It's true, history repeats itself. And once again we are reliving the abuse of steroids and other drugs that are running wild in wrestling. While most wrestlers would say that there isn't as much of the Ric Flair-like lifestyle today as there once was, there are still huge signs of problems to come.
The WWE is trying to do everything it possibly can to show that it's making an effort to eliminate steroids and other drugs from its company. They implemented a wellness policy, which has suspended a dozen at the minimum, they've opened up rehab for any current or past Superstar, and they even currently promoting Bigger, Stronger, Faster (a DVD that looks into the whole steroid problem).
But how come I don't take comfort that the problem is being taken care of? Why am I not assured that people like Chris Benoit (not saying that steroids had anything to do with his actions, but more about his mental health) aren't slowly deteriorating? Here are the signs that things aren't getting better.
The WWE claims that it is thoroughly checking its Superstars for steroids and other drugs. But how come the people who are suspended are always mid-carders or lower on the totem pole? Are you seriously saying that only a few of these larger-than-life stars are on steroids and the ones who are the ones at the bottom?
What about the big name stars? Batista, Triple H, John Cena? Scott Steiner told the story when he was asked by the WWE office whether he'd be able to pass the wellness test. He responded sure, just pick up Triple H and me and we'll go take the test together. He went on to say they never bothered him about it again.
And why is it that it takes a report by Sports Illustrated to call out the big time stars, for WWE to take action. It took a massive media mogul to out the WWE for stars like of Edge, Randy Orton, and Rey Mysterio to be suspended. Has anyone seen Rey Mysterio's transformation from his WCW days to his WWE days? He puts Barry Bonds to shame.
Look at the people outside of wrestling who've been busted for steroids, like Ivan Basso, a Tour de France cyclist. He's 150 pounds soaking wet and he was busted for steroids. Now I'm not saying that everyone who's got muscle is on the stuff. Everyone's body is built differently. I'm just saying let's be a little more realistic here.
But a majority of fans know the probability that a large majority of wrestlers are using, but show up to the shows and buy the merchandise anyways. But does that make it okay?
And I know it's not the WWE alone, as TNA is rumored to be implementing its own wellness policy. I'm just saying it shouldn't take an act of congress to see things truly change in wrestling.
Will it be cool to see wrestlers going at it who are the same size as me and you? No, probably not. But wrestling managed to survive after the steroid scare in the early '90s due to smaller guys like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. And I'm not saying that these guys weren't on anything, but I am saying it can prosper without everyone being larger than life.
It's not just those on the big stage; there's a trickledown effect. Smaller guys on the independents who think the only way they'll be noticed is if they're arms are the size of cannons. Teens looking to impress. The list goes on. And how many guys will be suffering from their years of abuse when they hang up the boots?
Only time will tell, but should we risk to wait and see?
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