By Mike Mooneyham

Jan. 20, 2007

Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow, one of pro wrestling’s top stars during the late ’80s and ’90s, was found dead in his Florida home early Friday. He was 45.

Bigelow was discovered dead by his girlfriend at their residence in Hudson, Fla. Police haven’t been able to pinpoint the time nor cause of death. Authorities said an autopsy will be performed.

Well known for the fiery tattoos that covered his shaved head and an amazing agility for a big man, the 6-3, 375-pound Bigelow headlined for the World Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling during a career that spanned from the mid-1980s through 2004.

Bigelow, who also was a top star in Japan, is perhaps best known for his rivalry with NFL great Lawrence Taylor that culminated in the main event of Wrestlemania XI in 1995.

The tough guy from Asbury Park, N.J., had severe back problems stemming from his years in pro wrestling, and was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that nearly killed his girlfriend in October 2005.

Bigelow, who admitted in a 2005 interview that he had been addicted to OxyContin for most of his career, attributed his personal and physical problems to a lifetime of pro wrestling.

Bam Bam Bigelow

Bam Bam Bigelow

“With me there’s no glory in wrestling,” he told the St. Petersburg Times. “I thought out of sight, out of mind would be the best thing for me … I don’t know if it’s hiding or disappointment or what, but being Bam Bam Bigelow is a pain in the (butt). You did this the first half of your life and now this is the second half and now you’re bruised and battered. So what the hell can you do? What can you do?”

“Scott Bigelow got a lot more out of life than he ever imagined possible,” former ECW head Paul Heyman told the WWE Web site Friday. “Bam Bam had a level of raw, unrefined talent that no one had ever seen before. He broke the mold. He clearly broke the mold. When else could a guy that size do picture-perfect drop kicks and do moves off the top rope? BB settled down in his career to just do the splash from the top. But, there was nothing he couldn’t do if he wanted to. He was a like a prodigy in that if he watched someone do something in the ring, he could emulate it in the ring instantly.”