The Professor's Journal : Who Cries For The Wrestler?

Mike AKA the ProfessorCorrespondent IApril 7, 2010

Dedicated to the Memories of All those Lost Wrestlers:

    The bottle of pills fell from his once powerful hands and that pain, which drove him, would at last be silenced. The boos and catcalls would soon leave his weary brain and oblivion would give him the one thing he craved most, Peace.

He had toiled at his profession with every ounce of strength doing the job as well as any before him. His skills were once the stuff of legends and yet here he was all alone and forgotten!

    His once powerful frame ached from injuries received doing those stunts which had thrilled so many audiences around the world. Was it worth it? His youth was gone, wasted in the mistaken notion of invulnerability or so the script writers made it seem.

What of his glory days in the spotlight with dazzling pyrotechnics, the cameras and glitter. He was once, the Best, The Champ, The King of the Ring, but that was then.

Where was that again? When? Was It Really That Long Ago?” The room's spinning again, like so many times before. “Why don't they like me? I only did my job! I just want to be appreciated and loved once again!” The pills have done their worst. He passed out and mercifully fell back on the bed in his lonely rented hotel room.

I had just finished my research, then sat back and imagined that scene. In my vivid imagination it played out . Who he was didn't matter for he was but a faceless representation of so many wrestlers I had read about of late.

I have not seen the movie “The Wrestler”, nor do I intend to. I have watched many of my childhood wrestling heroes grow older, like myself. I stopped to ponder, why are so many dying so young?

Then it dawned on me. Like a ton of bricks, it fell with a resounding thud! Pressure!  
Think about the amount of constant relentless exposure that we have today.  With the Internet, Facebook, Twitter & what not, all of us, including the performers are inundated with it daily. It comes head on, at full force. In the gossip, hearsay and even the breaking news as it's happening.

Now, what if your career is one in which your job's to be a 24/7 character athlete actor. How much Stress would that involve?

Lets start off by looking at what are the very basic requirements for this position? Great physical conditioning, a regiment of weight training and strength building exercises, some basic to advanced stunt training and camera friendly good looks wouldn't hurt either.  

Then, should you be accepted, you can get the following perks:

First, Look at all the glamor, the Fame, Wealth and Power you can have. Just imagine being a Superstar! The real nature of the business is far different than what we imagine. True, there is Fame and for the top tier entertainers, Wealth to be sure. Power, if you don't mind the in fighting and politics.

But that is for the elite upper echelon only! The truth is that it is a ruthless cutthroat business. It's very fast paced, you're constantly  traveling, it's very demanding and you are always working with pain.  We need to realize that these entertainers deserve so much better, whether they be face or heel.

How hard is it to be constantly hated, by stadium after stadium, full of screaming fanatics, just because you do your job so well, day after day?

 You've just put over the face so well and yet now that person gets a belt, the fame and the glory.  You on the other hand, get to be passed over, become a jobber or maybe even released, even though you worked hard and did all that was asked of you.

 Whether by injury, failure of a storyline gone bad or just rotten luck. After all that, the end of your career is just around the next corner. Now, you find yourself virtually alone and friendless, wondering Why?

 In that environment, it's no wonder that depression is rampant! Add the excessive use of the many types of painkillers, the drug and alcohol abuses, poor eating and sleep habits, working over 300 days a year!  With all of that, you begin to understand why these people have such a poor longevity outlook.

 The reality is, we take this for granted and cry fowl when one of our Superstars decides to walk away from Pro Wrestling.  "The Rock is a sellout", I've seen written, with a virulence that would kill the strongest disease. "The PG rating sucks! We want Attitude! Where is the blood and the swearing! The sex and the violence, we crave! I hate John Cena because he is a “Superman” and boring!" The tirades and diatribes go on and on.

 Each time that I hear things like that, I remember the lessons about Ancient Rome. I think about the Gladiatorial Games and the roar of the patrons as the gladiators fought to the death. I think about their final salute to the Emperor, “We who are about to Die salute You”.
 These wrestlers are our “Gladiators” and they put it all on the line for us! “We who are about to perform salute you”.  I am here to ask that we realize the many sacrifices they make every time they perform for our entertainment.

 Let us Salute them and cheer for all of them, faces and heels alike, as they perform their acts with real skill, precision, athletic ability and dramatic flair.  Try treating them with real respect, warmth and appreciation.  Remember each one is someone's family member and/or loved one.  Think how you'd feel if they were one of yours!!
 I WILL REMAIN Mike AKA the Professor