Saturday, 14 August 2010

Are We To Blame?

The last post I made on this website was a review of TNA Hardcore Justice. In that review I expressed admiration for hardcore wrestling. I was amazed and impressed by several spots (including ones where wrestlers were being ripped open by barbed wire). As a wrestling fan, I’ve long favoured the hardcore style (ECW for me is perfection – the combination of hardcore wrestling with the very best of technical, high-flying wrestling). I’ve not been one to shy away (for want of a better term) from really hardcore wrestling. One example I can recall is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n03itQhP8n4 – which is insane. A slightly more barbaric match (if possible!) is this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYw-DMLRaTI – it is not described in the video bio but to summarise – Ian and Axl Rotten have their hands taped up, dipped in glue and broken glass, and the objective is to immobilise each other (if curious, from about 3mins in is where it’s worth watching). TL;DR – I don’t have an issue with watching two or more wrestlers go out to the ring and potentially cause themselves damage in order to be entertained. I sometimes look at matches like the ones I’ve linked to and think “that's sick” and other times think “that’s cool!” It is a very strange dynamic. Moving away from the hardcore wrestling though, I also love the high-flying style of wrestling. Again from TNA Hardcore Justice, there was a spot in the first match where “Kid Kash” leapt from the top rope and hurled himself into every other match participant (they were all brawling in the aisle). Countless times I’ve seen wrestlers perform moves and stunts such as these and they look painful when they connect, let alone when they don’t!

Why have I said all that? Am I blogging about my favoured style of wrestling or is there a purpose behind this posting? Well yes there is. The purpose of this post can be highlighted by this news story:

PWInsider.com is reporting that former WWE Superstar Lance McNaught (Lance Cade) has died at the age of 29. No details are known at this time.

McNaught was trained by Shawn Michaels and got his biggest WWE push in 2008 but suddenly ended up being released. Jim Ross later stated that "he made a major league mistake while utilizing bad judgment" and that it was instrumental to his departure. Ross referenced McNaught having a seizure on a plane and needing emergency medical care as a part of this.

McNaught was rehired by WWE in 2009, but was released again on April 2nd, 2010 without appearing on television.

Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Firstly, I would like to associate myself with the message at the end and I pass my own condolences on to his family and friends. Since this story was released it has been revealed he may have died of heart failure as a result of his previous/current addiction/misuse of sleeping pills (I’m not being overly specific here out of respect and lack of knowledge). Regardless, Lance Cade died aged 29. Are wrestling fans responsible for this?

It’s well documented at the top (i.e., WWE) that they travel all over and do well over 200 dates per year. It is no secret that this has a toll on the wrestler’s bodies who cannot recover. Am I, as a wrestling fan, partly responsible for this man needing to turn to sleeping pills so he can recover injuries and knocks so he can continue to entertain me and millions of others? One obvious answer is no. I didn’t make him take the pills and certainly no other fan did. I’m prepared to wager that no member of WWE told him to take them and become addicted to them. Regardless, I cannot help but feel somewhat responsible. I, as a fan, encouraged this man to go out and essentially wear down his body while working to keep me entertained. I don’t know (as I’m not a wrestler) the impact one of these shows has on you. I’d guess though if you went through a lot of punishment then it would take longer to recover. In this case, Lance Cade’s desire to succeed in the primary goal of being an entertainer in this field could have been costing him sleep and therefore delaying recovery, which is why he turned to sleeping pills.

I said earlier of all the styles of wrestling I like. In the past, these guys have knocked each other around the ring, hurled their bodies from the ring to connect with another wrestler, and ripped their skin apart with solid objects and (even worse) glass and barbed wire. Why? To keep me and millions of others entertained. To keep us happy and make us support what they do. I don’t know the effects on the human body this has but I find myself not caring until another wrestler is gone from the world at far too early of an age. Lance Cade was 29, and entertained me and millions of others. Are we responsible for the fact he died at 29? I somehow feel that yes we are. Not wholly responsible, but a wrestling fans desire to be entertained without thinking of the consequences – I feel we need to take a share of the blame. How do we resolve this? We don’t. We just enjoy the action and hope the guys and girls entertaining us aren’t causing more damage to themselves then they have to.

RIP Lance Cade – Another star for the great promotion in the sky

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