BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — The world of wrestling is mourning the loss of a WWE champion and hall of famer.
Windham Rotunda was better known under the ring name ‘Bray Wyatt.’
He is considered to be one of the most innovative performers in professional wrestling throughout the past decade.
He attended Hernando High School and was born in the, then, small town of Brooksville.
“He’s a Hernando legend,” said David Pritz, who wrestled with Rotunda in high school. “Everyone knows Windham Rotunda.”
“Great family,” he continued. “He’s going to be missed.”
Brooksville Mayor Blake Bell went to school with Rotunda back in the early 2000s.
“He never neglected to call Brooksville home which is great because a lot of times when people who get to the celebrity that Windham was, they forget about their hometown,” he said. “Windham never forgot about Brooksville.”
While Rotunda may have looked scary while in the ring, many of his friends describe him as a teddy bear.
“He was tremendously looked up to by youth in this community,” Bell described. “Brooksville will miss him terribly and the entire city of Brooksville and the entire community mourns his loss.”
Some call his family wrestling royalty.
His dad is Mike Rotunda, and his grandad is Blackjack Mulligan. His younger brother Taylor Rotunda is also a professional wrestler, best known as Bo Dallas.
His family is now mourning the loss of a man who died unexpectedly at just 36 years old.
“I can’t even put into words the emotions his family is going through right now, and I just want them to know Brooksville is praying for them,” said Brooksville city council member Thomas Bronson. “We’re behind them through this and he’ll never be forgotten.”
Bronson was a few years behind Rotunda and went to Hernando High School with his siblings.
“Their family is Brooksville, and when a family member is lost in our community, it’s personal for us,” he said.
The cause of his death was not made public at the time of this report.
Leaders at Hernando High School and the City of Brooksville tell 8 On Your Side they plan to publicly honor Rotunda at a later date.