Skip to main content

Former ROH and TNA wrestler Jimmy Rave passes away at 39


After battling severe health issues over the past year, former Ring of Honor and TNA/Impact Wrestling wrestler Jimmy Rave has died at 39 years old.

Agent Bill Behrens issued a statement on Monday announcing the passing of Rave (real name James Michael Guffey). The statement was written with the help of Rave's daughter Kailah.

In November 2020, Rave announced that he would have to retire from pro wrestling due to having his left arm amputated. Doctors needed to amputate the limb after finding an infection in Rave's arm.

Rave revealed in October of this year that both of his legs were amputated after he went to see a surgeon in June. Rave said that his surgeon determined he had MRSA in both of his legs and they needed to be amputated immediately.

The announcement of Rave's passing stated that the amputations were the result of Rave struggling with drug addiction for many years.

A GoFundMe to help with Rave's astronomical medical expenses raised more than $47,000. Mick Foley had been helping to raise money for Rave.

Rave was from the state of Georgia and began his in-ring career in 1999. He became a star while working for ROH in the 2000s, paired with manager Prince Nana as part of The Embassy. Rave later teamed with Lance Hoyt in TNA.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of James Guffey, otherwise known as Jimmy Rave," Impact Wrestling tweeted. "We offer our sincere condolences to his family & friends during this difficult time. Rave made his IMPACT debut in 2002 during The Asylum Years & became a mainstay of the X-Division."

Behrens wrote that a memorial service for Rave will be held in Georgia, with details to be revealed at a later time:

James Michael Guffey has died at the age of 39.

James was best known as Professional Wrestler, Jimmy Rave. His career, which started in 1999, continued for over 2 decades. He was a two-time NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion. He appeared in Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling, where he teamed with Lance (Hoyt) Rock as the 'Rock and Rave Infection.' In Ring of Honor, he feuded with AJ Styles and was the 'Crown Jewel' of the faction, The Embassy, and last appeared in 2013 as a Member of S.C.U.M. He toured Japan with both Dragon Gate Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling where in 2008 he competed in the 'Best of The Super Junior' Tournament. In 2005 he appeared on World Wrestling Entertainment's Sunday Night Heat. Rave appeared in numerous Independent promotions including Rampage Pro Wrestling, Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment, and Combat Zone Wrestling, among many others. He also served as a booker for several years in Rampage Pro Wrestling and led a faction known as 'Jimmy Rave Approved.'

Outside of wrestling he held the position of Director of the Bartow County, Georgia Peer Support, Wellness and Respite Center for several years.

James had been struggling with drug addiction for many years. His struggles resulted in the amputation of his arm and, later, both of his legs.

James is survived by his ex-wife Felicia, daughter Kailah, son James II, and parents Jim & Toni Guffey. At the time of his death, he was living in the Philadelphia, PA area with Gabby Gilbert.

RIP, James Michael Guffey, 12/8/82 - 12/12/21

Memorial services will be held in Georgia. Details will be released at a later time.