Tough Enough Season 3 co-winner Matt Cappotelli had to retire at the young age of 27 because of a brain tumor that was found to be cancerous. Ten years after the operation that had removed most of the cancerous tumor, the now-37-year-old former WWE developmental talent announced that the tumor has come back with a vengeance and that he’s scheduled to receive emergency brain surgery today.
Wrestling fans may remember Matt Cappotelli as the co-winner of the third season of WWE’s rookie search Tough Enough in 2004. He had won that season alongside John Hennigan, who would later on be known in WWE as Johnny Nitro, and later on John Morrison while enjoying a long and successful career that continues to this day. While both men earned WWE contracts as their prizes, Cappotelli only made a few appearances on the main roster, before being sent to WWE’s then-developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, for more seasoning.
As TMZ recalled, Cappotelli had also gotten into a notable incident with former WWE mid-card talent Bob Holly while on Tough Enough, with the veteran wrestler allegedly “shooting” on, or legitimately attacking the youngster in a match.
— 24Wrestling.com (@24Wrestling) June 28, 2017
While at OVW, Cappotelli would become the promotion’s champion, but it was also there where he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that had forced him to relinquish his title and retire from pro wrestling. WWE wrote in 2007 about the brain surgery he was to receive to remove the growth, which took place about a year after the tumor was first spotted.
Unfortunately, it now appears that Matt’s health has taken a sudden turn for the worse. According to a report from PWInsider, Matt Cappotelli announced that his brain tumor had returned through a post on his wife’s Facebook account.
“Waiting to be taken for my MRI and get prepared for my second brain surgery tomorrow. Just found out that the tumor that I had removed 10 years ago has come back much more aggressively and needs to be dealt with. It’s a very large tumor and there is a portion that is inoperable. The portion that they are hoping to remove will be sent for pathology, which will determine what exactly we are dealing with and provide insight on future treatment plans and the next steps for the inoperable portion in my brain stem. #John9:1-3”
Pray for a young man named Matt Cappotelli. He is fighting a brain tumor. He beat it once, pray that God heals him.
— Steven Rowe (@SRowe1978) June 29, 2017
Thinking of Matt Cappotelli as he goes in for surgery tomorrow. He has proven he is tough enough to beat this again. #FCancer
— Bob Ryder (@brydertna) June 29, 2017
— Jay (@jaysenbowman) June 28, 2017
As of this writing, there’s still no update on how Matt Cappotelli’s brain surgery has gone, but fans have been sending the former Tough Enough winner and his wife, Lindsay, their best wishes as they go through this trying time in their lives. Per Lindsay Cappotelli’s Facebook account, Matt had last appeared in the ring in April of this year, making a “rare appearance,” but apparently not getting involved in any physical contact during the segment.
[Featured Image by WWE]