Professional wrestling is not the safest sport in the world. The wear and tear on a person’s body drove many a wrestler to early retirement. Others sought out ways to cope with the pain. Then there were others, unfortunately, that suffered from random freak health problems. Some of these athletes passed away while performing in front of an audience. Fortunately, these have cropped up less frequently in recent years. Increased awareness for the physical and mental health of pro wrestlers, at least in the major promotions, staved off many premature deaths. Every now and then though, the tragic death of a young talent occurs. One such incident recently happened. Wayne VanDyke, known in the independent wrestling world as Richard Delicious, died at the age of 29.
Van Dyke competed in a tag team match for a Ronin Pro Wrestling show on April 29th. After he tagged out, VanDyke told his partner that he wasn’t feeling well. He then collapsed. As reported by The Sun, VanDyke suffered multiple heart attacks. The first one was at the arena, where medical staff attempted to give him CPR. The next occurred in the ambulance, en route to a local medical facility. Doctors made the call to place him into a medically induced coma to prevent any further heart attacks. He had been in critical condition ever since.
— Wrestling 101 (@WWrestling101) May 13, 2017
Van Dyke was born in New Britain Connecticut. After being trained by Chasyn Rance, Van Dyke made his pro wrestling debut in early 2010. He competed in various independent promotions. VanDyke made a name for himself in American Combat Wrestling, Orlando City Wrestling, REAL Pro Wrestling and Florida Underground Wrestling. Van Dyke is a former ACW Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight champion, which is most noteworthy. Furthermore, he was part a couple of tag teams, including the Wayne Brothers and the Sideshow Syndicate. He was also a member of the faction known as the Royal Empire.
In conclusion, this loss is a huge blow to the Southeastern independent wrestling community. We at The Scrum Sports offer our condolences to his friends, family and fellow workers. One hell of a talent was lost.