Story is taken form Mick Foley’s book – Foley is Good: And the Real World is Faker Than Wrestling (Buy it on Amazon)
PEOPLE DO GET HURT imitating professional wrestling. That is a fact. Critics of wrestling world jump at the chance to show you that.
My kids love to wrestle, and I let them. I have sat down with them and explained that several of the moves hurt, and that many are extremely dangerous. They have a decent understanding of the spinal cord, and which move pose a threat to it. They know that they can never use these moves on each other or anyone else. If they do so, they know that they will not be permitted to watch the shows or wrestle anymore. Watching the two of them wrestle, complete with “uh-oh, both these guys are hurt” commentary by Dewey, is a thing of beauty. He is extremely gentle with his little sister. With the exception of an occasional bumped head or banged knee, they can wrestle without incident for hours at a time.
Granted, I have an intimate knowledge of wrestling moves, but anyone with even the most basic knowledge of human anatomy (and this would include anyone with a 9th grade education) can watch the program with their children and establish similar guidelines. Therein lies the problem. Many parents don’t have a clue as to what their kids are watching. They are content to have them occupied. So whether it’s Triple-H giving Cactus Jack a pedigree, or a twelve- year old watching porno on the Internet, many parents neither know nor care what the children are watching. This is ignorance, with a little does of apathy thrown in as well.
In addition to ignorance, wrestling suffers from another stigma that actually is fed by ignorance; the decades-old proclamation that “it’s all fake.” I would like to think that most parents are responsible and intelligent enough to sit down with their kids, watch the show, and accept it for what it is. “These guys don’t really hate each other, Joey, but they do some really athletic things that can be very dangerous. Please don’t do them, okay?” Unfortunately, I can almost hear other parents around the world saying, “I don’t know why you watch that crap anyway – don’t you know it’s all fake?” I can see fifteen year old Billy trying to correct his mom. “Mom, come and watch, they do some really cool stuff.” For which Mom, who has bills to pay and a casserole in the oven, has the final word. “Yeah, right, anybody can do that crap.” So Billy and his friends come over and, build a homemade ring in his backyard, attempts a move that his mother has assured, “anyone can do”, lands on his head, and his mother files a lawsuit because she needs somebody to blame. All due to ignorance. Now if Mom knows it’s dangerous, and still lets Billy construct his ring and perform dangerous moves without supervision, she’s no longer just ignorant – she’s a lousy parent.
I guess when a ridiculously liberal interpretation of cause and effect is applied; some people could claim that professional wrestling has injured young people. There are others who would go further than that and say that wrestling has caused deaths. So why not get rid of it? Okay, now it’s gone and we can all sleep a lot easier tonight. But wait, why stop there? In order to be fair, we have to apply that liberal interpretation to the other sports as well. We have already determined that football, baseball and amateur wrestling has caused death, so they have to go as well. Auto racing is not only dangerous to the drivers themselves, several of whom have died in recent years, but its influence has cost many more lives on the highway. It’s got to go. Running is healthy, right? Not so fast. It killed Jim Fixx, who wrote the Running Book. So how damn healthy can it be? Gone.
I am a little concerned about the movies. After all, if a mother convinces her son that “anyone can do that crap” when talking about stuntmen, the kid might try to dive out of a thirteen-story window after seeing a Jackie Chan flick. Which leaves us with only live plays to enjoy, which we obviously can’t because Abraham Lincoln was killed at Ford’s Theater.
Great. Now we will all live a lot longer – and without a whole hell of lot left to live for.