Former WCW Wrestler’s Reported Cause Of Death

Doc Dean

Ian “Doc” Dean, a British wrestling star who competed for WCW in the late 1990s, died last Monday the age of 48.

Dean is suspected to have suffered a heart attack at his home in Orlando, Florida on Monday, according to a report by Dave Meltzer also noted in the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Dean died of a heart attack.

Dean, who is from Liverpool, England, is best known in the UK for his run in Birkenhead-based All Star Wrestling (ASW) throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

The father of three teamed with WWE Performance Center coach Robbie Brookside as The Liverpool Lads and twice clinched the ASW British Tag Team Championship. Eventually, a storyline saw Dean turn on Brookside to kick off a heated and acclaimed rivalry.

Brookside paid tribute to Dean on Twitter.

Dean had one of his children with another British grappling great from ITV’s World of Sport era, Klondyke Kate (aka Jayne Porter). She tweeted the following:

Among those paying tribute to Dean was veteran wrestler Saraya Knight, the mother of SmackDown LIVE General Manager Paige.

Dean toured around the world and began working for WCW in 1997. With WCW and New Japan Pro Wrestling having a working agreement, he participated in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament in 1997. This was at a time when the junior heavyweight division was loaded and enhanced with New Japan’s working agreement with WCW that also allowed for Chris Jericho and Chavo Guerrero Jr. to work the tournament. Dean finished with two points in his block with wins over Guerrero and Jushin Thunder Liger in the round robin tournament.

While in WCW, he mostly wrestled on WCW Saturday Night, WCW Pro and WCW Worldwide, but strictly as an enhancement worker. He appeared once on WCW Monday Nitro, losing to “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan on February 17, 1997, in a squash match. He also made one appearance on WCW Thunder, losing to Stevie Ray on July 1, 1998. Dean wrestled his last televised match on July 7, 1998, losing to Rick Fuller at a WCW Saturday Night taping.

According to, Dean wrestled a total of 20 matches for WCW and didn’t win a single one.

Following his departure from WCW, he pretty much retired from wrestling at the age of 28 due to a slate of injuries, although he would wrestle the occasional match. He stayed in the United States and set up his own plumbing business in Florida.

Klondyke Kate set up a Go Fund Me page to help cover costs for the body of Dean to be flown back to England and buried in Liverpool. Dean had no insurance and never fully recovered from injuries to his back and neck, which were due to wrestling. After several surgeries, he was unable to return to his plumbing job.

Emotional tributes have been paid to the globetrotting grappler, who helped pave the way for the current generation of UK grapplers.

Dean is the sixth former WCW competitor to pass away since June. The others are Chuck Williams (aka Rockin’ Rebel), Vader, Johnny Attitude, Masa Saito, and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart (who also passed away on Monday).