Brian ‘Axl Rotten’ Knighton, WWE Wrestler, Dead at Age 44

Axl Rotten (left) with his storyline brother Ian Rotten
Axl Rotten (left) with his story-line brother, Ian Rotten. Courtesy Ian Rotten via Facebook

Brian Knighton, the WWE star who fought as Axl Rotten, has been found dead in Baltimore at the age of 44.

According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, the wrestler was found by authorities in a McDonald's near to the motel where he was staying, just 10 hours after he last sent out a message on Twitter. 

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Knighton was most famous for his role in the original Extreme Championship Wrestling in the 1990s, when he acted out a major feud with his story-line brother and former team partner, Ian Rotten, which included the use of barbed-wire baseball bats.

Reacting to news of Knighton's passing, the WWE said in a statement: "WWE extends its condolences to Knighton’s family, friends and fans."

His story-line brother, John "Ian Rotten" Williams, led a Facebook tribute to his friend. "Thanks for letting me learn from you, but most of all thanks for being my brother," he wrote, linking to pictures and videos from Knighton's career.

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He then went on to explain that Knighton's death did not come as a surprise to him.

"When Axl left my house Sunday night, I pretty much knew I would never see him again," his longtime pal wrote. "He would always say to me that he had no idea why he was still here. That God must have been making him suffer. I told him that it was Gods plan for him to write his book, and maybe that book would change one person's life," he went on.

"Unfortunately, now that book won't be written. When he left my house, he told me he wrote this story and he knew how it ended."

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Hours before his death, Knighton sent a tweet out to his followers.

"The way I do things may not be the way you do things but you will find out there is only 1 way. My away! #AxlsTruth," he wrote.

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