Louie Spicolli Death – Drug Overdose

louie spicolli death

Louis Mucciolo Jr, known to wrestling fans as Louie Spicolli and Rad Radford – Dead at age 27 from a drug overdose. photo: wwe.com

1971-1998 (Age 27)

Louie Spicolli was a talented worker with a great sense of humor stymied by a lack of the big man look in vogue during the 1990’s.

Nevertheless, Spicolli advanced himself through sheer determination, finding work in ECW, the WWF, and WCW. But success was short lived for Spicolli, in large part to years of abusing the muscle relaxer Soma.

Many say Spicolli was on the verge of a break-out in WCW, but unfortunately, his life was cut short. Spicolli suffered a drug overdose at the young age of 27.

The Crème de la crème of Enhancement Talent

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Louie Spicolli, seen in the background of this 1991 photo with Vince McMahon talking to “Max Moon” (later to be known as Konnan with WCW).

Louis Mucciolo Jr. was a talented athlete in high school, with but one goal—to become a professional wrestler.

Mucciolo dropped out of school to begin training as a professional wrestler with ring announcer Bill Laster (aka Billy Anderson). Mucciolo debuted in the WWF just days after turning 17. Mucciolo worked as Louie Spicolli, the name of Sean’s Penn character in the 1982 comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Although he was a smaller than most wrestlers, Spicolli proved a talented worker, who quickly found himself in demand as enhancement talent:

Louie could make opponents look good and he was so good at his job, the WWF flew him in for shows. Concerned he might be stuck as enhancement talent, Spicolli looked to improve his marketability and moved elsewhere.

Reinventing Himself in Lucha Land

Spicolli worked further on improving his ring skills and reportedly began using steroids to gain size.

He worked in Mexico’s Triple A promotion as “Madonna’s Boyfriend,” a character that got over big and was featured in Triple A’s When Worlds Collide pay-per-view in ’94. This led to the WWF signing him as Rad Radford, a would-be member of the Bodydonnas whose overweight frame clashed with the fitness-minded Bodydonnas.

However, Spicolli’s drug problems led to his dismissal after he ingested 55 Somas and was found face down in a puddle. Mucciolo was hospitalized and at one point was pronounced clinically dead.

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Beulah, Louie Spicolli, and Francine. ECW, 1996

Spicolli went to work in ECW, but again, his substance abuse problem impeded his career with Paul Heyman seeing Spicolli out of his company.

According to wrestling lore, Spicolli could consume up to 85 Somas at a time. On more than one occasion, Spicolli passed out on planes and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital to flush out his system.

A Second Chance and Possible Redemption

Spicolli was brought into WCW as a pledge of the New World Order (nWo), working with Scott Hall during Hall’s feud with Larry Zbyszko.

During this time, Spicolli did a guest stint on color commentary, proving so funny that Eric Bischoff considered putting Spicolli into a permanent role as a color commentator. Bischoff reportedly saw Spicolli as “The Chris Farley of Wrestling.”

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Late 1997: A few months before his death, Louie Spicolli debuts in WCW as part of the nWo. photo: wwe.com

A Deadly Relapse

Plagued by frequent overdoses, Spicolli resolved to give up his drug abuse and reportedly did so cold turkey. However, he relapsed when his mother was diagnosed with cancer and she was given just months to live.

On February 15, 1998, Spicolli was found dead in his home by a friend who had crashed there.

According to Dave Meltzer’s 2001 book Tributes, Spicolli’s friend John Hannah “…woke up to a really bad odor. When he opened the door to Spicolli’s room, he knew right away what had happened. Spicolli was lying fast first on the floor, there was vomit all over the place, his ankles were swollen, and his body was already discolored”

Spicolli had mixed Somas and wine, suffering a drug overdose. The official cause of death was a heart attack due to an enlarged heart.

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Louie Spicolli’s grave in Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. photo: D K Railsback B

Several other notable wrestlers died in the 90s, including Owen Hart, Rick Rude, Brian Pillman, Dino Bravo, Junkyard Dog, Uncle Elmer, Bobo Brazil, Big John Studd, and Andre the Giant.

Spicolli is buried in Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, California – 30 miles south of Los Angeles.

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