Bray Wyatt, former World Wrestling Entertainment champion and widely regarded as one of the most creative minds in the ring, died on Thursday. He was 36.
WWE announced Wyatt, whose real name was Windham Rotunda, died "unexpectedly" on Thursday but did not mention a cause of death.
"WWE is saddened to learn that Windham Rotunda, also known as Bray Wyatt, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 24, at age 36," WWE said. "WWE extends its condolences to Rotunda's family, friends and fans."
Rotunda's death was announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, by WWE executive Paul "Triple H" Levesque.
"Our thoughts are with his family and we ask that everyone respect their privacy at this time," the statement said.
Wyatt, who held WWE's top prize in 2017 and again in 2019, was also known by his alternate in-ring personality "The Fiend." His last televised performance came at the 2023 Royal Rumble.
"Known for his captivating performances and incredible in-ring presence, Wyatt was a defining superstar of his generation," WWE said.
News of his sudden death sent shockwaves throughout the professional wrestling world, prompting reactions from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Mick Foley, and wrestlers across every promotion.
Wyatt was the son of Mike and Stephanie Rotunda.
Wyatt's grandfather Robert Deroy Windham (Blackjack Mulligan), father, and two of his uncles (Barry and Kendall Windham) all wrestled in WWE. His grandfather also played college football at UTEP and saw preseason action for the New York Jets.
Wyatt redshirted on the Troy football team in 2007.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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