The Kings and Queens Of The Forgotten: What Happens After Wrestling?

Joe Burgett Senior Writer IIIAugust 4, 2010

While I am not one to dive into personal lives, I can't help but see things going downhill for some of our former favorite wrestlers. Some dead, others bankrupt, some barely getting by, and some still trying to scratch and live on their former glory at an age in which one bad bump could paralyze them forever.

People such as Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan are classic examples to follow when you're young, the whole never give up attitude, and say your prayers and eat your vitamins kind of thing is great, but in all actuality, they are struggling.

Hogan now has to come out and wrestle once again, not because he just loves to do it, but because he needs the money. It's one reason I hate his crap about wanting to help TNA, when in fact, he is there for the paycheck, and there is nothing wrong with that. Heck, Kevin Nash admits that is why he is there.

Ric Flair was a partier, and a man who got married more times than anyone should. I understand the tax write-offs Flair, but dang! In any case, the man has to keep paying off debts which is why he is still performing. Both Hogan and Flair are in the same boat.

Sure, he likes wrestling and claims to never retire, but as a man now in his 60s, he knows this isn't good for him to keep doing, but it's the only way he knows how to make a nice paycheck.

A man who rarely gets mentioned when talking about those wrestling past their primes for money is Jake "The Snake" Roberts. The man is wrestling in many places and surfing the Indy circuit for money until this very day, and it's obvious he is unable to keep it up.

There are even more classic examples to go after when focusing on this subject, but to spare you the long list, I will now shift my attention to how it is now being helped.

Dawn Marie has started a program to help these past wrestlers out through Wrestler's Rescue. But I feel the WWE has really done something amazing, which goes unnoticed by many.

FCW, their developmental territory, is a place many know about WWE developing talent. The likes of Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Jr., Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, all NXT stars, and others came through this area.

But something you don't hear about is the classes the WWE gives to their talent. They have added a financial class to the program so that wrestlers will now know how to wisely use their cash.

These young men and women, if successful, end up making millions a year. In fact, most main event guys make over a million annually. And while back in the day, some like Flair would party it up and end up blowing all the money they made, the likes of say, McIntyre or Sheamus doing this is far lower.

The WWE, WCW, and ECW never had classes like this and never knew their companies would succeed as much as they did. While ECW didn't go massive, it did do quite well during it's time.

The WWE and WCW were obviously the most profitable however.

In any case, the big stars went out and blew the money made. I remember Roddy Piper mentioning in an interview how some would come in hyped up on drugs, have about three or four drinks in the back, go out and wrestle fully out of it, and come back to the locker room. And that would happen six days a week.

It was the fact that many didn't know how to use their money wisely and also didn't know how to control themselves.

The WWE class is helping out men more so than women, as we all know some females can be in it for the money and what not. And they can also make you, as a guy, do things you normally wouldn't.

Basically, the WWE is trying to develop their new talent into upstanding individuals who won't go down the same path others before them did. The WWE has tried to help out past talent by giving them a fully paid trip to rehab, but I'm sure they thought how long this would need to go on, how many more would go down this awful path?

That is why they added these programs and while we now will have a new generation of men and women who we can know are safe and will be around in the future rather than overdosing or something one day from the addiction they got while wrestling somewhere.

Many of these men and women of the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s, were once praised and are now ridiculed for their choices in life. Some ended up surviving their issues and others weren't so lucky. Some even tried to take young stars down with them.

When we go to bed at night, we should say a prayer for those who are going down that wrong path or pray for the families who lost those from it.

Lest the Kings and Queens of the forgotten, who are still alive, remain alive and be examples to future men and women. Not so much as a life example, but one they can look at and know they don't want to go down the same road.

Why did I write this article you may ask? Where was it going? Why did it even leave Word?

Simple, it was a warning to those who may not be in the wrestling world, those who plan to get in it, or those currently in it now. Don't go down the paths of the old, pick another road and be the real hero, not on TV, but in life.