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Openly Gay Former Wrestler Dies at 40 in Apparent Suicide

Chris Kanyon

Former WCW and WWE tag team champion Chris Kanyon was found dead Saturday at his apartment in New York after apparently overdosing on pills.

Former WCW and WWE tag team champion Chris Kanyon has died.

The popular 40-year-old wrestler, real name Christopher Klucsaritis, is believed to have committed suicide.

His body was found Saturday at his apartment in New York.

Kanyon had overdosed on medication, with early reports indicating he had taken his own life after leaving a pill bottle and several notes close by.

The gay star suffered from bipolar disorder and had previously spoken about killing himself.

Jason Powell, of prowrestling.net, said: "Kanyon has battled severe depression issues over the years.

"He told one friend as recently as Monday that he was having problems and was contemplating suicide.

"The friend is said to have contacted one of Kanyon's family members to express his concern — despite the fact that he and several of Kanyon's friends have heard similar statements over the years.

"One friend said this morning that he's expected this type of news for years, yet it was still surprising and clearly painful for this person."

Kanyon was best known for his time in WCW in the late 90s, moving to WWE in the Invasion angle after Ted Turner's company folded.

He admitted he was gay after leaving WWE in 2004 with the idea of using his homosexuality in a wrestling angle, although neither Vince McMahon's company nor rivals TNA would hire him in that role.

The star began his WCW career as a jobber, being given a construction worker gimmick.

He was then placed under a mask and renamed Mortis, portraying a character similar to Reptile and Scorpion from the Mortal Kombat series of computer games.

Kanyon then had a spell in the Flock alongside Raven before becoming affiliated on screen with Diamond Dallas Page and Bam Bam Bigelow in a stable called The Jersey Triad.

During his stint he used the nicknames Postively Kanyon and Chris 'Champagne' Kanyon, but was little more than a sporadically used midcarder. He also worked on the WCW-produced movie "Ready to Rumble" as stunt co-ordinator.

When WCW was purchased by McMahon, Kanyon's contract was assumed by WWE and he became part of the Alliance Invasion team, enjoying a brief stint as United States champion and with the tag belts alongside Page.

In late 2001, he tore a cruciate ligament in his left knee and his career took a downturn.

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