Lards of the Ring

I don't think it speaks well of me, but I am fascinated with wrestlers' attempts to keep it together after their time in the spotlight is over. As has been well documented, many succumb at a tragically young age after years of relentless traveling and often more than occasional drug use. But those who survive wind up touring the country doing independent shows in high school gyms and the occasional wrestling convention. I have been to a few of the former and a few too many of the latter, and at each I generally leave depressed at the state of the television heroes of my childhood. I would be lying, however, if I said I didn't find some glee in seeing an old wrestler who's gone to seed. I aint proud.

I do feel bad for the guys, but that doesn't prevent me from being highly entertained when they lose it and someone is there to document it. The best example would be Jake "The Snake" Roberts, whose WWE documentary (yes, I watched the whole thing) detailed a childhood that sounded so unbelievably miserable that I thought I could never again be entertained watching him in a drunken stupor (though I once was). Then, TMZ featured footage of him in an apparent stupor rambling like a lunatic, stumbling through a match, and then exposing himself (Jake maintains someone slipped him a mickey). And I was once again ashamed to be so entertained.

Then, this past Friday in New Jersey, another wrestler who has been alleged to have his fair share of demons, Scott Hall, disrupted a roast of the Iron Sheik because he took offense at an admittedly tasteless joke about the deceased Owen Hart. He threatened the offending comedian and generally rambled in what appeared to be a slightly inebriated state (part 1 here and subsequent parts on YouTube as well...all of which make me so sad that I wasn't there). Then for an encore on Saturday night, he allegedly behaved like a drunken ass at the hotel restaurant/bar. From a post on the convention board (you need to join to log in...I'd almost say it's worth it to read all the craziness that goes on there):

Without getting too graphic, he basically stated to my wife that I must have a lot of money because a “hot woman” like her would never marry an “ugly guy like him” and that she should come to his room later and that I would never know. Keep in mind as well this was in front of my 6 year old and 2 year old daughters and well before 6 pm. He then went on to state that he would like to perform oral sex (I’m apologize if I am being too graphic) on my wife “every day.”

There should be a channel devoted just to old wrestlers and their daily lives. I would want to be appalled by it...but then never leave my living room again.

No comments: