WWE News: Former ECW Original Dies At 44 - Second Wrestler To Die In 2016

Another wrestler has passed away, and anyone who has been a longtime fan of the sport is well aware of who Axl Rotten is. The ECW Original's real name was Brin Knighton and word had gotten out of his death on Thursday evening, and it's a sad moment for anyone that has ever watched wrestling.

Axl Rotten was just 44-years-old.

WWE did officially confirm Rotten's death and sent out their condolences to the friends and family of the longtime wrestler.

The exact cause of Axl Rotten's death is not yet known, but PW Insider did report that he was found dead in a motel room in Baltimore, Maryland. Authorities were the ones who found him dead, and he was not believed to have been dead for very long upon the discovery.

Upon his body being found in the motel room, it had been just about 10 hours after he got on Twitter and posted a rather odd tweet.

Knighton was best known for his time in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and that came about due to a very short stint in WCW. During his time with the now defunct company, Rotten met Paul Heyman (then Paul E. Dangerously) and struck up a friendship with him.

Rotten had tagged with his "brother" Ian Rotten for a while, but they then split and had a great and brutal feud in ECW. His time in ECW was more well known for teaming with Balls Mahoney and forming the tag team known as The Hardcore Chair Swingin' Freaks.

axl rotten balls mahoney
[Image via TNA]

They teamed together regularly from 1997 until 1999.

Axl Rotten never really had much of a chance in WWE, but he did appear at the special event called ECW One Night Stand in June of 2005. He appeared on one episode of Monday Night Raw in 2005 before that Pay-Per-View and had a view dark matches for WWE in July.

He suffered an injury in later years of wrestling the independent scene and it severely damage his spin. Rotten was using a wheelchair for some time and even lived in the Anchorage Rehab Center in Salisbury, Maryland, as he had many problems with drugs for years.

WWE had even helped him under their Wellness Policy and provided him with rehab stints on a number of occasions. He still dealt with a lot of demons and had ended up having troubles with drugs time and time again even after being in rehab.

Axl Rotten is sadly the second professional wrestler to die in 2016 already.

iron mike sharpe dies
[Image via WWE]

As confirmed by WWE back on Jan. 18, "Iron" Mike Sharpe had passed away at the age of 64. The man was known as "Canada's Greatest Athlete" according to his own proclamation, and ad a very long career in WWE and around the world.

Two already gone in 2016 does not bode well for the number that died in 2015 which ended up at 19. Some huge names were on the list of wrestler deaths in 2015, and that includes "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Dusty Rhodes, Buddy Landel, Akira, Verne Gagne, Nick Bockwinkel, and Perro Aguayo, Jr.

Casual fans may not recognize the name, but Axl Rotten was a true pioneer as far as hardcore wrestling goes, and the innovation of being an ECW Original. His loss is one that will affect many friends, family members, and former colleagues. Axl Rotten's death comes way too early and he died far too young.

[Image via TNA]