Monday, January 11, 2010

Former WWE star and mixed martial artist Tony Halme found dead

Former World Wrestling Entertainment star and mixed martial artist Tony "Ludvig Borga" Halme was found dead at his home in Finland, reports the YLE news service.

Halme was age 47 and police told the news service that "foul play was not suspected." Ilta-Sanomat, a tabloid newspaper in Finland, is reporting that former Halme committed suicide.

Halme, a former Intercontinental champion, worked for the then-World Wrestling Federation in 1993 and 1994 as  Borga, a main event heel brought in to battle Lex Luger, who was using an All-American gimmick at the time. Halme also was a star for New Japan Pro Wrestling and Germany's Catch Wrestling Association.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound powerlifter and boxer, was also Randy Couture's first-ever MMA opponent on May 30, 1997 at UFC 13. Couture won the match via choke in 57 seconds.   

After his wrestling career, Halme was elected ad a member of Finnish Parliament representing the True Finns party.

He did have a number of personal issues. Halme was previously arrested for driving under the influence of illegal drugs in October 2009 and the charges were still pending. Meanwhile, in March of 2006, Halme was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, reportedly due to delirium caused by excessive alcohol use. Earlier in 2006 he had been diagnosed with alcohol-related cirrhosis and acute pancreatitis. After being on sick leave for almost the entire year of 2006, he went on disability pension at end of the Parliamentary term.

In December 2009, Halme mentioned in a newspaper interview that he was suffering from short-term memory loss.

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