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Former wrestler Brian Lawler, son of WWE star Jerry Lawler, dies after hanging himself in jail cell, officials say

Brian Lawler, a former WWE star and the son of Jerry “The King” Lawler, died Sunday after attempting suicide in a Tennessee jail cell.

Lawler, who was known as Grandmaster Sexay during his wrestling career, was being held at Hardeman County Jail on DUI-related charges when he was found hanging in his cell Saturday night. “Corrections officers administered CPR until paramedics arrived,” the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement (via the Commercial Appeal). “Lawler was transported to Regional One Medical Center in Memphis, where he died Sunday afternoon.”

News of Lawler’s death rocked the wrestling world. It came on the same day that Nikolai Volkoff died at age 70 and Brickhouse Brown died at 57 of cancer.

Lawler, 46, was arrested and charged July 7 with DUI, evading arrest and driving on a revoked license in Hardeman County, which is about 70 miles east of Memphis. “Lots of different stories and rumors about my brother today,” Lawler’s brother, Kevin, wrote Sunday evening on Facebook. “But as of 30 minutes ago, he has officially passed. I love U and will miss U my brother! A very sad day today. Words can’t describe.”

Lawler, who sometimes wrestled with his father, was in the WWE from 1997 to 2001 and was part of the Too Cool tag team with Scotty 2 Hotty. Lawler had personal issues that contributed to his abbreviated career. Last February, he was hospitalized after a fight with former wrestler Chase Stevens. In June, he was arrested for allegedly failing to pay an $800 bill at a Memphis Hampton Inn.

“It was just shock. We all knew Brian had issues that he dealt with,” Dave Brown, chief meteorologist emeritus for WMC in Memphis, told the station. Brown, who worked wrestling broadcasts for more than three decades, had watched Lawler as his career was beginning. “I don’t think anybody could have predicted this,” he added.

In a statement, WWE said it was “saddened to learn that Brian Christopher Lawler, who is best known in WWE as Too Cool’s Grandmaster Sexay, has passed away. Lawler, who is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler, competed during the height of the Attitude Era. WWE extends its condolences to Lawler’s family, friends and fans.”

Lawler’s death is under investigation by the TBI at the request of Mark Davidson, attorney general for the state’s 25th District.

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