Timothy Well Death – Kidney Failure

timothy well death

Timothy Well, known for his tag team run in the early 90s as part of “Well Dunn” – dead at age 55. photo: wwe.com

1961-2017 (age 55)

Timothy Smith died on January 9th, 2017 after suffering from kidney failure.

Smith is perhaps best known as Timothy Well, one half of the early 90s WWF tag team “Well Dunn”, where he partnered with Steven Dunn (Steve Doll). Doll died in 2009.

Although their WWF run was brief, the duo would end up spending the majority of their careers as a tag team across various promotions. Smith also spent time as a singles competitor where he worked under the ring name of Rex King.

Rex King takes on a young Raven in 1989

Early Career

Timothy Smith grew up in Florida and like many aspiring wrestlers before him, he was bit by the wrestling bug as a youngster.

He would go on to work locally in the Sarasota area, trained by Dean Malenko, before ultimately forming a tag team with Steve Doll.

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The Southern Rockers

Smith saw his first success in wrestling with PNW in the late 80s. He replaced Scott Peterson in a tag team with Steve Doll dubbed the Southern Rockers.

southern rockers tag team

USWA, 1990: Jeff Jarrett interviews the Southern Rockers. photo: youtube.com

Smith credited Roddy Piper as the reason he was picked to replace Peterson in the Southern Rockers gimmick. Piper was booking the Portland territory at the time.

The Southern Rockers were fan favorites in PNW, winning tag team gold on four separate occasions.

In the early 90s, Smith, alongside his partner Steve Doll, moved over to USWA. They would once again see success as a tag team, winning the tag belts on four occasions.

WWF, Well Dunn, Injuries

In 1993, Timothy Smith and Steve Doll received the call from the WWF. They were repackaged as Timothy Well and Steven Dunn, collectively “Well Dunn”.

well dunn tag teamWith the Hulkamania wonderdust worn off, the WWF was in a transitional period in 1993, and unfortunately the Well Dunn gimmick didn’t get over. Whoever picked out their ring attire probably didn’t help matters. Well Dunn were essentially gimmicked as male strippers – thong and bowtie included.

Still, Well Dunn managed to see a lot of TV time for the WWF. Unfortunately it was cut short when both Smith and Doll suffered separate injuries, shelving the tag team.

Well Dunn would return to action in 1994, feuding with the Bushwhackers.

Departure from WWE

Early in 1995, Well Dunn had moved on from the WWE.

In a 2012 interview with Slam!, Smith recalled Well Dunn’s departure from the WWE as being less than amicable.

Smith said there was a meeting with Vince McMahon just before WrestleMania. Well Dunn’s contracts were about to renew and Vince asked the pair how they felt about it. The duo stated they would love to stay with the WWF and didn’t think they had been given the opportunity to show the company what they were capable of.

MaMahon responds “Alright then, that sounds good to me.”

Four days later the tag team received a FedEx with their termination papers.

Smith noted “I don’t even know why a man with his [Vince McMahon] power even had to lie to us. He could have been straight-up with us [in the meeting]”

Later Career, Steroid Use

After their termination from the WWE, Smith and Doll entered Smoky Mountain Wrestling. They were quickly billed in top programs with the Thrill Seekers (Chris Jericho and Lance Storm) and The Rock N Roll Express.

Both Smith and Doll then went to various organizations for singles runs.

Notably, Smith spent time living and working in Puerto Rico. He didn’t shy away from the fact that it was easy to obtain steroids while working there. In 2012, Smith noted:

“I could stay in the ring and keep working and keep putting some weight on and size, because you could easily get the juice there [in Puerto Rico]. You could do what you needed to do.”

Injuries, Declining Health, Retirement

Unfortunately injuries would once again plague Smith’s wrestling career.

A 2001 injury in Puerto Rico would essentially end his career. Mustafa Saed (formerly of ECW tag team The Gangstas) broke Smith’s neck on a power slam.

Smith would eventually settle into a career working as a cross country trucker, but his injuries from wrestling loomed. He also broke his neck a second time, this time the result of falling through a porch.

Timothy Smith Death, WWE Lawsuit

Timothy Smith died on January 9, 2017 after complications from kidney failure. His mother was by his side at the time of his death.

His mother said he had been “incapacitated for [the] last several years” and blamed his 20+ career in wrestling on his poor health.

In 2016, Smith was named as one of the 50+ former wrestlers filing suit against the WWE for injuries sustained while wrestling and failing to disclose the dangers of head injuries.

Timothy Well Funeral

A GoFundMe was setup to pay for Smith’s funeral expenses.

Within 24 hours the $2,500 goal had been met, primarily thanks to a large donation by none other than Chris Irvine (aka Chris Jericho), who noted:

“Rex was a good guy who was always good to me! Hopefully he has found peace and is with the Lord now. -CJ”

Our condolences to the friends and family of Timothy Smith.