38. “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith – Age 39

the british bulldog davey boy smith

U.K. wrestling legend Davey Boy Smith worked hard to overcome what seemed to be a career-ending injury and a subsequent painkiller addiction, only to succumb to an all-too common cause of death amongst wrestlers on our list. Whether it was his work as one-half of the WWF Tag Team Championship British Bulldogs, or his singles work in WWF and WCW, Davey Boy Smith was beloved by fans around the world, but more than capable of playing a heel. A freak in-ring accident in 1998 nearly paralyzed Smith, and a subsequent addiction to painkillers haunted him until he attended WWF-sponsored drug rehabilitation. In 2002, Smith was poised for a comeback, but died from a heart attack. While Smith’s use of anabolic steroids may have played a role in his death, there was no conclusive ruling on it.