NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, February 5, 2016, 10:02 AM
Brian Knighton, who competed as Axl Rotten for many wrestling companies, including ECW and WCW, died Thursday in Baltimore. He was 44.
“WWE is saddened to learn of reports that Brian Knighton, best known for competing in ECW as Axl Rotten from 1993 to 1999, has passed away. WWE extends its condolences to Knighton’s family, friends and fans,” the wrestling company, which owns ECW, said in a statement.
Knighton was known for his bloody, barbed-wire bat matches on the wrestling circuit. He struggled with his sobriety and his tag-team partner, John Williams — who competed as Knighton’s brother under the stage name Ian Rotten — wrote in a Facebook post that he saw Knighton on Sunday, and was left with the feeling that it would be their last time together.
“When Axl left my house Sunday night, I pretty much knew I would never see him again,” Williams wrote. “He would always say to me that he had no idea why he was still here. That God must have been making him suffer. I told him that it was Gods plan for him to write his book, and maybe that book would change one person’s life,” he went on.
“Unfortunately, now that book won’t be written. When he left my house, he told me he wrote this story and he knew how it ended.”
Knighton sent out a cryptic tweet just hours before news of his death broke.
“The way I do things may not be the way you do things but you will find out there is only 1 way. My away! #AxlsTruth,” he wrote.
An RIP message was also sent from his account late Thursday night.