When Sport Entertainment Becomes Another Word for Death
November 25, 2005 by Denis Shkuratov
As everybody knows Eddie Guerrero recently passed away. This opened everybody's eyes to what's going on backstage at the WWE. As another wrestler gets put on death-watch and Eugene is raced to hospital people are left wondering who could be next"
Join me the Outsider as I break down the wall of secrecy and tell you an Outsiders Edge.
"Humankind cannot stand very much reality." T. S. Eliot
The man in charge of the WWE is the only person who can change the current situation plaguing the WWE. However why would Vince do anything about wrestlers abusing themselves with steroids and hard schedules when he has the job of keeping WWE "Super" stars in dress code.
There is no implication when people are destroying themselves. Nothing happens in this case but when somebody breaks the WWE dress code they pay a fine and a huge deal is made.
Vince sits on top of his kingdom just like some sort of evil fiend. Not doing a thing to help, Vince uses every wrestler like a toy. After he gets bored of playing with it and it's all worn out Vince puts it in his fired box. This toy never sees the light of day again.
Money talks and bullshit walks
Vince believes in only one thing when it comes to the WWE. While you may think it involves him holding wrestlers down due to there past WCW or ECW roots or ensuring that HHH is champion it in fact only revolves around money. Working these men to an unbelievable schedule makes more sense to Vince because that would mean more green on the pitch.
These wrestlers are barely surviving but as long as they bring in their share they won't be fired. This leads to there ultimate demise, which of course is death.
Fans demand off-season
As wrestling fans learn of all the pain and suffering of their favorite wrestlers many decide to step out and protest.
A WWE off season idea has been established with many people seeing it as the only way to keep their favorites alive and well. A WWE off-season would let the fans have a break from Raw and SmackDown while wrestlers have a break with their families. Imagine instead of continuing wrestling after WrestleMania a break for two months happens.
Yet again all fans know this will never happen due to the fact that Vince isn't going to lose 2 months worth of money. To Vince it's not worth saving lives when you can make a couple of bucks.
The Bottom Line
Vince will probably never go for the idea. He will keep making his money. This would be of course until more people died. How many more lives have to suffer before Vince will understand that these performers are just men and women and not robots.
Never seeing your family, taking steroids and working your body like you are in a slave camp will never add up to a life that's going to end on a good note. At the end of the day a new name is added to the list.
Eddie Guerrero, 38 years of age, never to wrestle or be with his family again. Now that is really worth a couple of bucks isn't it"
by Denis Shkuratov ..
I wonder how much money Vinny Mac and the WWE truly
earns" Because if it is a significant amount, then
the wrestlers could afford an off-season with or
without pay, depending on the contract and how much
they earn. I personally would have no problem with an
off-season so these men and women could really rest
themselves and be with their families more. I don't
see a need for wrestling every day of the week and
sometimes wrestling twice a day...............
But Vinny Mac being who and what he is I doubt if he
will go for an off-season either..............
hey dude, heard of the new drug policy" if vince can step up and make this
thing work it could really help out the business. of course, it could change
our opinions on many of today's superstars. because we don't know for sure
whether or not they're getting jacked up. and about the off-season you
mentioned, yeah, it's true that the wwe superstars would love to spend time
with their families. but c'mon man, you've heard all the wrestlers say that
'there's nothing i'd rather do than be out here'. if they wanted breaks,
they'd say so. but yeah, it's true, to vince, raking in money is his number
one priority. the death of eddie guerrero rocked the wrestling world, and i
just hope that vince starts making better decisions about things from now
Freddy Sturguess wrote:
I was afraid this would happen. It's quite a shame and, to be direct, very disgusting that you would seemingly jump at the chance to use the death of Eddie Guerrero to rail against ol' evil Vince McMahon. You never gave one valid point to support your implication that somehow McMahon's business practices were related to Guerrero's untimely death. Truly shameful. It's convenient that you didn't point out any deaths of prominent wrestlers under age 40 in promotions other than WWE, which, along with your constant, tired "Vince wants money" rant, leads me to believe you're using the tragic death of a great man to spit at McMahon on the internet. P.S. Do yourself a favor and drop the tongue-in-cheek "Outsider" thing.
I disagree with the comments that nowadays WWE superstars are overworked a few years ago I would have agreed with you however with the introduction of the brand split (Smackdown and RAW) in 2003 I beleive it cut the WWE superstar's schedule by half, exactly what it was intended for.
With the sudden death of Eddie Guerrero it sparked outrage and rightly so of WWE superstars being overworked, taking steroids, etc but as direct result Vince McMahon has introduced regular drug testing policy and Cardio tests. I think that this is going in someway into helping the cause and would make it so that Eddie Guerrero didnt die in vain. His death may have potentially saved others from a similar fait.
Also I do strongly agree that taking a two month break at Wreslemania would be perfect for the WWE superstars that would probably happen when pigs will fly.
Although I understand where you're coming from, I'm afraid this column smacks of an attempt to exploit the tragedy of Eddie Guerrero's passing to bash Vince McMahon. I'm not defending everything that Vince does or decides, but I think some things need to be pointed out in this case. First of all, I agree that there is a very big problem with the WWE's drug policy. However, as you probably know they have this week introduced a new drug testing policy. It remains to be seen how effective this will be, but it has to be a step in the right direction. Secondly, your column reads as though the ONLY OPTION is for an 'off season'. And furthermore, by not taking this option, Vince McMahon is directly responsible for any wrestling deaths in the future. there are plenty of different option! Wrestler rotation is just one that springs to mind - two or three months on, two or three months off - possibly more time either way decided by mutual agreement. I won't go into other options as that really isn't my point, I just wanted to illustrate that other options remain. Finally I don't like the way you seem to suggest that Vince is directly responsible for the fact that there is no wrestling off season. He is, at the end of the day, running a business. Effectively shutting the business down for two months is a very bad move. How many other wrestling companies or promotions have just stopped for a few months in the past" Exactly. It isn't just WWE wrestlers who barely see their family, or who damage themselves. There is a big problem in the wrestling world, but it isn't so black and white. People really need to stop blaming Vince because they have a beef with him or are too stupid to see between the lines and start looking for the real causes and solutions. Thanks.
Randall Flagg wrote:
Vince would never go for an "off-season", and understandably so. Wrestling isn't like football etc., where a team represents an entire city/state, thereby having a built-in fan base. He has to keep his product in the consumers' eyes, or risk losing them to something else.
Nor does he have to add an off-season. When Wrestler A needs a break for whatever reason, it's common practice to blame some serious "injury" (whether it's a legit injury, or just needing some time off) as the reason for that performer's absence. All that would need to be done is schedule wrestler vacations in such a manner that the overall roster/product isn't significantly weakened, and come up with accompanying storylines to explain their absence. The wrestler gets his break, and there's a built-in feud ready to roll upon his return. Or just outright say "Soandso is taking a few weeks of well-deserved vacation" and let it be.
The problem with that is (if I'm not mistaken) that wrestlers are paid per performance. Forcing them to take breaks would cut into their finances, which is why many don't take time off to recuperate from legit injuries most people would have to stay home for. This also leads to the problems found with overuse/abuse of painkillers-the wrestlers need them to provide for their families because there's no paycheck without them.
Vince needs to see that his performers can get a reasonable break now and then, without costing them income. Otherwise, wrestlers face the possibility of addiction, burnout, or compounding a relatively small injury into a career-ender. And everyone loses when that happens.
Vince McMahon would never go for a off-season because of three simple words - Total Nonstop Action. If there was a time in recent wrestling history when a off-season could have been placed, it would have been after the demise of ECW and WCW. The competition was annihilated so there was no problem.
TNA is a incredibly fast growing company in both stars and support. Bankable big stars are already there (Double J, Jeff Hardy) and the promotion is also producing THE stars of the future (AJ Styles, Amazing Red) faster than WWE.
The thing I like about TNA is that it has the talent not so young talent and the exiles from the old federations. People like the Fallen Angel are amazing to watch and exiles like Rhino, Raven and Christian are getting pushed in the right direction and deservedly getting the opportunity to really fulfill their potential.
Vince McMahon knows this and like the stubborn meglomanic that he is, he won't change his stance and ways to accomodate these awesome stars.
Gorilla Monsoon (RIP) changed the WWE, he started the revolution. He got the ball for Vince to run with, and he did.
But Vince doesn't see TNA as enough of a threat. Yet
True, he won't give the superstars an off season, but at the same time he won't start pushing exciting young stars and signing special new talents
Scott Stone wrote:
I'll play devils advocate here. Is it sad that Eddie Guerrero has passed" Of course. He was well loved and respected by both his peers and his fans, and I really miss his presence on Smackdown! every Friday. But putting his death on Vince McMahon's shoulders is vindictive and completely unfair. Eddie died due to heart failure and damage caused partially due to his past. Did Eddie's hectic schedule have anything to do with this" Absolutely, but thats one of the dangers these men face going into the business. It's a dangerous, hard life with a "high risk, high reward" system of compensation. Eddie wasn't the first wrestler to die tragically before his time and, unfortunately, won't be the last (far too many to name them all, but Eddie Gilbert, Brian Pillman, Davey Boy Smith, and (insert first name here) Von Erich all come to mind). Nothing that Vince McMahon has done--or ever will do--can change that. As much as people will hate to hear me say this: some people can handle the life better than others.
The whole "what are we going to do to avoid this" panic amongst wrestling fans now, is not much different from the same reaction to the death of Minnesota Viking Korey Stringer a few years ago. Within the span of a month, the University of Florida and Northwestern also lost football players. The media went into an immediate panic, saying that late Summer "two-a-days"--which have gone on since the beginning of professional football--should be done away with. The consensus was that things should be changed immediately in order to keep players from dying left and right. To make a long story short, nothing of any significance was done, and players did not--to the dismay of our negative minded sports media--start dropping like flies.
We could argue whether or not pro wrestlers live a tougher life than football players, but that's not the point. The point is: people have a responsibility to make sure they know of any health concerns they may have--regardless of what their profession is. I'm not a fan of Vince McMahon in the least, but I do not hold him any more responsible for Eddie Guerrero's death than I hold the owner of the Vikings responsible for Stringer's. In fact, McMahon--for once--deserves some credit for quickly and decisively instituting a drug policy (which is rumored to include mandatory heart screenings) to try to catch potential situations like this in the future. Does McMahon use his employees as pawns for his own personal gain" Yes, but speaking as someone who was once Ronald McDonald's minimum wage bitch, I can confidently tell you that Vince is not the only one.
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