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Ex pro-wrester Jimmy Rave dead at 39 after triple amputation and drug addiction battle 

Former professional wrestler Jimmy Rave – who spent much of the past year in hospital after undergoing three amputations – died Sunday at age 39.

The legendary Ring of Honor star’s cause of death was not revealed, but a friend said he struggled with addiction and believes his inner demons caught up to him. 

‘I have no idea what happened or the specifics here but it’d be hard to not believe his battles with his demons contributed greatly to his passing at a very young age of 39,’ fellow wrestler Randy Wayne wrote on Facebook

‘If you’re fighting addiction, get help. If you don’t know where to turn, message, text or call me and I’ll get you pointed in the right direction to get the help you need.’

Rave (whose real name was James Michael Guffey) began wrestling in 1999 and was a two-time National Wrestling Alliance heavyweight champion, his friend Bill Behrens said when announcing his death Monday.

Rave in October shared a jarring photo of himself lying in his hospital bed with both legs and his left arm removed because of recurring cases of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Legendary professional wrestler Jimmy Rave died Sunday at age 39. The cause of his death was not immediately known

Legendary professional wrestler Jimmy Rave died Sunday at age 39. The cause of his death was not immediately known

During his decades-long career, he appeared in World Wrestling Entertainment’s Sunday Night Heat, toured Japan with Dragon Gate Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling, and wrangled with AJ Styles in the Ring of Honor.

He also spent several years working as a booker for Rampage Pro Wrestling, where he led a ‘Jimmy Rave Approved’ movement, his friend said.

Last December, Rave announced on his Instagram that he was ending his pro-wrestling career due to the amputation of his left arm. 

‘I have been very blessed for the last 21 years in professional wrestling and getting to live out my dream,’ he wrote. ‘Today, that dream has ended for me and I have a new reality.’

Last December, Rave announced on his Instagram that he was ending his pro-wrestling career due to the amputation of his left arm

Last December, Rave announced on his Instagram that he was ending his pro-wrestling career due to the amputation of his left arm

He also spent several years working as a booker for Rampage Pro Wrestling, where he led a 'Jimmy Rave Approved' movement

He also spent several years working as a booker for Rampage Pro Wrestling, where he led a ‘Jimmy Rave Approved’ movement

He said his world ‘came crashing down’ days earlier when doctors discovered the staph infection in his arm and said it was necessary to amputate it below the elbow.

The situation only worsened for Rave, who revealed in late October that he had to have both of legs amputated after a recurring case of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) .

The former athlete tweeted a jarring photo of himself lying in his hospital bed with both legs and his left arm removed because he was again diagnosed with MRSA – a bacterial infection resistant to antibiotics. 

‘I have a history [with] this and would cancel shows often due to this condition,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘I’ve gone this whole time not disclosing my legs because of this embarrassment’. 

His friend Bill Behrens announcd his death on Twitter Monday, and said Rave's drug struggles likely contributed to his demise

His friend Bill Behrens announcd his death on Twitter Monday, and said Rave’s drug struggles likely contributed to his demise

His friend Behrens said the health troubles were triggered by his years-long drug addiction.

‘James had been struggling with drug addiction for many years,’ he said in a Facebook post. ‘His struggles resulted in the amputation of his arm and, later, both of his legs.’

The wrestler, who has two children, was living in Philadelphia at the time of his death.

His final social media posts centered around medical bills and his struggle to pay them; a GoFundMe raised more than $47,000 for his medical and living expenses. 

‘In just a few hours it will be my birthday,’ he tweeted December 7 while asking for donations. ‘It’s never ment [sic] all that much but this year has been super difficult.’

Rave's final social media posts centered around medical bills and his struggle to pay them; a GoFundMe raised more than $47,000 for his medical and living expenses

Rave’s final social media posts centered around medical bills and his struggle to pay them; a GoFundMe raised more than $47,000 for his medical and living expenses

Social media pages filled up with tributes to Rave after news of his death broke, with one wrestler saying he had a 'heart of gold' and others saying he'll be missed

Social media pages filled up with tributes to Rave after news of his death broke, with one wrestler saying he had a ‘heart of gold’ and others saying he’ll be missed

Friends and fans turned to social media to offer tributes to the wrestler. 

‘I hope you have found the peace you were searching for here,’ professional wrestler @RichardsWesley tweeted. ‘You had a heart of gold. RIP Jimmy Rave.’

Former professional Frankie Kazarian also expressed sadness over his passing.

‘I’m glad we shared a ring as many time as we did,’ he tweeted. ‘I’m glad we got the chance to know each other over 18 years ago. I’m glad we were friends. I’m glad that I knew you, and I will miss you. Godspeed my friend.’


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