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Matt Cappotelli, WWE Star and ‘Tough Enough’ Winner, Dies at 38

WWE star and winner of “Tough Enough III” Matt Cappotelli has died after a yearlong battle with a malignant brain tumor. He was 38.

Cappotelli’s wife Lindsay shared the news in a Facebook post to a group dedicated to Cappotelli.

“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,” she wrote. “You think you can be prepared for this when you know it’s coming, but you just can’t. The only person whose comfort I want right now is the one who can’t give it to me.”

Cappotelli was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005, ending his promising wrestling career. Though that brain tumor was removed, he continued to undergo yearly screenings, and in June 2017, he began to experience headaches and “seizure activity,” according to Lindsay. After further testing, his doctor advised that he undergo surgery to remove a tumor that had grown significantly since a February screening. Cappotelli underwent the surgery on June 29, 2017, and though his surgeon was able to remove 90% of the tumor, results confirmed he had grade 4 glioblastoma. He was hospitalized again in December 2017 and in May 2018, after consultations with his neuro-oncologist, Cappotelli ceased medical interventions for the tumor.

He won “Tough Enough III” alongside John Hennigan. After the win, he went on to train at Ohio Valley Wrestling and achieved the OVW Heavyweight Championship.

Cappotelli had attended college at the Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he was also a football player. He resided in Louisville, Ky. with his wife.

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