Former professional wrestler Jimmy Rave died aged 39 on Sunday after a harrowing time last year in hospital that saw him undergoing three amputations. The Ring of Honor star had both his legs amputated just six months back and was suffering from depression. His legs had to be amputated because of MRSA infection and were a major setback for Rave over the last few months.
The exact cause of his death hasn't yet been revealed, but a friend said he struggled with addiction and believes his inner demons caught up to him. Rave, who was forced to retire in November 2020, worked for the likes of Ring of Honor, IMPACT, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Dragon Gate and Combat Zone Wrestling.
News of Rave's death comes less than two months after he confirmed that both his legs have been amputated after he contracted MRSA. He had gone into depression following this but it is not known if this led to his death.
One of his friends said that he was struggling with addiction and that his inner demons caught up with 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."
News of Rave's death was first confirmed by his daughter Kailah on Twitter and friend Bill Behrens, saying "James Michael Guffey has died at the age of 39." Rave's real name was Michael Guffey.
Painful Last Days
Addiction it seems was one of the major reasons behind rave's untimely death although the last year almost took away everything from him. He had previously lost his left arm, which had forced him to quit the sport, and shortly after contracted Covid too.
Rave started his professional career as a wrestler in 1999 and was a two-time National Wrestling Alliance heavyweight champion, his friend Bill Behrens said when announcing his death Monday.
"James was best known as Professional Wrestler Jimmy Rave. His career started in 1999, continued for over 2 decades. He was a two-time NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion. He appeared in Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling, where he teamed with Lance (Hoyt) Rock as the 'Rock and Rave Infection,'" Behrens wrote.
The statement added: "Jimmy had been struggling with drug addiction for many years. His struggles resulted in the amputation of his arm, and, later, both of his legs. James is survived by his ex-wife Felicia, daughter Kailah, son James II, and parents Jim and Toni Guffey."
In his two-decade long illustrious career, Rave 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.
In December 2020, Rave announced 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."
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.
Rave was also struggling to pay his medical bills in his last days. 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.