Matt Cappotelli passes away
WWE is saddened to learn that Matt Cappotelli, a promising Superstar who was a co-winner of WWE Tough Enough III, passed away Friday at age 38.
His death was first announced by his wife, Lindsay Cappotelli, on her Facebook page.
"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," she wrote in her post.
Matt Cappotelli, who previously proved his athletic prowess as a member of the Western Michigan University football team, quickly made a name for himself in sports-entertainment as a co-winner of WWE Tough Enough III.
He shared the victory in 2003 with John Hennigan, who later came to be known as John Morrison. After coming out on top of the WWE reality competition, the duo quickly started their training in Ohio Valley Wrestling to become future Superstars.
Cappotelli’s OVW training was cut short in 2006 due to an initial brain cancer diagnosis that was treated one year later. Ten years after surviving the first battle, his cancer resurfaced in 2017 and worsened later in the year.
In 2017, Cappotelli spoke with WWE.com about his second bout with cancer. Despite the troubling outlook, he continued to publicly fight his illness in hopes his story might help others find the strength to keep fighting their battles, too.
“Life is the most precious gift we’re given,” Capotelli said in 2017. “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.”
WWE extends its condolences to Matt Cappotelli’s family, friends and fans.
Superstars remember Matt Cappotelli
Morrison was one of many Superstars to express his grief over Cappotelli’s passing on social media.
My first best friend in the wrestling business and to this day one of the best people I’ve ever known Matt Cappotelli has passed on. I’m gutted about this news. Matt inspired everyone around him especially me early in my career. He is loved and will be missed.— John Morrison (@TheRealMorrison) June 29, 2018
Other Superstars also shared their memories and condolences:
Crushed to hear about the passing of Matt Cappotelli. He was talented, passionate & possessed a heart of GOLD. Everyone should fight as hard as Matt fought. Condolences to his friends, family & the countless others he touched on his journey. Rest In Peace Capp.— KASSIUS (KASH-US) (@KassiusOhno) June 29, 2018
Saddened to hear of the passing of Matt Cappotelli. He’s was a great guy who deserved so much more. R.I.P. Brother https://t.co/42mq7ZfoGO— Shelton J. Benjamin (@Sheltyb803) June 29, 2018
In 2005, Matt Cappotelli & I were gonna be brought up to WWE Smackdown as the tag team “Reality Check.” One day out of no where he called me and said that he had just been diagnosed w/ brain cancer. On the phone, even with this scary news he remained positive and was gonna fight to beat cancer. He has been fighting for his life ever since. Every time I saw him he was positive and always had a smile on his face. Today, we lost a good one. A true fighter. My condolences to his wife and family. Matt, you will be missed my friend. #RIPMatt #TeamCapp
Very saddened to hear that Matt Cappotelli passed away. I had the privilege of working with and getting to know Matt during my time in OVW. If everyone strived to be even half the human being Matt was the world would be a wonderful wonderful place. #RIP— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) June 29, 2018
Rest easy my friend. So grateful that I had the opportunity to know you. To laugh with you. To make so many memories in @ovwrestling together with you. They say only the good die young. That rings all to true with you. You heart belongs with the angels. Xoxo #RIPCap #CuteBoots https://t.co/85veye9EsX— Mickie James~Aldis (@MickieJames) June 30, 2018
RIP #MattCappotelli— Drake Maverick (@WWEMaverick) June 29, 2018
What a wonderful brave man. You fought harder than anyone could ever imagine. Rest peacefully. Condolences to the family x
Blessed to know Matt Cappotelli— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) June 29, 2018
since his wrestling journey began
He was more Hardcore & Tougher Enough than any person I've ever known
Glad to have reconnected w/him
He never stopped fighting or questioned his faith
Great human being pic.twitter.com/zspqy1AJPz