While many people think of wrestling as a big joke, there is one thing about wrestling that isn't funny. The death rate among wrestlers is alarmingly high. The first time time this story was covered by the national media was in 2003 on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumble. That segment featured Vince McMahon mocking the interviewer and slapping the notes from his hands. In addition, the only wrestler to speak up for the wrestlers, Roddy Piper, was fired after the piece aired. Drug Usage While the outcomes of the matches are pre-determined, the effort to put on those matches takes a huge toll on their bodies. The wrestlers are on the road over 300 days a year and unlike other athletes, they do not have an off season. In addition, accidents do happen and injuries occur. Unfortunately, if wrestlers take time off, their wallets will suffer significantly. These factors all lead to the deadly slope that many wrestlers have found themselves facing. They get addicted to pain killers to numb the pain. This medicine keeps them too lethargic to wrestle, so they take drugs to get high. This deadly mixture leads to illegal drug dependency that many wrestlers have to cope with even after they retire. Large Bodies In the '90s, the WWE faced a major steroid scandal. While they claim to test for steroids, it is obvious to the casual viewer that many of the wrestlers are taking something to get their physiques to look like they do. In today's environment, a wrestler must carry either an enormous amount of muscle or a tremendous amount of fat to give him the larger than life size needed to be successful in the business. That extra weight, whether muscle or fat, makes the heart work harder than it must. Famous Wrestlers That Have Died Since 1985 Before the Age of 65 Chris Von Erich - 21 Mike Von Erich - 23 Louie Spiccoli - 27 Art Barr - 28 Gino Hernandez - 29 Jay Youngblood - 30 Rick McGraw - 30 Joey Marella - 30 Ed Gatner - 31 Buzz Sawyer - 32 Crash Holly - 32 Kerry Von Erich - 33 D.J. Peterson - 33 Eddie Gilbert - 33 The Renegade - 33 Chris Candido - 33 Adrian Adonis - 34 Gary Albright - 34 Bobby Duncum Jr. - 34 Owen Hart - 34 Yokozuna - 34 Big Dick Dudley - 34 Brian Pillman - 35 Marianna Komlos - 35 Pitbull #2 - 36 The Wall/Malice - 36 Emory Hale - 36 Leroy Brown - 38 Mark Curtis - 38 Eddie Guerrero - 38 John Kronus - 38 Davey Boy Smith - 39 Johnny Grunge - 39 Vivian Vachon - 40 Jeep Swenson - 40 Brady Boone - 40 Terry Gordy - 40 Bertha Faye - 40 Billy Joe Travis - 40 Chris Benoit - 40 Larry Cameron - 41 Rick Rude - 41 Randy Anderson - 41 Bruiser Brody - 42 Miss Elizabeth - 42 Big Boss Man - 42 Earthquake - 42 Mike Awesome - 42 Biff Wellington - 42 Brian Adams (Crush) - 43 Ray Candy - 43 Nancy Benoit (Woman) - 43 Dino Bravo - 44 Curt Hennig - 44 Bam Bam Bigelow - 45 Jerry Blackwell - 45 Junkyard Dog - 45 Hercules - 45 Andre the Giant - 46 Big John Studd - 46 Chris Adams - 46 Mike Davis - 46 Hawk - 46 Dick Murdoch - 49 Jumbo Tsuruta - 49 Rocco Rock - 49 Sherri Martel - 49 Moondog Spot - 51 Ken Timbs - 53 Uncle Elmer - 54 Pez Whatley - 54 The Angel of Death - 54 Eddie Graham - 55 Tarzan Tyler - 55 Haystacks Calhoun- 55 Giant Haystacks - 55 The Spoiler - 56 Kurt Von Hess - 56 Moondog King - 56 Gene Anderson - 58 Dr. Jerry Graham - 58 Bulldog Brown - 58 Tony Parisi - 58 Rufus R. Jones - 60 Ray Stevens - 60 Stan Stasiak - 60 Terry Garvin - 60 Boris Malenko - 61 Little Beaver - 61 Sapphire - 61 Shohei Baba - 61 Dick the Bruiser - 62 Wilbur Snyder - 62 George Cannon - 62 Karl Krupp - 62 Dale Lewis - 62 Gorilla Monsoon - 62 Hiro Matsuda - 62 Bad News Brown - 63 Bulldog Brower - 63 SD Jones - 63 Wahoo McDaniel - 63 Full Story.................. Pro Wrestler's Deaths The majority of those listed are drug and steroid related. Why wont Congress do anything? If this was Baseball, Football, Hockey, Basketball, Boxing there would be hearings and penalties for people like Vince McMahon who endorse this kind of behavior to make a quick buck. These people are role models to a lot of kids across the world and if you don't think so look at the Make A Wish Foundations most requested person, Hulk Hogan. Also several other Wrestlers are towards the top of that list. Congress and the Senate need to hold these promoters accountable.