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Former WWE star Matt Cappotelli, a winner of the wrestling reality competition series Tough Enough, died Friday after a battle with cancer, his wife announced. He was 38.
In a Facebook group dedicated to supporting her husband, Lindsay Cappotelli wrote, “Today my love-my strong, sweet, beautiful love-took his last breath at 3:30 a.m. and went Home to be with Jesus … exactly one year after his brain surgery. You think you can be prepared for this when you know it’s coming, but you just can’t. The only person who’s comfort I want right now is the one who can’t give it to me. I miss him so much. I know where he is now is so much better, but it doesn’t change how much I miss him.”
The WWE also posted the news of Matt Cappotelli’s death, calling him “a promising Superstar” in a tweet. Cappotelli was one of the co-winners of the third season of WWE’s wrestling competition series Tough Enough. He shared his 2003 win with John Hennigan, who was later known as John Morrison, the WWE said in an article on its website about Matt Cappotelli’s death.
Prior to appearing on the TV competition, Cappotelli was on the Western Michigan University football team, WWE wrote.
After the Tough Enough win, Cappotelli began training to become a future WWE Superstar, but his work was cut short due to a brain cancer diagnosis in 2006. He was treated a year later, but the cancer returned in 2017 and worsened that year, WWE wrote.
Despite battling the disease, Cappotelli tried to have a positive outlook and shared that with WWE in 2017.
“Life is the most precious gift we’re given,” Cappotelli told WWE.com at that time. “If I can inspire others to not give up on the life they’ve been blessed to have, that’s what I’m trying to spread — hope.”
He underwent emergency surgery in June 2017 to treat the cancer after doctors discovered the disease had returned 10 years after it went into remission, Cappotelli told WWE.com last year, then working as a trainer at Ohio Valley Wrestling in Lexington, Kentucky.
He was geared up to fight the disease.
“I’m always ready to beat it. There’s two mentalities: Either you roll over and let it do what it’s going to do, or you stand up and fight it. That was never a question for me; I’m going to fight it,” Matt Cappotelli told WWE.com.
But this time it came back in a more aggressive form, he explained.
“It’s a completely different animal,” he said. “The first time, the cancer was a very slow-growing, grade 2 tumor. This time, it came back in a more aggressive and deadlier form, a grade 4 glioblastoma, which if you do any research on, it’s not very pleasant to look it.”
Read Lindsay Cappotelli’s Facebook post below.
And watch Matt Cappotelli win Tough Enough III in the below video.