We as wrestling fans have a habit of criticizing wrestlers for a variety of reasons. It can be for their in-ring work or lousy microphone work. It can be for not portraying their gimmick correctly or just not being charismatic enough.
The sad reality is that many fans do not draw the line at bashing, which can become cruel and malicious at times. Many go as far as to bash the individual for his/her mistakes that he/she had made. No one is perfect and it's wrong to bash that person's personal life and their screw-ups.
I'll name some examples of wrestlers who have been bashed because of their personal lives and mistakes.
Sean Waltman is a perfect example of someone who is relentlessly abused left and right by the IWC and casual fans alike. Many say he is a loud mouth, disrespectful man, both in and out of the ring.
Now I disagree with that as I met Sean at a shopping mall a few years ago. He signed everybody's memorabilia and stayed until the very last person got an autograph by him. He was very respectful to everyone.
Sean has fought his inner demons when it came to his drug use and personal issues. Sean tried to kill himself once by using a garden hose to hang himself after he took pills. He has been through hell and back and he survived.
Regardless of how far he has come, people are still bashing him for his past errors and condemning him for getting hepatitis C. Sean is a human being and it's a shame that people are verbally bashing him instead of sending their support.
Jeff Hardy has not had the best of luck as he lost his home and his beloved dog Jack in a devastating fire on March 15, 2008. His faithful fans stood by him during that time but many did not when he was released in 2003 because of erratic behavior, drug use, refusal to go to rehab, deteriorating ring performance, constant tardiness, and no-showing at events!
Some fans stuck by him when he got released but only a faithful few stuck with him when he was arrested for trafficking in controlled prescription pills and possession of anabolic steroids.
The arrest and ongoing trial he's involved in for the possession of drug charges has tarnished his reputation and wrestling fans bashed him for it.
Jeff made a grave mistake but we all should be supporting him and sending our encouragement to overcome his inner demons once more.
We as human beings survive and move on, and it doesn't make it any easier when people are hitting you while you're down.
Then there is Hulk Hogan. The man has been through an ugly divorce and his son went to jail for a car crash that has his friend requiring 24-hour-a-day care for the rest of his life.
His wife left him for a 19-year-old and took his house and, well, basically everything from Hogan.
Instead of the fans sticking by him they bashed him and his family to no end. Everyone in that family made dire mistakes but heck they didn't need the IWC to bash them.
When Hogan went back to wrestle and signed up with TNA almost everyone in the ICW took up arms. No one seemed to realize that maybe Hogan went back to wrestling as it was the only thing in his life that would give him peace from the hell of his divorce and the tragedy of his son's car crash.
Nobody seemed to think what was best for Hogan as getting back into wrestling may have been his way to get his life back in order.
My point is that Waltman, Hardy, Hogan, and countless other wrestlers are bashed for their mistakes, errors, and bad judgment. Yes, we are all entitled to our opinions on their mistakes but when those opinions cross the line into needless bashing, then it's just wrong.
We can say what they did was idiotic and should be reprehensible but also we should show some compassion as well —as these are the same people who entertain us for 300 days a year. They give up their time with their families to entertain us on a national stage.
Put yourself in their shoes; if you screwed up or did something that you regret you would not want people bashing you about it. How would you feel reading comments made about your personal life and cruel words expressed against you because you made a human mistake?
We all make mistakes but when we screw up at least we have the privacy to deal with it.
Pro-wrestlers, on the other hand, don’t have that luxury as the wrestling fans and the IWC watch their every move and attack once they make a mistake.
So next time you are about to bash a wrestler, just think how you would feel if you were in their position. We all make mistakes but let's not make it harder for them by verbally abusing them.
So please hold your harsh words and try to sympathize with the great performers who put their lives on the line to entertain us.