I was a fan the very day that I saw my first match. But it wasn't a match, per se. It was a form of entertainment available on radio and television and the potential intrigued me right away.
Andre The Giant was a seasonal character who would be brought in "to make life interesting" like an Elephant giving the Circus Clown a wedgie. But, it was Andre. And very few fucked around with him. He was respected and rightfully so. He was also well-booked, especially in the early days.
Andre was a spectacle of testicles and rare was it that any bookers wanted to highlight his influence too much, as it held the potential of taking away the bottom line... Andre's significance at the gate. Sell the seats as he is the attraction, but never over-state the bounds. In this case, variety eclipses volume. Seeing Andre The Giant wrestle every night wouldn't work ... people would get bored with it rather quickly. However, seeing Andre wrestle here and there was a staunch recipe that would equate to people paying big bucks to see the Lochness Monster kill a few minions along his merry way.
Before I get to the crux of the point, anyone who doesn't watch the "pathetic multi-billion dollar embarassment" that is Professional Wrestling needs to understand something. The majority of the guys and gals who are involved in that particular business work pretty excessive schedules. We're talking 250 to 300 days of the year. What seems like a rudimentary catch as catch physical altercation that you bypass as the channels switch via your remote control, is something they do night in and night out. It wears on the body pretty hard. Now, they signed up for the gig so I won't totally go insane on how unfair it is to them ... but what I will do is try to solve a crisis that's been going on for way too long.
Andre died naturally. The fact that he was a Giant literally killed him. Doctors said that he would die much earlier than he did, yet he went beyond expectations to put Hulk Hogan over at one of largest gates known to mankind, Wrestlemania 3. Andre could barely move at that point, yet the fans ate it up and its success in every respect was econmically huge under any business study. Andre never (to my knowledge) needed steroids. I'm not sure about pain pills (which kills most wrestlers) but have heard through the proverbial grapevine that Andre was a bit of a drinker. I don't blame him.
Way too many Professional Wrestlers have died so young. First, you must understand why. Working matches 250 to 300 times a year does a body bad. On top of that, you have to maintain a peak level of physical condition to look "ripped" and "larger than life". The body needs rest and in that profession, you don't get enough of it. And if you take time off, somebody just may steal your spot. Well, I think I may have a cure for that profession's disease.
While Vince McMahon is and probably always will be the very best promoter of all-time, I believe there is a better and safer way to do business. I'm not going to sit here and pontificate how people should lead their lives, but I will advocate ideas to make the quality of work more efficient ... for economics and the overall quality of life. Here goes:
- Mandated two months off a year. In that time, I don't care if you train, visit family, shave your twinkie to Paris Hilton, or whatever, you get two months off no matter what. Storylines will injure you if necessary and you won't lose your spot. As always, the fans decide. If both entities (booker and wrestler) are doing their jobs right, the fans have a pretty good memory. And the "liberal" in me wants people to have a very good life. As long as one is passionate about the "job", there's little to discuss. YOU can be a bonafide ticket-drawer/gate-enhancer without being in the limelight every day of the week. As much as death is an interesting news story, do it on your own time.
- Training. Oh, I like this one. EVERY guy and gal needs to learn how to wrestle and protect themself. While looking like a Greek God is fashionable, it's not so much when you end up in a wheelchair ten years down the road. Learn to fight; learn to protect; take Ballet Classes and incorporate flexibility and stretching as legitamate exercises. Always remember, a work-out is not only something that makes you look good ... but is something that makes your body harder to hurt.
- Health Insurance for Professional Wrestlers must be a nightmare. My guess is that most look at it like "it's fake shit" and don't think a thing of it until they're courted with a man who just had his teeth knocked out by a forearm that wasn't too forgiving. I have an age old saying about such things, "We keep you in business and we pay you for that. Take care of us when our money needs to be earned."
- With every Professional Wrestling School, should come a brochure (cheaper to produce and you don't necessarily want to rely on Samoans for Retirement advice) to ensure that life in and after wrestling is afforded with smart economic decisions. Like any trade, there is life before and after Pro-Wrestling... for some.
- Mental Health should be just as important and treated as physical health. If you have to bring in Dr. Phil, so be it. Happy & Healthy workers are good workers. A Rock 'N' Roll lifestyle may create a Rock 'N' Roll education on how to live it and not only survive, but thrive. I want folks not to end up like Mickey Rourke in his portrayal in "The Wrestler" ... but like Dwayne Johnson in his portrayal of "The Rock." As long as Dwayne doesn't go Tiger Woods on our ass, we should be morally fine.
On a final note, I have to piss. While this has little, if anything, to do with Real Estate ... I don't much care. It's about time that I use SEO for what I really want to use SEO for...