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December 24, 2001 Observer Newsletter: Death of Russ Haas, more

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WWF developmental wrestler Russ Haas was found dead by his wife on the morning of 12/15 from what was believed to have been a heart attack. Autopsy results are pending.

Haas, 27, had not gotten back in the ring since recovering from a previous heart attack on 9/24 when coming back from a Heartland Wrestling Association TV taping in Jeffersonville, IN.

The death, the first of an active wrestler on the WWF roster since Owen Hart's much publicized death in 1999, took place just hours before HWA's planned Christmas party and three days before Haas was scheduled for a meeting with a second cardiologist after getting clearance from his first cardiologist that he could return to wrestle. The WWF, wanting to remain cautious despite Haas' clean bill of health, because of the high death rate of pro wrestlers under the age of 40, was not allowing him back in the ring until a second doctor would clear him.

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