Tributes have been pouring in for two young stars from the independent scenes in Europe that have died.
Ryan Smile, from England, was 31 and Germany’s Karsten Beck was 33.
Smile, who had been battling mental health problems since he was aged 15, passed away on October 13th, just days after World Mental Day on October 10th. A multi-time champion throughout his native England he is best known for his time in Kamikaze Pro. At one time he was one of the youngest wrestling promoters in the world when Smile and Will Ospreay opened Lucha Forever in 2017.
Only wrestling sparingly since 2017, he is remembered by many of his peers for his straight-edge lifestyle, especially of partner Alex Windsor who was quoted as saying, “I cannot believe I’m having to write these words. On Tuesday morning, Ryan passed away after losing his battle with mental health, a battle in which he had been fighting for a long time. I can’t fathom the words to express how I’m feeling right now.”
Current WWE superstars Mia Yim and Ricochet also posted on their Twitter accounts, @miayim: “Can’t believe this. One of the people to help me and welcome me during my first UK tour. Ryan Smile, thank you. RIP”; @KingRicochet: “So young. You will be missed Ryan. R.I.P. Ryan Smile 🙏🏽”
One of his nicknames was “All Day Star.”
The family has made no announcements as yet, nor has there been a cause of death released. Smile had a child with Windsor.
A tribute to Ryan Smile will be seen on the next episode of RevPro Wrestling on FITE.
Karsten Beck (real name Karsten Pitann) passed away on the morning of October 15, after battling brain cancer for four years. Mostly an authority figure for Westside Xtreme Wrestling in Germany since stepping away from the ring in 2016, he started his career in 2006 under the moniker Diego Latino. Although mostly known in his native Germany, he did venture to Japan for Pro Wrestling NOAH and for five matches in the United States with Combat Zone Wrestling.
Tributes are starting to come in as seen on Twitter from Westside Xtreme Wrestling(wXw Germany),”We wish Karsten’s family and Ruth, those who have walked along Karsten until the very end, all the strength in the world. We miss you, Karsten.”
SlamWrestling.net will update as new information becomes available.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been amended to correct the name of Smile’s nickname and the identity of Alex Windsor.