Former ECW world champion Mike Alfonso, a.k.a. Mike Awesome, passed away at the age of 42.
According to reports, Awesome was found dead on Saturday morning in the Tampa Area. He had been working as a realtor at Coldwell Banker in the Tampa area at the time of his death.
Friends were coming to his home in Tampa to pick him up and go out Saturday night at about 10:30 p.m. He never answered the door and was found hanging in the home. It is believed the death was a suicide pending results of the autopsy.
In addition to working in the U.S., he had also worked for FMW in Japan. He will probably be most remembered as the ECW champion that signed with WCW when he still held the title.
Tazz was brought in by WWE to take the title from him, as he jumped to WCW. Awesome announced his retirement from wrestling in early 2006.
WWE has posted an article about Awesome's passing and stated the following:
WWE is saddened by news of the passing of Mike Alfonso, better known to wrestling fans as Mike Awesome. He was 42.
Mike Awesome's first major exposure came overseas, where he became one of the Japan's top stars. Awesome would eventually become a star and champion in America while wrestling for Extreme Championship Wrestling. Following his successful run in ECW, Awesome spent time working in WCW and later WWE before retiring to his native Tampa, Florida.
While in ECW, Awesome was a two-time World Champion and Tag Team Champion. His matches with Masato Tanaka, including a show-stealer at One Night Stand in 2005 were among the most memorable in ECW history.