Markus Crane, Independent Wrestling Star, Dead at 33

Markus Crane, an independent wrestling star who is known for competing in deathmatches, died at the age of 33, according to multiple reports. Crane competed in various promotions including Game Changer Wrestling who released a statement when hearing about his passing. The cause of death has not been announced. 

"With sadness, GCW mourns the loss of Markus Crane," the statement read, per Wrestling Inc. "As a performer, Markus embodied the spirit of GCW. He was an underdog and an outlaw. He was fearless in the ring and determined to succeed against the odds. He played a major role in GCW's early success and was part of the heart and soul of our roster from day one. Markus was passionate about GCW and Deathmatch Wrestling. We were proud to have him represent GCW at Korakuen Hall during our inaugural show in Japan."

The statement goes on to say that Crane nearly lost his life in 2019 after suffering a traumatic brain injury. "We were all inspired (but surprised) as he made a miraculous recovery and worked tirelessly to make his eventual return to the ring," the statement continued. "Most recently, Markus returned home to his family with a commitment to focusing his energy towards a healthier lifestyle. He had celebrated a series of milestones in his sobriety in which he was proud to show off and left us all excited for his future. As a friend, Markus was caring and loyal. He was quick to smile or bring a smile to your face. We were all lucky to know him. Rest in Peace, Markus. We will miss you."

Crane made his pro wrestling debut in November 2009 for Pro Wrestling Epic based in Illinois. He then became one of the top independent wrestling in the midwest, competing in IWA Mid-South and All American Wrestling. Crane also worked in Freelance Wrestling in Chicago under the name Haunter Strange. While competing in Game Changer Wrestling, Crane faced Japanese deathmatch legends Isami Kodaka and Masashi Takeda. He was one of the earliest members of the promotion when GCW rebranded in 2015.

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In December 2019, Crane was forced to retire due to the brain injury that was mentioned earlier. However, he did return to the ring earlier this year when he defeated Kit Osbourne in a match for GCW during WrestleMania weekend.