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  • Crash Holly | Intentional Carisoprodol Overdose Death

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    Crash Holly In The Ring-Crash Holly | Intentional Carisoprodol Overdose Death

    On November 6, 2003, renowned professional wrestler Crash Holly was found dead in the Navarre, Florida, home of fellow wrestler and friend Stevie Richards. 

    Autopsies confirmed his cause of death to be an intentional drug overdose involving the muscle relaxant carisoprodol and alcohol. Holly was 32 years old.

    Holly’s death shocked and saddened the pro wrestling world and wrestling fans. He broke barriers through his gimmick competing and feuding with larger wrestlers, despite his small stature and low weight.

    The Crash Holly storyline may be one of triumph, cut short by mental health struggles and drug abuse. He changed the professional wrestling world and, despite his shocking passing, may have opened up new conversations about mental health and drug abuse in the profession.

    About Crash Holly

    Born Michael John Lockwood in Anaheim, California, Holly would enter his wrestling career by the young age of 18. Holly was recruited by his wrestling cousin, Bob “Hardcore” Holly. 

    During his early career, he would compete under aliases such as Erin O’Grady, The Leprechaun, and Johnny Pearson, until joining the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) wrestling league in 1999.


    In the WWF, Holly came into his own as an entertaining comedy wrestler. He entertained wrestling fans by introducing his weight as over 400 pounds, despite his actual weight of about 200 pounds. 

    Crash Holly would feud with his cousin, Hardcore Holly, until the two teamed up to win their first World Tag Team Championship title in 1999.

    After winning the championship, Holly instated the “24/7” rule, declaring that his title would be up for defense at any time, in any place. 

    His hardcore championship reign would last through 22 title defenses, one of the longest streaks in wrestling history, in unconventional locations such as hotel rooms and ball pits. Holly’s efforts earned him the nickname “The Houdini of Hardcore.” He also won a Light Heavyweight title during his career.


    Michael Lockwood’s wrestling career unofficially ended in 2003, as the WWF acquired the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) league and new wrestlers overshadowed Holly. 

    He wrestled as Mad Mikey in the NWA Total Nonstop Action and Heartland Wrestling Association shortly before his death.

    How Crash Holly Died

    On November 6, 2003, Holly choked to death on his own vomit in his friend Steven Richards’ apartment, surrounded by drug and alcohol bottles. 

    He was pronounced dead at the scene. Coroners determined his death was due to an intentional overdose on the muscle relaxant carisoprodol and alcohol, a form of suicide.

    Although coroners determined carisoprodol and alcohol contributed to his overdose, his cause of death is listed as asphyxiation on his own vomit. The combined effects of muscle relaxants and alcohol may have prevented Holly from being conscious or breathing properly.

    Some speculate that Holly’s impending divorce from his wife, combined with his declining career, drove Holly to suicide. Although an investigation was conducted into Holly’s death, officials were unable to find a motive.

    Crash Holly’s History Of Substance Abuse & Rehab

    Although drug abuse played a role in the untimely passing of many pro wrestlers, Crash Holly’s history of alcohol and drug abuse is unknown. Whether his drug overdose was an isolated incident or a high-risk pattern is also unknown.

    Holly’s death opened up speculation on his mental health, although few substantive conclusions were reached. It’s unknown whether he received treatment for mental health or addiction.

    Recovery Is Possible

    Drug abuse can affect people of all backgrounds, statuses, and financial situations. However, a professional treatment program can help you get the care you need and potentially save a life. 

    To learn how we make recovery possible for individuals and families, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
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