WWE: Why Wrestlers Should Not Be Treated as Role Models

Ben GartlandAnalyst IIJune 1, 2011

Many of us in the IWC found wrestling as a young child. Growing up with the shows, we classified certain wrestlers as our idols. Our role models. The men and women whom we wanted to be and meet so badly. Those were the days of ignorance.

Now we are wiser.

Days spent surfing the IWC websites have destroyed the innocence we possessed from our childhoods. We used to idolize Hulk Hogan, but now we know he's a conceited, spotlight-stealing jerk. Children of the 80's hung on to every word of his promos, when in reality, Hulk Hogan is the polar opposite of his "superman" persona.

Recently Hulk Hogan has been making headlines by his "diss" of his former colleague,"The Ultimate Warrior."

The IWC has known for a long time that Hulk Hogan is a classless jackass, but when you grow up thinking he's a good guy, it's harder to accept that he's not so good in real life.

It brings up the question, should young children be steered toward wrestlers as role models? They may play a good guy on the screen, but that's all they're doing, playing a good guy. When these guys are playing up how great they are, they are acting, which is what they are payed to do.

When kids see the acting, they immediately think "I want to be like him!"

That's fine that the kids want to be like the superstar, but sooner or later, that superstar is going to turn heel. From Hogan to Stone Cold and the Rock, the good guys became the bad guy at some point in their careers. Only two exceptions still exist: John Cena and Rey Mysterio.

When kids idolize wrestlers based on their on-screen persona, it increases the disappointment and shock when that wrestler turns heel. It may even turn the kid off wrestling for a long time, if not forever. That's why the WWE is so hesitant to turn Cena heel. If they do, they will lose some of their number one viewership targets. The WWE made Cena the huge star he is by programming him as a superman role model. He realizes the position he's in, so he acts like a role model in real life.

The problem with some wrestlers is they do not realize the position they hold in the lives of the kids. Hogan certainly doesn't. Chyna didn't know the place she held in the hearts of the young girls wanting to be divas. Now she's downgraded to being a porn star.

One of the exceptions I mentioned earlier, Rey Mysterio, has the same thing as Cena: If he turns heel, merchandise sales will go down. The difference between Cena and Mysterio is Mysterio does not act like a good guy in real life. In real life, the IWC is always hearing stories of how his ego has gotten so big, he is having frequent disputes over his contract, similar to what is seen yearly in NFL training camps.

There are many superstars who need to realize they are in the public eye before they can be recognized as a role model in my eyes.

John Cena, to me, is the best superstar for kids to look up to, but he is a rarity. Others are CM Punk and his straight-edge lifestyle, the Miz, with his story of hard work leading to success or even Goldust, who has turned his life around so drastically it's not even funny.

The WWE needs to showcase men and women who can be actual role models. The wrestlers who cannot serve as a positive influence need to get their crap together if they want wrestling to return to a business free of scandal and dirt sheet rumors.