Sensational Sherri Cause of Death: How a Wrestling Legend Lost Her Life

Sensational Sherri was one of the most influential women in professional wrestling history. She was a skilled and accomplished wrestler, manager, and personality who worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. She was also a WWE Hall of Famer and a three-time AWA Women’s Champion. But her life was cut short by a tragic overdose of drugs in 2007. Here is the story of her rise and fall, and how she left a lasting legacy in the wrestling world.

Early Career and Success in AWA

Sherri Martel was born on February 8, 1958, in Birmingham, Alabama. She grew up playing basketball and participating in track and field. She was first introduced to wrestling as a child, when her mother took her and her sister to shows in Mississippi. In 1974, she approached Grizzly Smith, the father of Jake “The Snake” Roberts, for advice on becoming a wrestler, but he told her to come back when she was an adult.

She married her second husband and gave birth to a son named Jared, but she soon divorced him. She then pursued her wrestling dream and trained with Butch Moore in Memphis, Tennessee. She started wrestling as Sherri Martine, but decided she needed more training. She continued to train at The Fabulous Moolah’s school, where Moolah changed her name to Sherri Martel and sent her to wrestle in Japan in 1981.

She returned to the US and joined the AWA in 1985. She defeated Candi Devine to become the AWA Women’s Champion for the first time. She had a long feud with Devine, trading the title several times. She also became a manager for Buddy Rose and Doug Somers, leading them to the AWA Tag Team Championship. She won the AWA Women’s Championship for the third and final time in 1986.

WWE Women’s Champion and Manager

In 1987, Sherri Martel debuted in WWE, pinning her trainer and mentor, The Fabulous Moolah, to become the WWE Women’s Champion. She defended the title against various challengers, using unsavory tactics to retain it. She also played the role of Peggy Sue, the girlfriend of The Honky Tonk Man, wearing a blonde wig and sunglasses.

She lost the title to Rockin’ Robin in 1988, and soon transitioned to a managerial role, as WWE phased out the women’s division. She became the manager of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, who had split with Miss Elizabeth after losing to Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania V. Sherri and Savage were a perfect match, as they were both charismatic and villainous. They feuded with Hogan, Dusty Rhodes, Sapphire, The Ultimate Warrior, and others.

Sherri also managed Ted DiBiase for a brief period, before aligning herself with Shawn Michaels in 1992. She helped Michaels become a singles star after he turned on his partner Marty Jannetty. She also sang his entrance theme song, Sexy Boy. She had a memorable feud with Jannetty, who threw her through a glass window on an episode of The Barber Shop.

Sherri left WWE in 1993, after being attacked by Luna Vachon at WrestleMania IX.

ECW and WCW Stints

Sherri Martel resurfaced in ECW in 1993, where she managed Shane Douglas during his feud with Terry Funk. She also had a brief run as a wrestler, facing Madusa in a match that ended in a double count-out.

She then moved to WCW in 1994, where she became the manager of Ric Flair during his rivalry with Hulk Hogan. She also managed Harlem Heat, the tag team of Booker T and Stevie Ray. She helped them win the WCW Tag Team Championship seven times. She was known as Sister Sherri or Sensuous Sherri during this time.

She left WCW in 1997, after being fired by Eric Bischoff for allegedly showing up intoxicated at an event.

Final Years and Death

After leaving WCW, Sherri Martel made sporadic appearances in various independent promotions. She also appeared in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2006, as the manager of Bobby Roode. This was her last televised wrestling appearance.

On June 15, 2007, Sherri Martel was found dead at her mother’s home in McCalla, Alabama. She was 49 years old. The cause of death was later determined to be an accidental overdose of multiple drugs, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, carisoprodol, alprazolam, meperidine and tramadol.

She was survived by her son Jared and her sister Kim. She was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame posthumously in 2006, by Ted DiBiase.

Legacy and Impact

Sensational Sherri was one of the most versatile and talented performers in wrestling history. She excelled as a wrestler, manager, and personality. She worked with some of the biggest names in the business, and influenced many of the women who followed her. She was a trailblazer and a pioneer, who broke barriers and stereotypes. She was also a beloved and respected figure among her peers and fans.

She will always be remembered as a sensational star, who left an indelible mark on the wrestling world.

Doms Desk

Leave a Comment