Pro Wrestling's Deep Dark Secret Being Brought to the Light

Tyler WilliamsAnalyst IIIAugust 10, 2009

Wrestling is loved around the world by pro wrestling fans everywhere but there is a dark secret that likes to be hidden in the dark shadows…That dark secret being non-other than the health, drug, and eventually death problems that occur due to wrestling.

Although pro wrestling is pre-determined and fake; it gets as real as it gets when it comes to the alarming rate of deaths of pro wrestlers.

You have to give some respect to these guys they almost take up all 365 days of the year…There are no breaks in pro wrestling; unlike NBA, MLB, and NFL wrestling has no off-season. 

Not taking away anything from those top three sports, because I love all three, but wrestlers work hard; they travel non-stop without seeing their families for a period of time…They work house shows, TV events and even attend fan events. All these things can lead to a ton of stress and can take effect on their body.

On top of the stress comes a high deal of pain throughout a wrestler’s career of performing high risk maneuvers and being slammed on a mat on a daily basis.

Do you know what a wrestling mat is made of? If not I suggest you click here.

But wrestlers decide to push the pain aside and go out there and perform to their highest abilities to entertain fans around the world.

But is risking your life worth it?

No…But it is great that they go out there and give their all to do what they love and to excite fans everywhere.

There is no doubt that wrestling takes effect on one’s body…The real matter is how the wrestler decides to handle the situation.

Some go down a certain path; that path being taking the right steps to take care of their body and not fall into addiction…While the others go down addiction lane to the aggravating pain their body suffers on a daily basis…To some it’s too much to bare.

All these problems in wrestling:

·         Stress

·         Traveling non-stop

·         Living without their loved ones

·         Pain

·         Career-threatening accidents

All of these points lead to numerous incidents that can end with dramatic fashion.

So let’s take a deeper look into these discrepancies in wrestling…



Wrestlers have a hard career to live by…Like stated above they have a lot of things that lead to overall stress…But one that is on the mind of every wrestler before they perform is whether they make it out of the match with no tragic incidents.

With high intensity with almost every match taking place a tragic incident can happen at every given moment.

Over the years, many wrestlers have fallen due to an accident in the ring.

For example:

During a Smackdown ’99 bout between D-Lo Brown and Droz, the former Denver Bronco (Droz) suffered a fatal injury that left him paralyzed.

The two were in an aggressive match when D-Lo Brown set up a running power bomb when he slipped on a wet spot on the mat…This ended up leading to Droz landing on the mat incorrectly which eventually led him with two fractured discs in his neck this left him paralyzed from the neck down.

It doesn’t just stop there as we continue to one of wrestling’s most recognized tragic incidents:

At In Your House: Over the Edge PPV ’99 Owen was suited up as the Blue Blazer who was suppose to zip line from the rafters to the ring when something went wrong with the cords…Owen tumbled down to the ring where his chest would meet first with the turn buckle. Owen was rushed to the hospital while the fans speculated what had occurred; at the hospital Owen Hart was officially pronounced dead.

Although the Owen Hart incident was suppose to be a dazzling stunt before the match, it still shows that even pre-planned arrangements can go wrong.

Wrestlers know before the match who will win how they’ll win and what maneuvers to perform but this doesn’t mean it will all end accurately as planned.

This makes wrestling just as dangerous as other sporting events.

Although accidents are one of the biggest worries there are others that follow…If a wrestler does live through the incident safe but still has few effects left over still has to deal with complicated decisions…Some turn to numerous treatments to repair while others go conclude that drugs are the answer.



Wrestling is a painful event; even the ones who don’t enjoy the sports/entertainment field could agree with that…Well they should.

Performing mostly every day for the next match can take a big chunk of energy from a wrestler’s body.

A wrestler has to prepare before every match to make sure they have down on point otherwise it will end up sloppy and poorly demonstrated.

In every sport after a big event or practice an athlete starts to feel the pain. This leads to decisions on what they should do…Either do physical therapy or take the drug route or even both.   Depending on how they utilize the drug is the key factor.

Some wrestlers pain is so unbearable in so indescribable that one would have to jump into their shoes to feel their pain.

This pain can live with a wrestler for the rest of their and can affect the way the go throughout their daily routines.

So some turn to certain drugs to numb out the pain and be able to live their lives pain free.

But everyone knows drugs can lead to serious problems:

·         High blood pressure

·         Overgrown heart/hear problems

·         Damaging of liver and kidneys

This can ultimately lead to death as well and the wrestlers who survived their drug demons know it.

Shane Douglas sat down with Between the Ropes radio show to speak on his demons and how thankful he is that he was able to walk away from his addiction and wrestling career well:

"I'm thrilled to say that I that I was able stand up against it... It took me five years to do it.”

"To finally be able to do it and walk away from it and put it behind far as my professional career goes, to me it's the crowning achievement of my career that I didn't let it kill me and I didn't let it put me down and be a permanent mark on me."

Some are not so lucky to be able to walk away from the damaging effects of drugs.



On Nov. 13, 2005, Eddie Guerrero was set to battle for the World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Orton and Batista in a Smackdown televised event that would air on November 18th, 2005…But Eddie would not end up making it to the event as he was found dead by his nephew Chavo Guerrero in his hotel room.

Chavo attempted to do CPR but it was too late as Eddie Guerrero had already passed…The cause of death was later pronounced to be heart failure arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

This was mainly due to Eddie’s past drug addiction although he was able to beat his demons the damage had already been done…Eddie had stated at peak physical fitness by weight lifting and doing cardiovascular training every day.

This added more damage to the heart as it put more pressure on the heart.

Eddie Guerrero is just one name on a long list that has passed:

·         Chris Benoit

·         Chris Candido

·         Chris & Mike Von Erich

·         Jay Youngblood

·         Crash Holly

·         Andrew “Test” Martin

·         Owen Hart

·         Brian Pillman

·         Yokozuna

·         The Big Boss Man

·         Mike Awesome

And the list goes even further…Drugs are not the only thing to blame as there are numerous factors wrestlers have passed.

Having a long established career can cause some permanent damage on a wrestler when it comes time to retire. From the injuries they had suffered and went through can lead to death at an older age.

Some even die by their size; wrestling loves big sized wrestler well Vince McMahon sure does…But having them perform on a high level day in and day out can take effect on their bodies…Their weight moving at a fast pace can make their heart rate climb will add damaging effects.

But some get so lost in their own world that they end up taking their own life. No one really knows the true story as we were not there to witness it but whatever was going through Beniot mind had to been very disturbing.

Was Chris Benoit incident due to wrestling and prescribed drugs?

After high risk maneuvers throughout his career and landing on his head (diving head butt) which led to serious head trauma and mixture of three drugs Xanax, hydrocodone and hydromorphone it would look like so.

On the three drugs it was noted after his examination Benoit was said to have a high level of testosterone in his system due to a synthetic hormone.

With this they continued examination with Benoit’s brain where they found that his brain was so severely damaged it resembled a brain of an 85-year-old patient with Alzheimer’s. This was said to be the reason of his actions with the dosage of the three drugs as well.

Now after this tragic incident and others WWE decided to boost up their wellness policy…But is it enough?

WWE has would say so with tons of suspensions of wrestlers who were linked with drugs…WWE is currently under investigation due to Beniot’s examination results were it showed a decent amount of evidence of past steroid abuse.

But should the WWE take more steps to prevent further deaths or more damage to wrestler’s bodies.



Now WWE is the flagship leader in the pro wrestling world so most organizations follow by example to lead to a successful path.

So WWE should make further precautions to clean up the image in the media eye.

Now WWE boosted up their regular test were some will be randomly tested basically 6-10 times a year for some.

But they should take it further by making it automatic 10 test for ALL wrestlers not just random picks and make sure they are not over doing prescribed pills…While receiving prescribed pills I think WWE should be informed of what the drug is and the daily dose the performer is suppose to take.

I say this because I highly doubt every wrestler is tested the same amount as others possibly due to playing favorites...Every wrestler should have to go through equal procedures.

Now with that aside wrestlers should also have a guaranteed break point in their contract and not just for the veterans…Everyone gets wear and tear from the pro wrestling life and receives damaging effects & stress.

Recently has also reached out to former wrestlers who may need help with doctor bills due to problems they suffered from their wrestling career…They should also reach out to former WCW & ECW wrestlers as well as they do own those rights now or even have Time Warner step up and help former WCW stars as well.

Wrestlers should receive normal treatments to make sure there are no damaging effects on their brain or body.

Not saying WWE is not doing the right thing because they are but there should be minor tweaks to prevent these deadly transactions in pro wrestling.




I hope you enjoyed this piece I will continue this in depth look into the these problems in pro wrestling as I will collect more research so stay posted…In the meantime, please leave feedback & your thoughts.

Thank you.


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