Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Ring's Loss

Watching the news last night I was startled to hear of another tragic end to a well known wrestler -- Chris Benoit. I found myself thinking back to Eddie Geurrero's death and my overwhelming grief. Now, another loss. It's amazing how such a silly show made me care for and admire these overgrown men.

I've been watching the WWE since the 80's. The days of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant are long gone, replaced by drawn out soap operas and vicious beatdowns. As a child it was about good vs. evil. Now it's a weekly bloodbath. Wrestling's popularity has spun off two other shows and countless pay-per-views. Recent weeks have seen the worst storyline yet. WWE owner Vince McMahon faked his own murder, and let tasteless conspiracy theories and half-assed condolences swirl.

Now a shocking death hits the WWE in real life, and not for the first time; overdoses, violence, steroids, depression = dead wrestlers. And how many of these entertainers have passed with little to no fanfare or acknowledgement? It seems they get abused to no end. But this latest story has crossed a line. Fans like me could care less for McMahon's callous and narcissistic attempts for ratings. Real tragedy has made him come out and and acknowledge the loss of a great wrestler, but he runs a business. One that I have loved in the past, through blood and humiliation.

We live in a violent world, with little to no understanding and compassion, but I'm compelled to wonder if this so-called entertainment is driving their wrestlers mad, and when will such tactics end?

- Saskia



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