Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wrestling isn't fake...

...and anyone who says it is, is asking for a body slam.

I was looking into a glass case where The Undertaker was giving some sweet lovin' to John Cena.

Well, not the actual guys. Some action figures in a case either were lucky enough to be knocked down into said compromising position or one of the employees were having some fun. Either way, I giggled.

I started to walk away when Eric, my antiquing/collectible hunting buddy, starting naming off all the figures in the case and talking about specific matches, Vince McMahon and how much the arena of pro-wrestling has changed. This got me thinking about the wonderful documentary "Beyond The Mat"by Barry Blaustein. Although I think the film wants to humanize and exalt these men who put their bodies and lives on the line for entertainment, it really opens the curtain on a very dark corner.

Wrestling is made to be entertaining, shocking, dramatic. It's a play, acted out for the masses. But the falls are real. The metal chairs are real. And mostly, the blood is real too. And that is where sometimes it steps over that line.

You probably know Richard Belzer from Law&Order. (He's played Detective Munch on at least 7 different separate television shows, which has to be some kind of record...) He was also a radio host, film actor and talk show host. His show, Hot Properties, hit a particularly odd note when Hulk Hogan came on, put Belzer in a choke hold causing him to pass out, then released him so that Belzer hit the ground, head first, bleeding and ready to sue. They settled out of court. Watch it all here.

Owen Hart, brother of the more well known Brett "The Hit Man" Hart, was a leader in his field. Although never winning a championship, he was recognized for his charm and skill. That ended when he fell 8 stories to his death in front of thousands of people. The camera's weren't filming but when they returned from a scheduled break, they made it very clear that it was not a stunt. He was pronounced dead not long after. See the old news reports here.

There are some that are linking football head injuries with those head injuries suffered by wrestlers. This could offer a clue as to why there are so many suicides, murders, heart failures (from enlarged hearts via the steroids... I mean, genetics.) and cases of self medication. (see some of the links below.)

Last July, "The Future" was charged with stabbing his ex to death. Chris Benoit strangled his wife and 7 year old son before hanging himself. Doink the Clown overdosed. Macho Man had an enlarged heart. Same with Lance Cade. The entire Von Erich family was a case study in all of it. But I guess Jessie Ventura did well. Dwayne Johnson is very successful....

Blame the roids, drugs, the fall from fame but many of these stories end in bad porn, suicide, ODs, murder and/or poverty. Writing this feels a lot like my piece on porn stars. There are so many sad stories.

I'm going to go watch The Tooth fairy and imagine a world where Jake the Snake is Captain Jack Sparrow and Mankind is Romeo to Chyna's Juliet.

WWE gives to concussion research -
What is real, what is fake -