AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
First, an update from Dr. Keith Lipinski and his efforts to raise funds to fight AIDS by running the Chicago Marathon, which you can help with at Runkeithrun.com.
Well, another week into my training/fund raising. So far to quote Van Halen (or Van Haggar if you will), “so good!”
Much thanks to everyone who donated so far. Including a very special thank you to the mysterious GOLDEN VAMPIRE~! (wrestling fans should get the reference) which so made my day. I would also like to thank a fine man Bob Magee who has helped spread awareness of my marathon run and fundraising efforts on PWBTS.COM.
I have raised over a 1/3 of my goal WITHOUT ANY FAMILY MEMBERS AT ALL (hint, hint). I’d like to personally cook a wonderful meal full of exotic delights for all these fine human beings who have given money to a great cause – but alias – must train!
Anyway, if you have not donated yet, don’t worry, you still have time for me to harass you for another frickin’ month, as the donation period ends on July 15! According to something called modern Mathematics, there is still a month left to donate to Aids Foundation of Chicago – a very great cause.
Again, thank you all for helping out.
In other news, WWE released Raymond Michael Brendli (aka Mike Mondo) last Friday with the usual “coming to terms on the release” and wishing “Mike all the best in his future endeavors” statements on WWE.com.
Brendli was arrested earlier this month for a DUI, testing at a blood alcohol content level of .094 and then .091. Given that his was the third DUI arrest in recent months. Of the other two, Ted DiBiase, Jr., was punished by being called up to the main roster, and Santino Marella, had his offense seemingly ignored except for a shoot comment by Roddy Piper on a RAW episode.
It’s reasonable to assume that Brendli is a more convenient “example” than DiBiase or Marella to send a message to WWE performers about DUI. It also seems reasonable to make a connection between the imposition of testing for marijuana by WWE and the increase in publicized DUI incidents.
WWE is also dealing with the issue of alcohol, as it served as a vehicle for the recent well-publicized racial incident with Michael Hayes and Mark Henry. Hayes was suspended, lost two months salary, was required to go to sensitivity and alcohol recovery classes; and has been demoted from his post as WWE Vice President, costing him a considerable amount of money. Finally, Hayes is not permitted to drink while engaging in WWE related businesses or social events.
Hayes will remain on theSmackdown writing staff.
While Hayes was a high-profile management figure, WWE still isn’t dealing with Marella or DiBiase, the two public figures who engaged in this behavior.
Part of the problem is that wrestlers will self-medicate given the pain they feel from the physical demands of wrestling and travel. They’re now being tested for pain medication. They’re now being tested for marijuana. So they drink after shows (not like they need encourgement by outside forces all too often), and this is the result.
It’s such an entrenched culture that some wrestlers that DON’T drink like CM Punk are stigmatized.
Unless the ringstyle and travel demands are changed, this behavior will continue one way or the other.
Until next time…
If you have comments/questions, or if you’d like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.