Axl Rotten (real name Brian Knighton) was found dead today in a motel in Baltimore, when authorities forced their way in to the room due to unresponsiveness. The 44 year old who worked for WCW in the early 90s, is perhaps best known for his time in the original ECW where he teamed with kayfabe brother Ian Rotten as the Bad Breed. Later the pair feuded in some of the promotion’s most violent matches. He also teamed with Balls Mahoney from 1997 to 1999 as the memorable Hardcore Chair Swingin Freaks!
Although his bouts mostly consisted of brawling, many of his peers considered him an underrated wrestler and in latter years he expressed regret at scarring up his body.
Rotten, who had known drug issues throughout his career was reached out to by WWE for their ECW revival and made a few brief appearances in 2005. He subsequently entered WWE sponsored rehab several times despite never having a full contract.
Rotten’s last known national exposure came at TNA’s ECW tribute show Hardcore Justice, teaming with Balls Mahoney against Team 3D.
In 2009 he was looking pretty healthy as seen in the above shoot interview, however in recent years he suffered from a spinal injury which kept him from standing for long periods and also had a bout of Bells Palsy. He reportedly never got over his addictions.
Here was Rotten’s final Vine:
— AXL ROTTEN (@AxlRottenECW) January 15, 2016
Last year he was also a guest on Talk Is Jericho: