If no pain no gain ever applied to a single profession then that profession would be pro wrestling.
It is job like no other. You go into a ring, put on show for a crowd, and get paid to do it. Sounds simple right? well thats before you throw in all the pain from injuries you will inevitably sustain from your time in the ring, travel on the road day in and day out from show to show, and for a lot of independent wrestlers for as little as $20 with no insurance. For many who train to become wrestlers it consumes their lives as they tough it out on the road to hone their craft.
Often attributed with stigma of being “fake” due to the history of maintaining kayfabe (giving the illusion of reality within a staged show) throughout much of it’s history. Wrestling is indeed a scripted performance however every loud bang you hear when bodies meet the mat, steel, or wood, is real pain that these men and women endure for the sake of entertaining a crowd and telling a story. However sometimes the price they pay for the sake of entertainment can be very high to the point of fatal.
Every manuver in the ring is a spectacle which requires thousands of hours of training to pull off. A single miscalculation or twist of fate can injure, cripple, and even kill. possibly one of the most infamous was the match between D’lo Brown and Darren A. Drozdov. Droz was paralysed from the neck down after they both botched the execution of D’lo’s running powerbomb move (Cortez, 2015).
During the days of kayfabe wrestlers could be injured and even killed outside the ring. Rowdy Roddy Piper one of the greatest heels (villain) had been stabbed 3 times by the people who came to see the shows. Ox Baker was mobbed in 1974 after proclaiming that his finishing move the Heart punch had killed two men, in reality they died from completely different causes, in order build up his heel persona. In 1988 Bruiser Brody was murdered in Puerto Rico by Jose Huertas Gonzalez, a fellow wrestler, following a dispute in the locker room. The tragic death of Owen Hart is another example “Owen Hart fell to his death from the rafters of the Kemper Arena right before his match at the Over The Edge pay-per-view. Hart was scheduled to repel down for a spectacular entrance however something terribly wrong occurred which led Owen to fall from the secure rope from an estimated height of 70 feet.“(Wrestling-Online.com, 2012)
Barthes, R. (1957). Mythologies. París: Seuil.
Cortez, A. (2015). The Most Gruesome Injuries in Wrestling History. [online] Bleacher Report. Available at: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/139156-the-most-gruesome-injuries-in-wrestling-history [Accessed 27 Oct. 2015].
Hastings, D. (2015). Wrestler Pedro Aguayo Jr. died almost instantly: autopsy. [online] NY Daily News. Available at: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/wrestler-pedro-aguayo-jr-died-instantly-autopsy-article-1.2163312 [Accessed 27 Oct. 2015].
Kayfabememories.com, (n.d.). Memphis Wrestling in the 60’s. [online] Available at: http://www.kayfabememories.com/Regions/memphis/memphis60s.htm [Accessed 27 Oct. 2015].
Wrestling-Online.com, (2012). The Tragic Death Of Owen Hart. [online] Available at: http://www.wrestling-online.com/timeline/the-tragic-death-of-owen-hart/ [Accessed 27 Oct. 2015].
YouTube, (1999). Beyond the Mat – Pro Wrestling Documentary. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ryt6uc4Ojes [Accessed 28 Oct. 2015].
YouTube, (2004). Faces and Heels: A Real Look at Independent Wrestling (2004) FULL DOCUMENTARY. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNIyT4R7hcU&index=27&list=LL7Kk_ELvJrkSHVWhF2Y_-rg [Accessed 27 Oct. 2015].