Mainstream MEDIA has enjoyed mocking professional wrestling ever since a gullible reporter broke the “secret” of fixed matches around 90 years ago. I guess the moral outrage (and hurt feelings for being so stupid) caused the rift between mainstream MEDIA and pro-wrestling.
Even in 2007, 15 years after WWE President Vince McMahon proclaimed in court that wrestling is not a competitive sport, the MEDIA still acts like the WWE is hoodwinking millions of “dumb” fans across the world….like WWE is somehow different than when Tom Cruise pretends he’s a federal agent in “Mission Impossible”.
As a lifetime fan myself, I find this offensive because it underestimates and belittles how difficult it is to be a successful pro-wrestler. People that dismiss wrestlers casually fail to realize how acting, athleticism, safety, charisma, stamina, story-telling, psychology, keeping the audience excited, trying to work with different personalities in the ring, dealing with unscrupulous promoters, and having the necessary looks are all components.
Anyway, on to the specific issue. A number of athletes were caught ordering steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) from an on-line pharmacy. Eleven wrestlers did it (one is now DEAD), and many members of the MEDIA laughed, by saying it shouldn’t even have been included in the newstory, and that “who cares if wrestlers do it, because it is not a competitive sport”?
Michael Bertacchi, who is editor of a college newspaper (and thus influential to the minds of young people) says:
…professional wrestling? Seriously? Is this some sort of joke?
Of course professional wrestlers use steroids – it’s practically what the entire “sport” is about. Professional wrestling isn’t even a sport; it’s sports entertainment. There is no real competition taking place considering everything ispre -determined. So can somebody please explain to me what harm will ever come from someone such as Orton or Angle using performance-enhancing drugs to make himself or herself bigger, stronger and more intimidating looking? If these performers’ actions are not tainting their “sport” in any way, shape or form that will ultimately determine the event’s outcome, what’s the big deal?
Unlike baseball, football, hockey or soccer, professional wrestling is a form of entertainment first and athletic competition second. It is about showmanship and storytelling – not integrity, pride and fair play. The entire concept of professional wrestling revolves around one thing: big scary-looking men pretending to hurt each other for the crowd’s enjoyment. What harm do steroids play in that?
Okay, Michael, I’ll explain the harm:
1) Most wrestlers are extremely lucky to live to the age of 50 due to drug abuse (steroids, illegal, prescription, and alcohol.) THAT IS A PROBLEM.
2) The percentage of annual wrestler deaths is significantly higher than any other “sports” industry. Here’s a web page dedicated to listing all of the deceased. Be sure to check the age of deaths.
3) Since the paying audiences liked to see muscle-bound monsters since the early 1980′s (Billy Graham, Hulk Hogan, The Road Warriors, Ultimate Warrior, Lex Luger, Sid Vicious, etc.) , 90%+ of all wrestlers have taken steroids at one time to try to have at least respectable physiques (even Roddy Piper, Jake Roberts, and Harley Race took them at least once). Since the birth ofHulkamania in January 1984, fans have shown they’d rather pay for looks and physiques instead of actual technical skill.
Steroid-users were cheered, and thus were pushed up on the event cards, and drew more money for the companies; those who did not have good bodies paled in comparison from the physical standpoint. Pretty soon, virtually every wrestler did them just to keep their jobs.
4) Deaths are not the only evidence of the harmful effects of steroid abuse. One only has to look at former users today, and see how crippled and deformed these men are now. They did it for a run for a few years on top, before the injuries started to pile up, the fickle fans and promoters dumped them with no severance pay, no medical insurance, and no mention again.
5) So Michael, you had the audacity to ask “What’s the big deal?” The big deal is that Randy Orton may die before his father does. The big deal is when Kurt Angle, who represented our country in the Olympics, may be found dead in a hotel room in a few years. Wrestlers drop like flies because they are FORCED to use all sorts of drugs to work 300 days a year- travelling to all sorts of towns, dealing with the stress of being away from family, and always working in fear of being fired without notice at the whim of Mr. McMahon.
You don’t think it’s a newsworthy story to be reported, yet since Eddie Guerrero died a few years ago Vince McMahon instituted a “Wellness Policy”, and has been suspended wrestlers who fail his drug tests. The WWE is a publicly traded company…it IS newsworthy that his employees have been ordering drugs. You should be ashamed of yourself for being so ignorant, Michael. It DOES matter…not from the sport competition standpoint, but from the HUMAN and MORAL standpoint.
Below are photos of former champ Superstar Billy Graham…before and after.
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