Ryan Smile, a star on the United Kingdom’s professional wrestling scene, has died at the age of 31.
According to Pro Wrestling Fandom, Smile debuted in 2006 and stood at 5-foot-11 while weighing 187 pounds. Smile was a native of Birmingham in the English midlands.
Wrestling Data says that during his career, Smile also went by the monikers Eddie Gordo, Ryan Starr, Sonic and Tucker Starr. Cagematch.net lists Smile’s nicknames as “All Day Star” and “The Star in the City.”
Smile’s death was confirmed on October 14 in a tweet from UK promotion Revolution Pro’s Twitter account. The tweet read, “No words. RIP Ryan Smile forever our All Day Star.”
One Online Tribute Said That Smile ‘Sadly Lost His Battle With Mental Illness’
Smile’s cause of death has not been made public. In their tribute to Smile, promotion Reloaded Championship Wrestling Alliance described the wrestler as an “amazingly talented wrestler” with a “larger than life personality.” The tribute concluded by saying that Smile had “sadly lost his battle with mental illness.”
The WWE’s Joseph Conners tweeted, “Very sorry to hear the news of Ryan Smiles passing. He was a gifted athlete & was a true personality. My thoughts are with his family at this horrible time.”
While the Shropshire Wrestling Alliance said in part in a Facebook post, “We thank Ryan for everything he gave to SWA and hope he is now at peace.” Over the Top Wrestling, a wrestling promotion that is based in Ireland credited Smile with helping to “set the standard for what British/Irish wrestling was to become,” according to a Facebook post from the organization.
Smile Had Been Open About His Struggles With Depression
Smile was open about his struggles with depression saying in a 2014 interview with Eye on Wrestling:
I’ve suffered with depression since the age of 15, and 10 years later I’m still a sufferer of depression. Sometimes it’s worse than others, but my childhood has played a major part on why I’ still not completely over the illness. I sought help many times, took me till I was 19 to realise I was severely depressed and I did seek help.
However I am completely straight edge and that includes prescription drugs (if i’m hospitalized and have to take something, I will, granted) so I have to find other mediums to control my anxiety and depression, and I have some techniques I employ for that.
Later in the interview, Smile said that his life in professional wrestling had made his depression worse.
For a Time, Smile Ran His Own Promotion, Lucha Forever
During his career, Smile operated his own wrestling promotion, Lucha Forever. The company was founded by Smile and fellow wrestler Will Ospreay in 2016 but closed its doors in December 2017, according to Last Word on Sports. Smile addressed online rumors about the folding of the promotion in a Twitter statement in March 2020. Smile said that the company had been running at a deficit and needed to be liquidated.
He added, “I am currently living a very humble life. Working to support my family… and I just want to wrestle again. I just want the chance to do it right this time.”
In 2018, Smile teased announcing his retirement from professional tweeting that he was “out” after a performance in which he suffered “a series of other nasty or personal digs,” one fan told Smile, “Jump off a bridge.”
In 2017, Smile Was Involved in a Public Beef With Former WWE Star Melina
In May 2017, Smile publicly criticized former WWE star Melina over backstage attitude issues, reported Wrestling News at the time. During a performance in Sheffield, England, Smile accused Melina of “bitching out all the girls.”
Melina responded by tweeting, “I❤️when people try to start shiz where there is none just to get RTs. I’m too old for drama but keep mentioning my name. I’m here like 💁.😊.”