Golden Circle: Where is the Next Generation of Heroes? By Greg Anthony
I sat down and pulled out my phone. I started scrolling through Facebook. Then I saw it. My eyes widened, my jaw dropped and let out a small gasp as I read the line “Roddy Piper found dead at the age of 61″. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. In a short period of time we have lost Piper, Dusty, Tommy and Buddy. They were all a shock, they were all heroes of mine and now they are all gone.
I don’t have to tell a wrestling fan just how many greats we’ve lost over the years. At times it almost seems countless. These men that have inspired us to follow the impossible dream. To live like we were children but fight like we are men.
It makes me worry. Worry about the future. The Future of our business. This is something I’ve been thinking about for years. What will happen when all of our links to the past are gone? What will happen to the tried and true principles when there is no one left that lived them?
My favorite guys to work with aren’t necessarily the ones that made the most money or had the most national television exposure but rather the ones that spent quality time in true blue territories. The ones that weren’t on guaranteed money but had to work hard every night to really learn how to put an ass every 18 inches. The guys like Bobby Eaton, Tracy Smothers, Bill Dundee are worth there weight in gold.
However, today the list of guys who have had that experience is dwindling. Guys that were young men at the end of the of the territory days are now pushing upwards in their 50s. The time of being in the trench (ring) with these soldiers is drawing to a close. What will we do then? Who will we learn from?
As a community, we must share knowledge. We must inform and educate as many young wrestlers as we can. We must teach all the 20 year olds that one day they will be 40 year olds and if they want to make it that far they need to heed the words of the wise. A friend of mine, recently has been confined to a wheelchair. He wasn’t a risk taker, he didn’t do anything absurd but the toll on his body will still a high price to pay.
The young men and women in our industry need understand they are not bulletproof. That eventually time will catch up to all of us. Its going to be up to them how long they get to keep punching numbers on that bump card. Will it be long enough to see a glimpse of something great? Or will it be long enough to inspire someone else to be the next generation of heroes?