The Heart-Wrenching Death Of Wrestler Jimmy Rave

Former pro wrestler Jimmy Rave died on December 12, 2021, some six months after having his legs amputated because of an MRSA infection following a previous surgery to remove part of his arm. Rave, who was 39, had shared post-op photos on Twitter in October when he wrote, "Apparently it's time for me to come clean. This past June, I began having trouble walking and went to my surgeon. He determined I had MRSA in both legs, and they needed to be amputated immediately." 

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, can lead to staph infections resistant to medicine and often spreads in facilities such as hospitals, according to the CDC. It wasn't the first time Rave, aka James Michael Guffey, revealed a troubling life development on Twitter. After his left arm was amputated from the elbow, he announced his retirement from wrestling in November 2020 via social media. "This was the hardest thing I've ever had to type. ... Please take your health much more seriously than I did," he said at the time.

Rave experienced drug addiction for years, which led to his amputations, according to a Twitter statement released by his agent Bill Behrens. "James was one of my kids, and his loss hurts me and many others, and we wish we could have saved him, but we could not," said Behrens to People.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

A long career ended by medical issues

Jimmy Rave began wrestling professionally in 1999, and his career spanned more than two decades. He was known for his partnership with Lance (Hoyt) Rock in Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling as the "Rock and Rave Infection." He won the National Wrestling Alliance World Junior Heavyweight Championship twice, toured Japan with Dragon Gate Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling, and performed for many other wrestling organizations, including Atlanta Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling Entertainment, and Rampage Pro Wrestling (via People). He also did matches for Ring of Honor and WWE's "Sunday Night Heat," reported the New York Post

Rave is survived by ex-wife Felicia, daughter Kailah, son James II, and his parents Jim and Toni Guffey, said a statement released by Bill Behrens. Many tributes to Rave appeared on social media, including WWE star Mick Foley, who confided on Facebook that he had "seemed to be in good spirits when I checked in with him two weeks ago. He was a great wrestling character and worker; someone who gave so much more to the business than he received. May God bless you, my friend."

All Elite Wrestling icon Frankie Kazarian also offered condolences on Twitter: "Dammit ... RIP Jimmy Rave. I'm glad we shared a ring as many time as we did. I'm glad we got the chance to know each other over 18 years ago. I'm glad we were friends. I'm glad that I knew you, and I will miss you. Godspeed, my friend."