I have wondered about something for several years now. This subject is not easy to get information about, since it seems to be a rather taboo one. A couple of people in the business that I have spoken with about this have answered some questions, but only with a yes or a no. It is time for me to write about it.
As I’m sure you all know, bleeding during a match is not uncommon. Since very few of these incidents happen “the hard way,” clearly the obvious reason then, is that the blood loss is intentional. Blading is nothing new to wrestling, but years ago I don’t think that there was nearly as much knowledge of those diseases that could be transmitted this way. Or maybe no one really gave a damn.
Either way, I have always thought that surely those people involved must, on some occasion, think about what the effects of this practice might be. To get someone to admit that though, was not an easy thing to do. Nor has that happened now. What has brought this to the front for me was the announcement that TNA is testing all of the talent that is under contract with them for any diseases that might be transmitted by either direct or indirect blood contact.
This is a big deal, as far as I’m concerned. The WWE is hyping their drug testing right now, but I can’t help but feel that their reasons are not legitimate. Is there really concern for the well being of the athletes? Or has there just been so much heat about these guys getting bigger and stronger they felt compelled to do something to show they care? The many deaths that have occurred over the last few years have been well publicized, and that is not good PR for the WWE, particularly when drugs have been an all-too frequent common denominator.
Now for the most part, the drug issue, while great in depth and very tragic, doesn’t usually endanger others during the course of a match. (Of course, I’m not talking about someone who wrestles while he is, as the say, â€œin no condition to workâ€. That person normally does not make it to the ring to put others at risk.) But when there is a particularly bloody match, not only are those involved in said match in jeopardy, but also others working afterwards who might come in contact with blood on the mat. I have often wondered why this issue doesn’t seem to bother anyone. Certainly, those who have at least allowed me to broach the subject downplay its importance â€“ not that they actually feel like that, but the inference is that it matters not.
Enter TNA, who has not only admits a concern, but says that something should be done to help keep their athletes safe from certain diseases. Look, let’s glance at the obvious here. I am the first to acknowledge that many of these young men (I use men, since there are way more men than women in this industry, but I’m certainly not excluding the girls) are on a, to steal a phrase, rock and roll express. I understand that. Just how exciting and flattering must it be to have hoards of women following these guys to restaurants and hotels? While schedules can be daunting, there is surely that opportunity for party time.
There is no judgment call here. I certainly can’t cast that stone. The only judgment call I’m willing to make is the one that sings the praises of TNA management for publicly being willing to break ground in this arena. Perhaps the WWE does the same thing, maybe not. But TNA stepped up and told us that there might be a potential problem, and that they want to be aware of it and do something about it. I respect them for that. It appears that this company is picking up strides on the WWE in more areas than the wrestling ring, and I applaud them.
Be safe and God Bless,
Viva la Raza,