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03-28-2013, 04:01 PM #1shawn rebeccaGuest
The Case for Marijuana in Pro Wrestling
Wrestling hurts. Lots of wrestlers have overdosed on dangerous pain pills. Why Marijuana can solve this problem.
Regardless of whether you subscribe to the tired cliché that professional wrestling is just “grown men dancing around in speedos”, or that it’s “fake” and therefore cannot possibly be worth watching, the undeniable fact remains, it bloody hurts!
For the uninitiated or smugly ignorant, although pro wrestling is predetermined and not a legitimate sporting contest, the physicality is most certainly real. When John Cena picks up his “opponent” in a fireman’s carry and then slams him down to the mat for an “Attitude Adjustment”, his colleague really does fall from 6 feet in the air and land on their back. Live audience members can attest that it’s not CGI.
Yes the ring has some slight give to it and the trained athletes spread their arms and flatten themselves to widen the surface area of the impact, but taking such bumps night after night will eventually take its toll. As will the neck-jarring and chaffing from rebounding off metal cable wrapped in rope and a thin layer of foam. So too does the grueling schedule of traveling to a new town nearly every day, having to work out before heading to the arena and not getting to sleep until the early hours. Oh yeah and it won’t be in your own bed, rather the crunching sheets of a hotel room. It is this tough reality that is rarely considered by arm-chair critics hiding behind their inferiority complexes.
Over the years wrestling’s largest promotion World Wrestling Entertainment has aired video segments during their broadcasts telling fans not try and recreate the stunts they see on TV at home. One from the late 90s/early 2000s warns: “…I’ve incurred countless injuries, broken bones, stitches, bumps and bruises. The danger is always there, the fear is always there…don’t try this at home…leave the danger to us!”
This isn’t blowing smoke. Despite years of conditioning, you’d be hard pressed to find a WWE Superstar that hasn’t been injured in the ring at some time in their career.
“I broke my right foot five places and my left foot three places,” WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper told HBO’s Real Sports in 2003 . “My right hip has been titanium since December, 1994.”
For somebody who hasn’t stepped in to the ring to derogatorily call wrestling fake or phony is a huge insult. This “fake” perception may be part of the reason why people generally disregard the wellbeing of these larger than life entertainers, despite many dying before reaching old age or ending up permanently damaged from injuries sustained during their careers like Piper.
Scanning the current WWE talent roster: Randy Orton has suffered a broken collar bone and a slipped disc in his back. John Cena has suffered a torn pectoral muscle, a herniated disc in his neck, and countless other strains and tears. Everyone’s favorite anti-hero CM Punk sustained a ruptured eardrum and broken nose while still training to be on WWE TV, and has gone on to have arm and knee surgery. These men have all gone through intense rehab and will never be the same as they were prior to wrestling. All three of them will be in pain after they retire and if they’re honest they’re probably in some kind of pain right now.
“I was home Thursday. And, before that, two weeks ago, I was home for 22 hours. It’s not healthy,” CM Punk told fans and reporters at this year’s Chicago Comic Con . “I need to go home and hibernate, I know I really do. A lot of people go, ‘You look really tired today.’ Thanks. Downtime doesn’t exist,” he concluded. It was only recently that Punk underwent a knee scope, after soldiering through the pain for several weeks.
“[Promoters] take them and mess them up so much…I remember doing 90 one night stands in a row,” explained Roddy Piper in the HBO interview.
Although wrestlers can be portrayed as superhuman, a grim inevitability of trying to deal with a bizarre schedule and regular physical (and at times mental) pain, is the use of pharmaceuticals, alcohol or recreational substances. While CM Punk himself claims to live “straight edge” (a lifestyle abstaining from these things), drugs have been known to help wrestlers wind down at night, give them a boost in the morning and mean the difference between sitting in agony backstage or being able to perform in the ring.
In a video blog addressing the substance abuse problems of his friend Matt Hardy, former WWE Superstar Chris Masters admitted to ingesting “70 pills daily on a regular basis” . Hardy himself, who rose to fame in the early 2000s with his brother Jeff; a pair of high flyers that would jump off ladders and crash through tables, had a very public meltdown in which numerous online videos and Tweets exposed his “demons”. While Matt was lucky and appears to be on the road to recovery, others have paid unnecessarily with their life.
Spanning from 1994 until today, the following famous pro wrestlers (under the age of 50) have all passed away as a direct or contributing result of prescription drugs, alcohol, recreational drugs or a combination of the three. Marijuana was not a factor in any of the deaths.
Art Barr, Eddie Gilbert, Brian Pillman, Louie Spiccoli, Rick Rude, Bobby Duncum Jr, Terry Gordy, Davey Boy Smith, Billy Joe Travis, Curt Hennig, Miss Elizabeth, Pitbull #2, Road Warrior Hawk, Crash Holly, The Wall, Eddie Guerrero, Johnny Grunge, Bam Bam Bigelow, Sherri Martel, Chris Benoit, Brian Adams, Andrew “Test” Martin, Umaga, Lance Cade, Chris Kanyon, Trent Acid and Luna Vachon.
“Everybody’s dead,” continued Hot Rod. “They’re all dying early, and nobody cares about it.”
The high profile deaths of WWE Superstars Eddie Guerrero in 2005 and Chris Benoit in 2007, thrust the alarming rate of dead young wrestlers in to the mainstream limelight and finally got people to consider the pain and suffering wrestlers go through. The suicide of Chris Benoit and his murder of his wife and son particularly grabbed the headlines, but rather than an objective view of the problem, the hot-button issue became steroids. Did Benoit have “Roid rage” causing him to snap on his family? Does or did the WWE encourage wrestlers to take steroids?
When wrestlers appeared on TV to discuss the tragedy, it became an interrogation, were they on steroids too? Had they used them in the past? As wrestling legend Kevin Nash told Hannity & Colmes on Fox News : “Alcohol was found on the scene, but I guess that’s just not sexy enough for the media…if you look at your federal penitentiaries I’m sure there’s a lot more people causing violent crime on alcohol.”
Nash is indeed correct. The US Department of Justice suggest that alcohol abuse is a factor in some 40 percent of violent crimes committed in the United States . Furthermore 2007 data shows that 23,199 people died in the US directly from alcohol related illness . A 2005 study, which includes alcohol linked accidents and homicides in the statistics, puts the number as high as 79,000 a year . Alcohol is a legal killer!
The number of people dying from steroids?
Statistics for this are thin because steroids simply do not kill people directly and indirectly at a rate high enough to really monitor. References from the CDC and other sources literally put it at no more than a handful of people each year.
While doctors believe steroids have a contributing role in the premature deaths of some wrestlers, for example they may end up with enlarged hearts (like their muscles), which puts more strain on their systems, other factors must clearly play a large part as well. Most steroid users at the gym are not keeling over and dying.
Could Chris Benoit have been acting under “roid rage” when he murdered his family? Sure, but the likelihood is slim and that would have only been one factor. The theory of “roid rage” itself is disputed among experts .
Benoit was universally considered a quiet and mild mannered man outside of training sessions. There is no historical evidence that he suffered from outbursts of violence. While Toxicology reports showed he had elevated levels of testosterone in his urine, which due to his age and past steroid use may just have been used to make up for the little natural testosterone his body could produce, common sense suggests that if the deaths were caused by rage, it would all have been over in a matter of minutes. Instead the murders were carried out over several days and demonstrated premeditated/ritualistic behavior such as the bounding of Nancy, the placing of bibles near Nancy and Daniel’s bodies, and the sending of incoherent text messages to friends. A note was also discovered which read “I’m preparing to leave this Earth” ; the key word being “preparing”.
This indicates that Benoit’s mind was in a general state of depression and psychosis, not going through a sudden fit of anger. Since Benoit’s death studies conducted on his brain show severe deterioration not too unlike an elderly Alzheimer’s patient ; this a result of concussions and constant head trauma from wrestling. Toxicology results  also found that Benoit’s system contained a combination of Xanax, a powerful psychoactive anti-anxiety drug and Hydrocodone, an addictive semi-synthetic opioid derived painkiller, that bares relation to Heroin.
Side effects of Xanax include a loss on inhibitions, memory and concentration problems, drowsiness, and in some people aggression, rage, mania, suicidal thoughts and hallucinations .
Side effects of Hydrocodone can include changes in mood and anxiety .
Side effects is of course a fluffy term, a drug does not differentiate between good and bad results, it just does what it does. In reality they aren’t side effects, but straight up effects; effects that the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies do not want to recognize.
Instead of “roid rage” why didn’t the media focus on the empty alcohol bottles at the scene as Kevin Nash suggested? Why didn’t they discuss the possible combined negative effects of prescription drugs? Why wasn’t Xanax rage a buzz word in the newspapers? Friends described how Benoit was suffering from paranoia before his death, this is in line with the possible side effects of the drugs he was taking.
A topical comparison can be drawn from the recent Sandy Hook school shooting. The accused Adam Lanza was taking a controversial anti-psychotic medication when he allegedly carried out the killing spree . Going back through the history of school massacres, almost all of the shooters have been on some kind of anti-depressant prescription medication .
Could it be that these kinds of mind altering drugs are pushing people over the edge?
Prescription Drugs are Killers:
03-28-2013, 05:42 PM #2
Wasn't Randy Orton suspended for using Marijuana for 60 days?