We all have noticed how pro wrestlers die the youngest, and we are used to not seeing them reach old age. It’s a sad fact and a dark consequence of being in the entertainment industry. Not long ago they were even dying in droves, suddenly and unexpectedly.
It’s sad because wrestlers are some of the most fun people to hang around with. They have sense for humor and they care about their fans. Sometimes their acts and costumes are borderline ridiculous and a bit over the top. But, if you ask me the luchaderos are even more ridiculous, although legendary so much that they have inspired some great works in different areas of the industry, from slots like Nacho Libre to animated series like ¡Mucha Lucha!.
Recently, John Cena made an interesting comment on the subject while discussing The Wrestler, a movie depicting the harsh life of the average wrestler trying to earn his livelihood in the 1980s. He believes that there is a big connection between an early death and the wrestler’s life style.
According to Cena, a premature death of a wrestler is largely attributed to his personal choices. By personal choices he meant drugs, although he never expressly said the word. His belief is that life on the road does not bode well with wrestlers, and ultimately affects them negatively.
When you live on the road, you tend to feel a certain freedom. Every day is different, every day is an adventure. You meet new people, everyone likes to party with you and you live like there’s no tomorrow. But, Cena understands that if you live like there’s no tomorrow, you can be certain that there won’t be one.
It can be safe to assume that all the premature deaths of pro wrestlers happened because they were heavy entertainers, and it’s something that has plagued the entire entertainment industry as a whole ever since its beginnings. Actors, musicians, and other entertainment faces have faded too quickly over the years due to their turbulent and ultimately depressive life choices produced by the industry. Wrestlers too.
It’s a good thing that the WWE has started to react on this. It was about time. Now there is a greater focus on the health and safety of the wrestlers. There is even financial assistance for wrestlers having money difficulties, they get injury payments and all kinds of programs that show the depths to which the WWE goes to protect them.
The biggest example of what Cena was talking is the Von Erich family. David Von Erich, who was once thought to be the best wrestler there is died of drug overdose, which was covered up. Kerry Von Erich ended up abusing drugs too, went to prison and committed suicide. Mike Von Erich also took his own life. Even the youngest Chris couldn’t endure the pressure to live up to the family name and killed himself. If you think about it, maybe he did live up to his family name… by ending his life tragically.