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How Did Adrian 'Lionheart' McCallum Die? New Details On The Death Of The Wrestler At 36

Photo: Instagram
How Did Adrian 'Lionheart' McCallum Die? New Details On The Death Of The Wrestler At 36

Adrian “Lionheart” McCallum, the Insane Championship Wrestling champion of U.K., has died at the age of 36. He debuted in 2003 and has been a regular with ICW since 2007. He worked for TNA/Impact Wrestling during their European tours, and he also wrestled in ROH in 2008 against Nigel McGuinness.

What else is there to know about this Coventry native? How did Adrian "Lionheart" McCallum die?

1. His most recent wrestling victory was just last week.

On June 16, he battled and won against Alexander Dean of Union of European Wrestling Alliance’s Heavyweight Championship at a show called “I Ain’t Yer Pal, D***face.” He proudly shared his success on Instagram with a photo of his two belts.


A post shared by Adrian McCallum (@lionheartuk) on Jun 17, 2019 at 2:09pm PDT

2. On the day of his death, he tweeted a quote from the Netflix series “Afterlife.”

In the hours before Adrian McCallum took his own life he tweeted out a quote from the Ricky Gervais show Afterlife. The quote read, “One day you will eat your last meal. You will smell your last flower, you will hug your friend for the last time. You might not know it’s the last time, that’s why you must do everything you love with passion.” That tweet was sent 13 hours before the ICW statement was released.

The statement read, “We are heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of ICW World Heavyweight Champion, Adrian ‘Lionheart’ McCallum. Adrian was a mainstay of ICW and British professional wrestling. Most importantly, he was our friend. His passing leaves a huge hole in the lives of those who knew him. Please respect his family’s privacy at this time.”

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3. He believed his neck injury unlocked his potential.

In 2014, he shattered his neck in two places during a match with WWE star AJ Styles. In November of 2017, he told the Daily Record, a U.K. news source, that he trained for three years after that injury to make it back into the ring. “It’s impossible to describe that feeling of lying in a hospital bed hearing you’ve broken your neck,” he said. “People try and tell you everything will be fine, but it’s not what I wanted to hear at the time. From that point on, nothing in your life is a guarantee and it was a horrible place to be. It was just a case of going back to the start and working harder than ever before.”

4. In January, he tried to save 18-year-old Natalie Merry, his neighbor, from a deadly house fire.

Natalie was a student nurse at the University of the West of Scotland who was working part-time in a care home in Ayr, Scotland. McCallum saw her boyfriend, 22-year-old Alistair Innes, leaping to safety from the first floor of the house. He tried to smash down the front door to get to Natalie, but the heat was too powerful. Natalie was pronounced dead at the scene. “As I ran to the house, the living room window exploded,” McCallum said. “A boy was hanging out the top window so I yelled at him to jump. I caught him as he came down and then I tried to break down the door. But the heat was too much. I could hear the poor girl screaming. I tried everything.”

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5. Tributes have been pouring in from across the wrestling community for him.

Saraya-Jade Bevis, AKA Paige, the English professional wrestling personality, actress, and retired professional wrestler, shared her love for McCallum on social media. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also shared comforting words when he heard the news of McCallum’s death, as well as Graeme Stevely, AKA GRADO.

Rest in peace, champ.

Leah Scher is an ENFP finishing her degree at Brandeis University. She's an alumna of the Kenyon Review Young Writer's Workshop the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. She's passionate about Judaism, poetry, film, satire, astrology, spirituality, and sexual health. She draws inspiration for her writing from writer/director Wes Anderson, and for her lifestyle from her grandmother. Lastly, she's always actively seeking two things: a job having anything at all to do with publishing, and a chance to meet Jesse Eisenberg.