Wrestling star dies aged 40 – just nine days after his final match

  • ‘Bad Bones’ John Klinger wrestled his most recent match nine days ago
  • Tributes from around the wrestling world poured in for the 20-year veteran
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news

European wrestling star Bad Bones, whose real name was John Klinger, has died at the age of 40, German wrestling promotion Westside Xtreme Wrestling announced.

The reason for his death and when exactly his death occurred have not been disclosed.

Klinger was best known for his time spent wrestling in Europe and his sporadic appearances with major American company TNA.

Bad Bones had been wrestling for twenty years and achieved his first major success in 2007 by winning wXw’s Strong Style Tournament.

Klinger held wXw’s top title, the Unified World Wrestling Championship, three times. Tributes have poured in for Bad Bones from around the wrestling world.

Bad Bones died at the age of 40, months before he was rumored to retire

“John Klinger was one of the defining wrestlers at wXw for over a decade. He won all the major titles at wXw, winning both 16-karat gold and Shortcut to the Top,” the promotion said in a post on X.

“In his nearly 450 matches in the wXw ring, he has always worked hard and done his best to excite his fans,” wXw continued.

‘John died far too early at the age of just forty, shortly before his planned retirement. We wish his family and friends strength in this difficult time,” the message concludes.

Former WWE wrestler Flash Morgan Webster was his final opponent and took to social media to talk about his last encounter with Klinger.

“I just wrestled him nine days ago,” Webster said. ‘I spoke to him after the game in Poland about how he was going to retire in September and was happy with what he had achieved and was happy to step back on his own terms. Life can be so cruel. Rest in peace Jan.’

All Elite Wrestling star Will Ospreay tweeted: ‘RIP “Bad Bones” John Klinger Always a pleasure.’

World Wrestling Entertainment commentator Corey Graves also paid tribute to Klinger.

“Man, I just heard the news about John “Bad Bones” Klinger. What a gem of a person,” Graves said. “I had so much fun wrestling/traveling with John in our NWE days in Europe. My condolences to all his friends and family. Rest well, my friend.”