There was some very sad news today after learning that WWE Tough Enough 3 winner Matt Capotelli has passed away at the age of 38. Cappotelli passed away due to brain cancer.
Cappotelli won Tough Enough season 3 in 2003 along with John Hennigan, who would later become known in wrestling as John Morrison/Mundo. They were sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling for training, Cappotelli was a standout there, he won the OVW Heavyweight Title and then tragedy struck. Cappotelli was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2007, which meant he had to stop wrestling. In 2017, the brain cancer returned and sadly, there was no coming back from it.
Cappotelli’s wife Lindsay, who he married in 2006, shared the news of Matt’s death on Facebook:
“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.”
In a 2017 interview with WWE.com, Matt said this about his fight against cancer: ““Life is the most precious gift we’re given. 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.”
Those are strong words from a man that is gone way too soon.
It’s tough to think about somebody so strong succumbing to something so early in their life. Matt had his whole life ahead of him. To see it end just like that because of cancer just breaks my heart. On behalf of everybody here at TJRWrestling, we send our condolences to Matt’s family, friends and fans.
Matt Cappotelli is named as one of the two winners of the WWE Tough Enough III reality competition in 2003. pic.twitter.com/fKlXni1Fac
— WWE (@WWE) June 30, 2018
Several people in the wrestling business that knew Matt well paid tribute to him on Friday.
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
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
Blessed to know Matt Cappotelli
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
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) June 29, 2018
I'm heart broken with the news of the passing of Matt Cappotelli. He is an inspiring young man that touched so many with his smile, his heart, and his faith. My love and prayers go out to Matts wife Lindsay and the family. #TeamCapp#RIPMAttpic.twitter.com/GpZlWSfZiJ
— Bill DeMott (@BillDeMott) June 29, 2018
One of the most genuine, kind people I’ve met in wrestling and life has passed away. Very sad… RIP Matt Cappotelli.
— Jillian Hall (@Jillianhall1) June 29, 2018
Matt Cappotelli was what every young hopeful should strive to be. Positive, passionate and hard working. I was fortunate to know him during his early OVW days and he always had a giving spirit. RIP Matt…
— Tom Prichard (@drtomprichard) June 29, 2018
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) June 30, 2018