He worked for the WWE from 1988 to 1989 and appeared wearing a mask and was called "The Blue Angel", then as "The Blue Blazer" He then worked the independent circuit from '89-'91, then to WCW for a year, then back to WWE. He was a two-time Intercontinental Champion, and a four-time World Tag Champion in the WWE.
The night of his death he was billed as "The Blue Blazer" and was suppose to have an Intercontinental Championship match. He was suppose to make his entrance from the rafters at WWE's "Over the Edge" pay-per-view event at Kemper Arena. He was in the process of being lowered via harness and rappel line when an equipment malfunction occurred. Apparently something went wrong with the stunt harness that triggered the release mechanism early and he fell 78 feet into the ring. He landed chest first on the top rope, approximately a foot from the nearest turnbuckle, throwing him into the ring. He died from internal bleeding and blunt force trauma. He had performed the stunt only a few times before and was worried about performing the stunt that night due to the height involved. Neither his incident nor aftermath was seen by viewers at home. At the moment of the fall, a pre-taped vignette was being shown on the pay-per-view broadcast as well as on the monitors in the darkened arena. While he was being worked on in the ring, all that was shown was the audience.
He was an American Professional wrestler and one of the most agile "big men" in professional wrestling history. He was a main even attraction in virtually every major promotion at one time over the course of a 21 year career. His most recognizable feature about him was a tattoo that spanned most of his bald head.
He made his debut in 1985 and retired in 2006.
He signed with the WWF in 1987 as a face but only wrestled for one year before he had to leave to have surgery on a badly injured knee. In 1992 he returned to the WWF as a heel but left again in late 1995. In early 1996 he went to ECW and was a dominant force there. At one time he held the ECW Television Championship and the ECW Championship during his run there. He made his final wrestling match for The American Combat Wrestling promotion in 2005.
He was found in his home by his girlfriend. At the time of his death he had been suffering from a persistent infection and diabetes. The autopsy report said his death was due to multiple drugs found in his system, including toxic levels of cocaine and benzodiazepine.
He was regarded as one of the most popular, respected and technically gifted performer in the history of professional wrestling. He made his debut in 1985 in Stampede Wrestling, then to New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1989, and then to WCW in 1992. He went to ECW in 1994 and back to WCW in 1995 where he stayed until 2000. His final move was to the WWE in 2000. During his wrestling career he was both a heel and a baby face. During his run on WWE he also worked for their other programs, Raw and Smackdown. In 2007 he was drafted from Smackdown and went back to ECW, another part of WWE.
Over a three day period he killed his wife and son, and then committed suicide by hanging himself. His wife, Nancy, had been a valet and ring assistant and her ring name was "Woman".
He was found to have Xanax, hydrocodene, and an elevated level of testosterone in his body but there was no indication that he had anything else in his body to lead him to murder his family, and then kill himself. His father suggested that after years of trauma to his son's brain he could have had brain damage, which might have led to his activities.
He was a heel for most of his career. He won numerous titles during his career, including the WWE championship won by beating Brock Lesnar in 2004. This victory made him only the second ever Latino WWE champion in history and the first Mexican American to win the main world title in an American promotion.
He first debuted in WWE in 2000 to 2001, and then went to an independent circuit from 2001-2002, then back to WWE from 2002 to 2005. He was the first WWE United States Champion from 2003-2004, loosing it to Big Show at "No Mercy".
Throughout his career he encountered various substance abuse problems outside of wrestling including addition to pain killers and alcoholism.
On the night he died, he was scheduled to face Batista and Randy Orton in a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship during the taping of Smackdown. He was found unconscious in his hotel room by his nephew. He died of acute heart failure caused by cardiovascular disease.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame posthumously in 2006,
He was discovered by wrestling promoter Lord Alfred Hayes as a teenager and became a wrestler in Paris. In 1973 he made his debut in WWF as a baby face and was one of the most beloved baby face throughout the 1970's and early 1980's. He turned heel in 1987 so he could face Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in Wrestlemania II.
The stress of his immense weight on his bones and joints resulted in constant pain, almost crippling at times, and after back surgery he wore a brace under his wrestling attire. It also caused his heart to struggle to pump blood throughout his massive body.
He continued to make appearances in the WWF throughout 1990-1991 but retired in 1991.
He died in his sleep in a hotel room in Paris. He was there to attend his father's funeral.
He was the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1994 posthumously. The WWE created the WWE Hall of Fame to honor him.
His ring name was "Mr. Perfect". He was a 2 time World Champion, (a former AWA Heavyweight Champion and a former WCW Universal Champion), a two time WWF Intercontinental Champion, and a two time World Tag Team Champion. Health problems prevented him once again from being pushed as a contender for the WWF Championship during the 1990's. He did though become one of the most colorful personalities and later assumed a role as a manager and colorful commentator.
He returned to the WWF in 2002 for a brief period and continued to accept bookings from independent promotions until his death.
He was found dead in a hotel room and the autopsy declared acute cocaine intoxication as the official cause of death. His father said that steroids and pain killers contributed to his death.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame posthumously in 2007.