Matt Cappotelli, who won WWE’s Tough Enough reality show competition in 2003 in it’s third season, died early this past Friday morning at the age of 38. While Cappotelli was diagnosed with brain cancer back in 2017, he was originally diagnosed 12 years earlier while he was training with WWE’s then-developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling. In fact, he was the reigning OVW Heavyweight Champion, after defeating Johnny Jeter, when he was diagnosed in 2005, which forced him to relinquish the title and start treatment to remove the tumors.
While the treatment for his brain cancer was successful, in 2017 the family announced that it had returned in a more aggressive form and had another surgery to stave off the disease. Cappotelli’s wife, Lindsay, announced on Facebook her husband died one year after having brain surgery:
“Hey Team Capp…I’ve been struggling with what to say and how to say this, and I’ll probably end up rambling, but here goes. 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.”
Cappotelli and John Morrison were named co-winners of Tough Enough III to earn WWE contracts, and Morrison shared his memories of Cappotelli:
Rest in Peace, Matt.
Also, F*** You Cancer.