Gladiators shouldn’t be taken for granted
World Wrestling Entertainment’s Shane McMahon stood atop a mess of steel the business calls “Hell in a Cell.”
A 20-foot full enclosed steel cage that represents pain and suffering in the world of professional wrestling, the cell was integral in the match between McMahon and the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32 in Dallas, Texas on April 3.
Crossing himself, McMahon took one last look down before putting his entire body on the line. In front of a hushed crowd of 100,000 people and change, he hurled himself through the air towards a prone Undertaker, who was lying on an announcer’s table below.
Taker moved out of the way as McMahon crashed through the table and the crowd went absolutely insane. McMahon had figuratively killed himself for their amusement.
Professional wrestling lives off of stunts like this. Fans can’t get enough of men and women hurling themselves into situations that can cause them immense suffering.
They regularly break bones, tear muscles and bleed for the enjoyment of the fans. That includes myself. I’ve been a fan since the days when my dad would rent WWE tapes on the weekend and we’d watch them over and over when I was a child.
A fall like the one McMahon took changes a man. Presumably, it rattles every bone in your body and has the potential to result in a pretty not-great concussion.
Your back feels bad for the rest of your life and the fall may have taken years off you. If they say taking a simple bump in a ring is similar to your body going through a car crash, what does falling 20-feet or more mean for the body?
Now, the McMahon stunt doesn’t happen every day in the WWE. In the last number of years, they’ve outlawed a number of moves that they deem dangerous to talents. Gone are the days where wrestlers would cut themselves – a practice called ‘blading’ — to bleed as a piece of the story they try to tell in the ring.
They do everything in their power to ensure the safety of the athlete. The athletes protect each other in the ring.
But, accidents happen. So do injuries. Most of us shrug our shoulders and laugh when someone mentions pro wrestling. It’s fake and a set-up are common excuses for the throw away attitude towards it.
The punches and kicks might be fake, but every leap from the top rope means a part of the body is going go through hell in the near future.
Pro wrestlers are on the road the majority of the year. Every night is a new show in a new city.
Each show is another chance to injure themselves. Even if they injure themselves, chances are they’re working through it. Why? If they don’t work, they don’t get paid. If they don’t get paid, they can’t provide for their families. Respect them for that. Don’t cheapen what they do because everything is show. Crashing to the mat isn’t a show. It does damage.
Why do we take for granted what they put themselves through for our entertainment?
Every night pro wrestlers put their bodies on the line for us. You have to respect that.