Brian Knighton, better known to fans as former ECW wrestler Axl Rotten, passed away at age 44 yesterday. He was found dead at a McDonald’s close to a motel where he was staying in Baltimore, Maryland.
Rotten wrestled briefly in WCW in 1991 before moving to ECW in 1993 where he made a name for himself. He stayed with the promotion till 1999 before returning on the indy circuit. In 2005, he made one appearance for WWE in the build-up to the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view where he was part of one of the most successful WWE-produced events ever. He also made one single appearance for TNA as part of the Hardcore Justice show in August 2010, teaming with Balls Mahoney to take on Team 3D.
The former wrestler was confined to a wheelchair for the past several years after he suffered a spine injury and spent time at a rehab center in Maryland.
His last cryptic tweet posted hours before he passed away read, “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! (sic) #AxlsTruth.”
WWE posted a statement on the WWE.COM website acknowledging the passing of Axl Rotten. “WWE is saddened to learn of reports that Brian Knighton, best known for competing in ECW as Axl Rotten from 1993 to 1999, has passed away. WWE extends its condolences to Knighton’s family, friends and fans,” the statement read.