric effects. When I asked Linda McMahon about the issue, however, she said she shared her husband's doubts. "There's some evidence sometimes of muscle disease, or cardiac disease, but it's really hard to know because you didn't know the condition of the performer's heart, or whatever, prior to," she told me. "So I still don't think we know the long-term effects of steroids. They are continuing to study it more and more, but I don't believe there are a lot of studies out there today that are conclusive."

The Day June 6 2010:
Update: I asked McMahon's communications director, Ed Patru, to clarify the candidate's position on the risks of steroids, here's his response:

"Linda clearly is opposed to illegal drug use. She believes steroid use can have long-term negative physical and psychiatric impact on the body, and those negative impacts obviously are exacerbated with abuse. Furthermore, she supports continuing research on the issue so that the public can better understand the full scope of impact long-term use has on the body. As for the WWE, it has a very clearly defined policy on all illegal drugs, which I’m sure you’ve read."
posted by iviken at 4:51 AM on August 14, 2010


Jaywalking is also illegal in Chicago. But I'm not going to be punished if the people in charge don't think it's important.

Of course, this analogy is imperfect.

The people in charge aren't making money off of my jaywalking.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:12 AM on August 14, 2010


Snark what you will about a show called "Real Sports" covering wrestling, but this is a heavy little segment (via the about.com link in the FPP). I found Piper's venting to be especially sad. Miners and Alaska crab fishermen are less bitter about their jobs.
posted by Chichibio at 5:26 AM on August 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


It's a job where people bust their asses every night to entertain people. They don't get health care from their employer who terms them "independent contractors" so they don't have the legal requirement to do so.

On top of that, in order to get to the top, you have to be a built freak to impress Vince McMahon. The big man is king in the WWE. So, I think the promotion tacitly encourages the use of steroids, while condemning it publicly (though mildly) and punishing it when it's politically expedient (like after the Benoit double murder-suicide).

But, it's getting to the point where the death of another wreslter isn't even news. It's almost come to be expected.

The wrestlers need a union. The guys at the WWE would never speak out for one, and they'd never be caught trying to organize one because the moment they do, they'd get shit-canned by Vince. Just ask Jesse Ventura. It's basically a one company world now (TNA is much smaller and pays far less), so you can't go anywhere else really except the very, very low paying indie circuit. It's a dead end. Sometimes literally.
posted by inturnaround at 6:02 AM on August 14, 2010 [13 favorites]


This is Senate candidate's Linda McMahon's plan to reduce the costs of Social Security.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:29 AM on August 14, 2010 [5 favorites]



Billionaire Vince McMahon is 64. He is reported to have suffered few difficulties this week.


Billionaire Vince McMahon has gotten in the ring many times (though not the week to week grind of the full time wrestlers) and has looked at many times to be on the roids himself.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:13 AM on August 14, 2010


Snark what you will about a show called "Real Sports" covering wrestling, but this is a heavy little segment (via the about.com link in the FPP). I found Piper's venting to be especially sad. Miners and Alaska crab fishermen are less bitter about their jobs.

Well worth watching, thanks.

Serious question: Is the death rate for pro wrestlers higher or lower than for rock stars?
posted by Bookhouse at 7:37 AM on August 14, 2010


or NFL players?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:38 AM on August 14, 2010


The problem is obviously too much steroids, which Senate Candidate Linda McMahon compares to "vitamins".

That and too many painkillers, which almost inevitably turn out to be a major factor in these deaths. From the same wrestlingobserver.com article linked above:

He (Cade) was released in October 2008 after an incident on an airplane where he had a seizure, believed to have been due to use of either pain killers or muscle relaxers, and had to be taken off the plane. He was then released.

A storyline idea involving his return was proposed in September and he was signed again. While he was at home waiting to start on the main roster, a WWE official spoke with him in a phone call in January and was concerned about his lack of coherence in the coversation. At that time, he asked WWE officials to send him to rehab and completed a 30-day rehab program in February. After completing the program, the storyline idea ended up being nixed and he was released in April.

posted by The Gooch at 7:49 AM on August 14, 2010


There is something so depressing about the length and detail of any given wrestler's wiki page. And this is coming from someone who was addicted to the WWF when I was growing up. Jesus, people, that is a lot of detail. A lot. I am surprised there isn't a ==MUSCULATURE== section.
posted by m0nm0n at 7:54 AM on August 14, 2010




I know what you're saying mOnmOn, and you're on topic. But this disambiguation page leaves me breathless. How in the hell did Mean Gene keep up with this shit?
posted by Chichibio at 8:06 AM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


The problem is obviously too much steroids, which Senate Candidate Linda McMahon compares to "vitamins".

It is difficult to get someone to understand something, when their purchase of a Senate seat depends upon their not understanding it.

I am coming to agree with Grimgrin. The moral argument against supporting WWE is starting to seem as clear cut as the one against supporting circuses that exploit animals.

(I say this without an iota of disrespect for professional wrestlers. Their work ethic, physical courage, and endurance of pain make any of us seem like children by comparison.)
posted by Joe Beese at 8:08 AM on August 14, 2010




Shawn Michaels, who helped trained him, tweeted:

No words will b good enuff. 1 of my boys is gone. My prayers&thoughts have already been given 2 his family & will continue. Goodbye Lance I Love You.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:15 AM on August 14, 2010


77 in 25 years is a lot of anecdotal evidence but there's nothing I saw that says if this is 77 out of 500, 77 out of 1,000 or even 77 out of 10,000.
posted by notmtwain at 8:31 AM on August 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Agreed, Mr. Beese. This is a circus we're talking about. Yet unlike the freak shows of yore that were killed by moralistic do-gooders, the WWF, E, whatever, could be brought to heel by enough outrage over the treatment of their employees. Especially since it's a publicly-traded company.

But... it's a circus, a spectacle. It won't make money without more over-the-top, more freakishly buff, and more (fairly recent and disgraceful) T&A sexytime. Vince may be an asshole, but he's an asshole that makes money for other people, and with his wife a senator, who knows what pipelines of cash could open up. What's a fan to do?
posted by Chichibio at 8:36 AM on August 14, 2010


Serious question: Is the death rate for pro wrestlers higher or lower than for rock stars?

That's an interesting question. I googled around a bit, and found this website which lists a whole lot of rock star deaths, including the ages and cause of death of most of them. I counted just the 1980s deaths younger than 50, and came up with over 40 deaths in just that half decade alone of people under the age of 50. I'm sure that I could keep counting the numbers up until the present and come up with a number MUCH higher than 77.

(A good portion of these deaths seem to be from car accidents. The usual suspect causes are also present, but wow, a lot of rockers die in motor vehicles.)

Now, how does that rate compare with wrestling? Well, in order to know that I'd have to look at the total number of people who could be considered "rock stars" from the past 35 years (which I'm not even going to begin to calculate)... and then look at the total number of people who have been pro wrestlers across the same 35 year period (probably a much easier number to come up with)... and then do math....

My guesses are, the percentage is going to be higher in the pro-wrestling category. But I'm not going to do the math, largely because I don't know how to come up with a number which is the entire pool of people involved in the rock industry who could be considered "stars" during that period of time.
posted by hippybear at 9:10 AM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


(gah... 1985-2010 is 25 years, not 35... this is why I don't want to do the math!)
posted by hippybear at 9:11 AM on August 14, 2010


It is difficult to get someone to understand something, when their purchase of a Senate seat depends upon their not understanding it.

Well, except in Linda McMahon's mind (and Vince McMahon's mind) there's nothing to understand.

Ms. McMahon defended her record at the company and said she and her husband had always looked out for the health and safety of those who worked for them.

“We of course had a responsibility to our shareholders,” she said. “But every good chief executive understands that in addition to maintaining profitability, companies that hope to be successful in the long term absolutely have to put people first.” ....

In an interview with the [House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight]’s staff, Ms. McMahon was pressed to explain why the W.W.E. had abandoned another drug testing program in the 1990s. She told them the program was too costly, and few wrestlers were testing positive.

“You are doing this and expending these resources and you are coming back almost all the time to negatives,” she said, according to a transcript. “It really became at that time, O.K., let’s utilize these dollars more in our marketing effort. Let’s build our pay-per-view business. Let’s redirect these dollars, so that the cost-effective aspect of it just didn’t seem to be there.”

posted by blucevalo at 9:20 AM on August 14, 2010


Serious question: Is the death rate for pro wrestlers higher or lower than for rock stars?

Another serious question: is it higher or lower than the population at large? The CDC puts the American death rate at 810 per 100k per year, or 0.81%. 77 deaths over 25 years is about 3 deaths per year, which is 0.81% of about 370 people. That doesn't consider age, of course, but it doesn't seem entirely unlikely that pro wrestling and rock star deaths just seem more common because we hear about them more.
posted by scottreynen at 9:28 AM on August 14, 2010


In a couple hours I'm off to work at a pro wrestling show where one of the promotion's top guys just got signed by WWE.

To say my feelings are mixed would be an understatement.

I love pro wrestling, but hate McMahon's domination of the business and what it means for the talent and the fans. The stories I hear out of that company...
posted by jtron at 9:44 AM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]



Another serious question: is it higher or lower than the population at large?


That's established in the Real Sports link. It says (paraphrasing) that the rate of early death among pro wrestlers is 400% higher than the population at large.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:08 PM on August 14, 2010


scottreyman: is that the death rate of people under 50? I suspect it's not. Because that's what the issue is here. People dying young. Not dying at all. I would guess the death rate for all wrestlers is 100% ultimately.
posted by inturnaround at 12:24 PM on August 14, 2010


inturnaround: I would guess the death rate for all wrestlers is 100% ultimately.

Not to make light in a fairly serious thread, but I'll believe that Hulk Hogan will die when he does and not one second before.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:39 PM on August 14, 2010


Typical of our world right now that these huge, powerful men with whom we identify or want to be close to because no one would ever mess with them, are in fact pathetic captives treated more like farm animals than human beings.
posted by jamjam at 12:41 PM on August 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wrestling is as "fake" as porn. Take from that what you will.

also, Cade and Murdoch were an excellent tag team. I also just turned 29 last week.

.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 1:17 PM on August 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I find it strange that WWE wrestlers would need to dope. It's a performance, right? If it's all choreographed, why do you need superhuman strength?

Also,
It's a job where people bust their asses every night to entertain people. They don't get health care from their employer who terms them "independent contractors" so they don't have the legal requirement to do so.

Wrestlers are literally killing themselves to work, and the WWE can't give them health benefits. That's beyond awful, but I guess not that different from a lot of other manual labor contractor jobs.
posted by bluefly at 4:08 PM on August 14, 2010


I find it strange that WWE wrestlers would need to dope. It's a performance, right? If it's all choreographed, why do you need superhuman strength?

The guys at the top, and even some lower level federations, are performing 6 or 7 days a week. There are house shows that are not televised, ones you might not hear about. Ric Flair said he used to do 7 evening shows, and twice on Sat and Sunday. Combine the travel, the shows, and the need to work out to maintain the physique, you've got to be in pain. They may never get a day off, and if you've ever been to any type of wrestling match, you have to see how even their routine work will hurt. There's no OSHA for them. That's where the pain pills start, and then the need to not be groggy while performing turns to amphetamines.

Much of this lifestyle goes back even before the awareness of steroid abuse, certainly it was happening in the 70s if not before.
posted by l2p at 5:21 PM on August 14, 2010


Well, it's a performance that sometimes involves lifting bodybuilders over your head.

Also, Vince McMahon has a pretty well-documented fondness for giants and steroid-riddled superman types, even if they're not especially talented at the actual wrestling part.

You might not need superhuman strength just to get into the ring, but, with rare exceptions, you need it to get to the top of your field.
posted by box at 7:26 PM on August 14, 2010


I found it interesting when, shortly after WWE enacted their "wellness" policy, supposedly banning steroids (no, seriously, steroids are actually banned, and yes, I do have a bridge I'd like to sell you), several wrestlers physiques changed, specifically Randy Orton and Triple H. Earlier in their careers, they were freakish musclebound wrestlers. Triple H has lost weight, but Orton's transformation is actually kind of surprising, and while he's still more muscled than I'll ever be, you could actually call him "lanky" or "wiry" now.

Either way, the system is fucked. The 'independant contractor' status of the wrestlers is just flatout wrong.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:04 PM on August 14, 2010


I find it strange that WWE wrestlers would need to dope. It's a performance, right? If it's all choreographed, why do you need superhuman strength?

While the outcome of matches is pre-determined, and the wrestlers Superstars performers are more or less doing a high impact acrobatic shows, one of the first things you learn when training for a fed is how to "take a bump", or, how a 200-400 lb man can fall and hurt himself the least.

As Mick Foley said, "You can't fake a chair shot." In fact his books are an excellent glimpse into the world of wrestling; in the beginning of "Have a nice day" he talks about losing part of his ear in a match, and being taken to the hospital, noting the odd dissonance as the nurse asked him "Isn't wrestling fake?" while tossing a piece of his ear into the garbage.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:06 PM on August 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Vince McMahon has a pretty well-documented fondness for giants and steroid-riddled superman types, even if they're not especially talented at the actual wrestling part.

Repeated for truth, for those not as close to the subject as I am. VKM and/or his inner circle love hardbodies; this is the same guy who sunk a bunch of dough into the World Bodybuilding Federation (his first XFL, as it were) and couldn't see Bret Hart for Tom Magee.
posted by jtron at 9:34 AM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I also just turned 29 last week.

What are you doing posting here then? Your lifelock will call you to Carousel any moment. Get to frolicking!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:46 PM on August 16, 2010


From today's Figure Four Weekly newsletter:
Jon Michael wrote in with this stat: “I’ve been watching the old, re-released WWE PPVs from the 1980s-’90s on Netflix, and I just watched the 1990 SummerSlam. I was so depressed by the amount of dead wrestlers, especially in light of Lance Cade’s passing, that I did a little research. I thought this may interest you. In the 1990 SummerSlam show, there were 10 matches with 27 competitors. Of those 27, 10 of them have passed away. The Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor) and Dino Bravo were at ringside for the Hogan v. Earthquake match, bringing the total number of deceased performers to 12. Of those, only Sapphire (61) and Bad News Allen (64) reached the age of 60. Leaving out Sapphire, who in my opinion was not in the business long enough to affect this list, the average age of death was 45.2 years old. These numbers are tragic enough, but then I went a step forward. SummerSlam was a PPV and therefore in theory contained the best the company had. Compared to mainstream sports: The 1990 MLB all-stars: 58 players, 1 dead, Kirby Puckett (natural causes); 1990 NHL All-Stars, 40 players, 0 dead including an honorary captain still alive at 78; 1990 NBA All-Stars, 24 players, 0 dead, including Magic Johnson, alive and coping with HIV. There is no possible way that this can be explained away, no matter how the McMahons try to spin it. Linda likes to talk about how she and Vince built a small little company into the multi-million dollar corporation they have now. The horrible thing is how they built it body-by-body.”.
posted by jtron at 7:23 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


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