2 Deaths Slam WWE World, Including Son of 'the King'

Brian Lawler reportedly hanged himself; Josip Peruzovic, aka 'Nikolai Volkoff,' dies at 70
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2018 6:03 AM CDT
Jerry "The King" Lawler, father of the late Brian Lawler, speaks during the WWE Hall of Fame induction at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on April 5, 2014.   (Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for WWE)
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(Newser) – The professional wrestling world lost two of its own over the weekend, including the son of WWE legend Jerry Lawler. Per Yahoo Sports and the Commercial Appeal, Brian Christopher Lawler, 46, was found hanging in his jail cell in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday evening and died the next day. "Corrections officers administered CPR until paramedics arrived," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says in a statement. "Lawler was transported to Regional One Medical Center in Memphis, where he died Sunday afternoon." Lawler, who once performed for the WWE as Grandmaster Sexay on the Too Cool tag team, had been behind bars after being arrested on July 7 and charged with DUI, driving with a revoked license, and evading arrest.

"WWE is saddened to learn that Brian Christopher Lawler … has passed away," the WWE said in a statement. "WWE extends its condolences to Lawler's family, friends, and fans." Big names in wrestling also paid their condolences, including Hulk Hogan, who tweeted, "RIP Brian Christopher thank you for always stealing the show my brother only love HH." The WWE also announced the death of "one of the greatest villains sports-entertainment had ever seen," per NBC News: that of Josip Peruzovic, known in the ring as Soviet heel Nikolai Volkoff. The AP reports that the wife of the 70-year-old Hall of Famer, who was once on a tag team with the Iron Sheik, found Peruzovic unresponsive when she went to give him medication he took for heart problems. The Iron Sheik paid an all-caps tribute to his former partner on Twitter, noting, "I MISS YOU FOREVER."

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