Wrestling Is Engaged In Roid rage
With the recent controversy surrounding WWE’s re introduced steroid testing policy and the shocking, untimely and tragic death of wrestling legend Eddie Guerrero I feel almost compelled to put hands to keyboard. People cope in many different ways. Some discuss what’s on their minds, others bottle up their emotions. I like to sit back have a bud. Well a coke, maybe a bud if I was eighteen, and type out a good old fashion column. People reading it is not an issue. Sorting through my mind and putting my feelings on the page is the focus.
For those that don’t know, WWE released a statement the other week before the Raw and Smackdown shows in Sheffield England explaining they will in fact be bringing back regular steroid, performance enhancement, recreational and prescription abusing drug tests. They were so open about it that they filmed the backstage meeting Vince had with both the Raw and Smackdown brands and put the video on WWE.com for the world to see. This came just a few short days after the death of Latino Heat and could be interpreted as WWE preventing a media backlash considering Eddie’s death was closely related to years of drug abuse and alcoholism.
If done correctly and efficiently this could save a lot of future stars from dieing at young ages and could quite easily change who the top guys in the business are. It could lengthen careers and prevent unwanted media embarrassment. So to put it shortly, it’s an industry changing policy. IF! It’s done correctly. Vinnie Mac usually follows through with something once it’s started though. My personal opinion is mainly, for the idea, although recent things I’ve found out may question my decision. My only qualm is that TNA needs to follow suit. Many see TNA as being the perfect new promotion that can do no wrong while WWE is the big monster causing wrestlers to die. TNA is now a big part of the industry which houses a big segment of steroid abusers from the X Division to the main event. I read that at one point in time 80 percent of all wrestlers were on some form of performance enhancers and numerous wrestlers have gone on record saying, “everyone has used steroids at least once in their careers.” So don’t be fooled, this is happening in all promotions with all kinds of performers. You can’t tell just by looking at someone. I mean if everyone around you had a performance advantage, would you not want that same advantage? WWE and TNA need to set an example.
As many of you know back in the era of 1992-96 Vince McMahon implemented a drug policy following in house Dr. George Zahorian’s testament against WWE in a court of law, he had previously been convicted eleven times for illegally dispensing steroids to WWE wrestlers. (He had been supplying wrestlers with drugs if and when they needed them, with Piper a big focus in the trial.) WWE replied with an actual drugs policy, showing they were indeed concerned about the well being of their wrestlers. Vince wasn’t scared to blow his trumpet, boasting about how WWE was clean whilst other sports were not. The concerning thing being, as soon as the heat died down Vince secretly dropped the policy and the drugs were a flowing. WWE was found not guilty in 1994 with the policy slowly dieing out over two years. I won’t sit here and bash Vince. In his mind he had his reasons. WCW didn’t have a policy so they had the advantage and since the policy cost million plus annually at the same time WWE were losing money due to the loss of Nash and Hall etc, it just wouldn’t be feasible for much longer. You can say, is there any price on a person’s well being, but were these drugs actually harming people? There were many flaws in the original policy whether it was the policy itself or the corrupt people running it, people were beating the system and getting round the tests. First of all it was ran by the WWE and not an independent company, so a swift wad of cash might of given them a fresh sample of piss clean of incriminating evidence. Wrestlers would go to incredible lengths to appear clean. Sean Waltman who was a frequent marijuana smoker along with other colleagues worked out when and where they could take the drug. WWE couldn’t manage to test wrestlers on out of US tours, TV shows and PPV’s and Fake penises had been invented with actual pumping systems so the “cock watcher,” thought you were peeing your own urine when in fact it was your buddies. The latest policy is a little different as its run by an independent company who not only does the regular random urine tests but also tests wrestler’s cardio vascular endurance. This is mainly due to past causes of wrestling deaths with heart failure being a common factor.
With this being said, are steroids actually that harmful? I can understand other sports wanting rid of performance enhancers and steroids but Pro Wrestling is not a regular sport. There isn’t necessarily any competitive work done inside a wrestling ring. Some might see steroids as an advantage, the better shape everybody’s in the better business will be. Has this been forced on the WWE because of peoples ignorance to the industry? Or are steroids life threatening drugs? Many people who use them believe them to be perfectly safe, a great way to get over injuries and in a wrestling sense a great way to hang with the big boys. Taken in moderation they are an effective way to reach your physical peak both strength and look wise and when you reach your mid thirties and testosterone begins to go down, steroids can help you stay on tip top form. It is 100 percent confirmed that no deaths are linked directly to using steroids and many believe that wrestlers should be allowed to take supervised doses of steroids rather than getting them illegally. If everyone is allowed them and monitored then there would be no overdoses or dangerous alternatives taken, wrestlers wouldn’t feel at a disadvantage causing them to feel depressed and take other things such as high drugs or alcohol. I leave this point of view with a segmented recap from recent interview with Sean Waltman on pwtorch.com. Waltman states that he wouldn’t be alarmed or say no if his 18 year old son wanted to take steroids to build up his body. He stresses that his son must be fully grown and fully educated on the situation but he sees no problem with it. “I can probably tell you that I know more than most medical doctors about it because most medical doctors are pretty ignorant to it.” That quote tends to be a popular argument towards doctors and critics who say steroids are deadly but have had little or no contact with them and have done no research to support their claims. Doctors know a little about a lot and quite often never use that little knowledge on a subject during their whole careers.
You have to look at this in one of two ways. Is Vince generally worried about his superstars? (Should he be?) Or is it just a way to prevent the media hype that was against him in the 90’s? He seems to already be blowing his trumpet like he did the first time round, I mean did any of you catch Edges promo at Survivor Series? He ripped in to baseball making comments on amphetamines. I can’t help feeling it’s a little too soon for those types of shots, especially when we haven’t heard any more about the subject since the recorded statement. He promised more on the situation in the coming week but we have nothing. The only thing we know is that Nick Dinsmore or Eugene as he’s better known has been admitted to rehab after passing out in a hotel due to an overdose on prescription drugs but reports state he went there on his own accord, not because he was forced to.
Maybe we haven’t heard anymore because Vince thinks it isn’t actually feasible. What happens when a major star is suspended for drug abuse or a substantial portion of the roster loses a humorous amount of muscle mass over the next year or so? These are all things we all need to think about. Is this going to help the industry or hurt it? All I know is not all drugs testing is flaw proof and we’ll have to wait a good few months before we see if it’s a joke or it’s efficiently working.
I’ve been Mr. Freelance Keelan Balderson and I hope I’ve educated and opened your eyes to this industry-changing situation.