Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 12th 2015 Contents A53
Friday, June 12, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
I am not a fan of WWF wrestling by
any means. First of all, I do not under-
stand how one can be entertained by
watching hideous looking, animal-like
behaving humans, pretend to fight each
While I do not understand how enjoy-
ment can be obtained from viewing such
fake barbarianism, I do respect the fact
that others may be inclined to disagree.
I suppose one can argue that just as I
enjoy watching fake crime mysteries,
others enjoy fake fighting. However, it
seems rather stupid to me, given the
risks of the "sport." The most recent
events in the world of wrestling support
In browsing the news online, I came
across a headline that read, "Ultimate
Warrior: One-Third of Wrestlemania VI
Competitors Now Dead." First of all, I
had no clue who or what "Ultimate
Warrior" was, or that there were different
editions of Wrestlemania. The headline
was interesting, so I read on and was
not surprised by what the article report-
ed.Wrestlemania is a pay-per-view pro-
fessional wrestling event (I can t believe people pay
for this) that is produced between March and April
every year. It is the most successful production of the
promotional company, World Wrestling Entertainment
(WWE). There have been 31 editions of the event since
its inception. The Ultimate Warrior was a professional
wrestler participating in Wrestlemania VI in 1990
when he beat the only wrestler I know about, Hulk
Hogan, to win the championship.
However, at the young age of 54, the Ultimate
Warrior is now dead from a heart attack. As the
headline to the article said, one third of Wrestlemania
VI s competitors have died.
Most of these competitors would be in their fifties
today. Of the 51 participants in Wrestlemania VII, 14
have died prematurely. A review of the history of
deaths of Wrestlemania participants yielded a total of
41 deaths before the age of 60.
There are three causes of death that stand out: heart
conditions, drugs and suicide. The exception is Andre
the Giant, who, although he died from heart failure
in 1993, had acromegaly. This causes abnormal growth
and gigantism, but heart abnormalities are also part
of the condition.
However, other wrestlers like Davey Boy Smith (age
39 at death), Rocco Rock (49), Road Warrior Hawk
(46), Hercules (48), Big Bossman (41), Randy Savage
(58), and Eddie Guerrero (38) all died of heart attacks.
Then there are Rick Rude (40), Mr Perfect (44), Miss
Elizabeth (42), Johnny Grunge (39), Bam Bam Bigelow
(45), Sensational Sherri (49), Crush (43), Test (33),
Umaga (36) and Garrison Cade (29) who all died of
drug related overdoses or toxicity. Texas Tornado (33),
and Crash Holly (32) both committed suicide, as did
Chris Benoit (40), who also murdered his wife and
Wrestlers are dying at an alarming rate, but it is
not because wrestling is inherently dangerous where
one can die from one s injuries caused by wrestling
itself, as in the case of Chris Owen who died in front
a pay-per-view crowd after falling 50 feet. This is a
rarity. Rather, it is the lifestyle of wrestlers that is of
concern, and this has been well documented.
A wrestler is 12 times more likely to die of heart
disease than persons of similar age.
Studies have shown that over-the-counter pain
medications like ibuprofen, as well as prescription
medications like oxycodone, increase the risk for cardiac
conditions. There was no shortage of painkiller abuse
in Wrestlemania participants and the death rate high-
It s not only the abuse of pain killers that increases
the risks of death. The use of steriods to "bulk-up"
was very common in the eighties and nineties, and
is possibly so even today. What stands out as well, is
the amount of substance abuse that occurred. Cocaine
and alcohol were common causes in overdose deaths.
The suicide rate is also alarming, and I wonder if
the culture of wrestling was responsible for driving
some of its practitioners to put themselves out of their
So think about your definition of sport before reading
If sport is supposed to promote health, wellness
and performance of the human body, can wrestling
be considered a sport?
For me, wrestling is just bad acting by very large
and muscular actors, on a stage that s a ring.
Carla Rauseo, DPT, CSCS, ATRIC is a Doctor of
Physical Therapy and a Certified Aquatic Therapy
Rehabilitation Instructor at Total Rehabilitation
Centre in San Juan. http://www.totalrehabtt.com
Wrestlers dying at alarming rate
Hulk Hogan...beaten by The Ultimate Warrior in
Wrestlemania VI in 1990
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