Video Shows Booker T Learning Of Bray Wyatt's Death During Podcast

By Jason Hall

August 25, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

A heartbreaking video shared online shows two-time WWE Hall of Famer Booker T learning the news of Bray Wyatt's death in real time during the live stream of his 'Hall of Fame' podcast Thursday (August 24).

Booker T, a six-time world champion who currently works as a commentator for WWE's NXT program, was notified by co-host Brad Gilmore that Wyatt, 36, whose real name was Windham Rotunda, had passed after he shared stories in tribute of Hall of Fame wrestler Terry Funk, who died at the age of 79 one day prior.

"You said Bray Wyatt's passed away?" Booker asked Gilmore with a look of shock on his face before going silent and closing his eyes while shaking his head in disbelief.

Gilmore read the post shared by former WWE wrestler turned chief content officer Paul 'Triple H' Levesque announcing Rotunda's death, citing the wrestler's father, former wrestler Mike Rotunda.

"Just received a call from WWE Hall of Famer Mike Rotunda who informed us of the tragic news that our WWE family member for life Windham Rotunda - also known as Bray Wyatt - unexpectedly passed earlier today. Our thoughts are with his family and we ask that everyone respect their privacy at this time," Levesque wrote on his X account.

Rotunda is reported to have died from a heart attack, according to Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, who said he was "given permission" from the late wrestler's "loved ones [who] wanted some details clarified." The 36-year-old reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year, which "exacerbated" heart issues, Sapp reports.

Rotunda's death came days after reports that his lengthy absence from WWE television was due to a was dealing with a life threatening illness but was expected to be nearing a return.

"There was a lot of positive progress towards a return and his recovery. Unfortunately today he suffered a heart attack and passed away," Sapp wrote on his X account Thursday (August 24) night. "I encourage those reading to respect the family's privacy if at all possible, but his loved ones wanted some details clarified."

Rotunda is a former WWE champion and two-time Universal champion, having become one of the company's biggest characters of the past decade. The third-generation wrestler initially debuted as Husky Harris on the reality show version of NXT and later as a member of the group Nexus before later becoming a mainstay was Bray Wyatt, a cult leader-esque character flanked by Eric Rowan and the late Luke Harper -- also known as Brodie Lee in All Elite Wrestling and other promotions -- as part of the Wyatt Family.

Rotunda would go through several notable incarnations of the character, which later included repackaging himself as a Mr. Rogers-esque host of 'Firefly Funhouse' vignettes as a split personality to 'The Fiend,' a much darker character than he had played previously.

The 36-year-old was among numerous -- and arguably the most surprising of the -- wrestlers released by the company during the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2021 before making his return in October 2022, having only wrestled one televised match at the 2023 Royal Rumble prior to his death.

Rotunda was a third-generation wrestler through his father and maternal grandfather, the late Blackjack Mulligan.

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