Photo courtesy: GCW
Grant Berkland who wrestled professionally as ‘Danny Havoc’ has died with no further details available yet.
Havoc was a big part of CZW’s history and was profiled on Viceland’s series “The Wrestlers” that chronicled his 2017 retirement match with Alex Colon.
In the documentary, Havoc spoke about the moment he decided to start a career in the industry and becoming fixated on the deathmatch style of performance:
I remember the exact moment that I felt like I knew this was going to be what I was gonna do. I was sitting on my couch in Iowa with my cousin, we were watching a CZW show called Un F’N Believable and Jun Kasai from over from Japan and did some real shocking and horrific things. I said ‘this is not in Japan, this is not across the world, this is happening in my country, 20 some hours away, I could conceivably graduate and go do this, that’s what I want’.
And, from that moment I pursued that goal single-mindedly.
The first match I had the match was just littered with little pieces of broken glass. The level of blood loss and the amount of cuts was a bit of a shock.
He trained in Philadelphia and got his start with CZW in 2005 when he was 18 years old.
His first major break occurred in 2008 when he won the popular Tournament of Death on May 17, 2008, in Smyrna, Delaware. In the finals, he won a Four-Way No Rope Barbed Wire & Light Tubes Deathmatch over Drake Younger (current WWE referee Drake Wuertz), Nick Gage, and Scotty Vortekz.
One month later, he did the King of the Death Matches tournament for IWA Mid-South with four matches over two nights and losing in the finals to Devon Moore.
Havoc became CZW’s Ultraviolent Underground champion in October 2008 defeating Younger and held the title for over a year losing it to Sami Callihan in October 2009.
I wouldn’t be who I am today without Danny Havoc.
Absolute genius who never got the credit he deserved.
Im beyond privileged to been able to travel the world with him.
Reach out to your loved one. Life is so short.
Love you Grant.
— The DRAW (@TheSamiCallihan) June 1, 2020
— Drake Wuertz (@WWEDrakeWuertz) June 1, 2020
Havoc won the title again in April 2011 defeating Jun Kasai, who inspired him to start training, and lost it to Masada in July of the year. Havoc was also a former CZW junior heavyweight champion and held their tag titles with Devon Moore and Lucky 13.
Havoc was a part of The Suicide Kings group with Eddie Kingston, Younger, and Vortekz with Havoc later forming his own stable, The Nation of Intoxication. That group included Moore, Vortkez, and Lucky13.
He did venture overseas, participating in the German-based wXw’s Gorefest in April 2009 losing in the final to Thumbtack Jack in a No Ropes Electrified Light tubes Caribbean Spiderweb Deathmatch. In 2011, he would start touring with Big Japan.
He won the Tournament of Death again in June 2013 defeating Takumi Tsukamoto, Rory Mondo, and Scotty Vortekz.
Havoc retired in September 2017, losing to Alex Colon in a match that Colon called the “most important match of his career” beforehand. The retirement was documented on “The Wrestlers” where Havoc cited a degenerative spinal issue that was getting worse.
He came out of retirement in 2019 to work for Matt Tremont’s H2O Wrestling and took dates with Game Changer Wrestling in 2020 when they went to Japan where he got to work at Shin-Kiba 1st RING and at Korakuen Hall for the Freedoms promotion. His final match was on February 15th at GCW’s “Run Rickey Run” event at The Showboat in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Tragedy struck in April when his wife Brianne died suddenly of a heart issue. The two had been married for two years and together for almost a decade. He wrote a statement on her passing that was heartbreaking to read:
My instinct is always to start with “my name is Danny Havoc” but Danny Havoc is a fictional character; I only include that name for reference and clarity. My name is Grant Berkland. Nearly a decade ago, I fell in love with a woman Brianne, and 2 years ago, she did me the great honor of becoming my wife, She was the best thing that ever happened to me, and loving her was the best thing I’ve ever done or will do.
On April 4th of this year, she was tragically taken from us when her heart inexplicably failed. No combination of words could possibly begin to hint at the scope of this loss, nor at the sorrow it has caused me and all of those who loved her so dearly.
In the wake of this tragedy, one of the best people I’ve ever been fortunate enough to call a friend, Kevin “Lucky” Papics, organized an online fundraiser in hopes of helping me through this darkest of times. I was not initially aware of his efforts, and by the time I learned about it, the response had already been staggering. I could not believe the kindness and generosity of spirit shown to me by everyone who contributed, from old friends to complete strangers. It is truly humbling, and I am overwhelmed by the benevolence shown by so many. On behalf of myself, my family, and my wife’s: From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your kindness during this terrible time.
My beloved wife, Brianne…the most perfect person I’ve ever known, and the love of my life.
The wrestling world is mourning the loss of Berkland with many stories of his kindness and level of intellect that was a consistent note from so many that knew him closely.
We send our condolences to the family and friends of Grant Berkland.