Mike “Mad Dog” Bell from Bigger, Stronger, Faster Found Dead

Bigger, Stronger, Faster was one of my favourite documentaries from the past year, and if you haven’t seen it, the movie examines the causes and effects of steroid use as seen through the eyes of the filmmaker and his two brothers. This week we have some sad news that one of the film’s subjects has passed away. Mike “Mad Dog” Bell, the older brother of director Chris Bell, was found dead on December 14th at a live-in rehabilitation facility in Costa Mesa, California. He was 37 years old.

Bell worked as a wrestler for WWE’s Monday Night Raw, and had struggled for years with an addiction to alcohol and painkillers (although he had been clean for at least 60 days prior to his death). In some ways, this reflects the reality of Mickey Rourke’s performance in The Wrestler. Chris Bell had this to say about his brother’s death: “You can’t really blame wrestling, but it’s kind of the lifestyle… You have a couple of painkillers to get to the next match, have a couple drinks night to night and it gets out of hand.” The question a lot of people are wondering is whether or not his death was related in any way to steroids. The autopsy was inconclusive, but the coroner is currently awaiting the results of a toxicology test. (Thanks to Rico for the heads up!)

Around the Web:

  • “You can’t really blame wrestling, but it’s kind of the lifestyle”

    This guy better watch out, I remember when I said this I got my ears in the machine.

  • Without actually seeing “The Wrestler”, but from seeing the trailer and reading a Maxim write up on Mickey Rourke, I’d say its based on Jake ‘The Snake’ Robert’s life. Maybe even “Beyond The Mat” itself!



    Jake’s part:


  • Goon

    well thats unfortunate, but not all that surprising. Mike Bell seemed to have a lot of issues that went beyond his drug use.

  • Just saw the movie. Pretty critical of America, thought it was pretty cool. You’d almost think it was made by a european. Loved the LA Times cover picture.

    Mike Bell is a sad story though. The family angle grew on me even though I thought it was retarded at first. The dad was a good person, who knew some shit. It kind of reminded me of Dream Deceivers, in the sense that it seems these parents always come back to biblepounding whenever shit gets rough though, and losing sight of what matters. I guess it’s tough if they’re off to college, but if they fucking call to ask for money for steroids, the problem probably originated beforehand. Too bad, since, like I said, the dad seemed like a decent guy.

  • JimmyzDown

    The documentary omitted the unusual percentage of wrestlers who die of heart problems around age 40.