On this day in pro wrestling history, Brian Adams and Lance Cade both passed away, three years apart. As Evan Cross examined pro wrestling’s death toll last week, these two names became statistics along with hundreds of other men and women who plied their trade in the squared circle.
Adams is more well-known, having competed around the world from the mid-80s until the dawn of the millennium. Debuting in WWE as Crush, the third member of Demolition, Adams enjoyed Tag Team title glory before the trio disbanded as the Road Warriors arrived.
Crush returned as an easy-going, Hawaiian powerhouse, chasing Yokozuna for the WWE Championship. After the sumo monster injured Crush with multiple banzai drops, the Hawaiian returned to seek revenge…on friend Randy Savage rather than Yoko. The Devious One, Mr. Fuji, brainwashed Crush into blaming Savage for his injuries; thus, turning the Hawaiian evil.
Crush would later go on to form the Disciples of Apocalypse, a biker gang embroiled in the WWE gang wars of the late 90s along with the Nation of Domination and Los Boricuas. Adams left the WWE in response to the Montreal Screwjob and joined WCW as yet another member of the NWO.
Cade joined Daniel Bryan and Brian “Spanky” Kendrick as students of the Shawn Michaels Academy; unfortunately, never gaining the same success as his peers. He started out wrestling in Japan, then enlisted in WWE’s territory system. Referred to as “Garrison Cade,” the blonde stud teamed with Mark Jindrak for his first taste of the main roster.
But it was his partnership with Trevor Murdoch in which Cade achieved the pinnacle of his success, winning the Tag Team Championship three times during the mid-2000s. After splitting with Murdoch, Cade formed an alliance with Chris Jericho, who was the hottest villain in the wrestling world at the time. As Jericho battled with Michaels, Cade served as an apprentice, turning his back on HBK’s training and interfering on Jericho’s behalf.
However, drug problems plagued Cade and cut his WWE tenure short.
Both Adams and Cade died due to drug overdoses, Adams at 43, and Cade at 29.