Markus Crane, a famed independent wrestler, passed away at age 33.
Game Changer Wrestling shared the news Monday on its social media profile, with a number of other wrestling sites and fans joining in online tributes following the news.
Crane helped create GCW, and was an avid wrestler until he suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 2019. According to the GoFundMe account created for him, Crane (whose real name was Mark Pobanz) was admitted to a Las Vegas hospital for emergency neurosurgery. At the time, organizers of the fund (including his cousin) projected a long road to recovery, including possible additional surgeries and antibiotic treatments.
Fans began sharing their messages of heartache when the news of his passing was announced this morning, ranging from one well-wisher who claimed, “I know he was having a hard time but damn,” to more than one reveling in some of his greatest moments in the ring.
SB Nation blog Cageside Seats, in its account of Crane’s passing, noted that the wrestler “did work his first match since 2019 for the company in April, answering Kit Osbourne’s open challenge and quickly defeating him.”
It also added, based on “accounts from friends and co-workers,” that Crane died in his sleep after saying he was “suffering from a headache, and generally not feeling well.” The article also noted that “Crane had recently marked 30 days sober.”
There were no immediate announcements from GCW about possible tributes to Crane at future events, including a Feb. 25 and 26 event in Los Angeles.