Rowdy Roddy Piper became the latest superstar to join my collection of dead wrestler toys when he died on Friday July 31, aged 61, of cardiac arrest.

Given the death-defying moves carried out by professional wrestlers on a daily basis it is perhaps no coincidence that the same wrestlers tend to go out with a bang rather than fade away.

Some quite literally, as exploding hearts are a common cause of death among these men who build their bodies to the point of no return.

He joins the likes of Macho Man Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior, Big Boss Man and The British Bulldog in the Dead Wrestlers Club via the heart attack route.

Footballers and rugby players generally call it a day when they get the wrong side of 35, but the urge to stop pumping iron and kicking ass is not one that seems to pull at professional wrestlers.

The Undertaker and Sting are still pay per view draws aged 50 and 56 respectively – unheard of elsewhere in the world of contact sport.

Now some may say wrestling isn’t a sport, others may say it isn’t even entertaining. But the common ground is to call it sports entertainment.

I remember getting into a pretty titanic tussle back at school with a class mate. It was the highlight of my wrestling career which ended at the age of 14. I managed to get in a really good clothesline and trap my opponent in a headlock before the teacher broke it up. He gave us two-hours detention for fighting even though I explained that we weren’t fighting, it was sports entertainment.

The question is, does sports entertainment become more or less entertaining as its stars die off one by one, long before their time?

An even more important question is, are my toys worth more now that they’re dead?

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