My take on steroids in wrestling and why there is a need for an offseason.

by

In the world of professional wrestling mainly WWE and TNA, there isn’t an offseason. Wrestlers spend around 300 days away from their homes. This has become a growing concern as many people are blaming the hectic schedule as one of the many reasons why professional wrestlers abuse drugs along with steroids. Athletes including wrestlers are responsible for what goes into their body. Last week, the wrestling world lost another with Umaga (Eki Fatu) adding the long list of professional wrestlers who lost their lives before the age of 50. This has been a growing trend in the business.

In 2006, WWE introduced a steroid policy to the company. While I don’t believe in the way the policy is arranged, I am glad they have it. The first offense is a 30 day suspension, second is a 60 day and the third violation is termination. In the three and a half years that this policy has been in effect, there have been many suspensions with some of the wrestlers being main eventers. The media as usual has questioned whether or not the policy is as effective as WWE says it is.

From the reports that we fans get, the testing is just as strong, if not stronger than the testing of the NFL. Many wrestlers have spoke out to say that they are watched during urine tests. John Cena was on record saying that he was tested at least six times in a span of eight or nine months time in 2006.

The point I am trying to come across is that wrestling needs an offseason of some sort. I am pointing the finger mainly at Vince McMahon and WWE. Vince needs to take another look at this and realize that these wrestlers are people too and not just a character that makes him the billionaire that he is today. He should at least give back to these entertainers. I am not saying the schedule is the only reason why the wrestlers take steroids and other medications to keep them going, but it’s a top factor. It doesn’t have to be an offseason like the NFL in which teams get anywhere from four to six months off but an offseason nothenless.

An offseason can help a great deal. First reason being, the writers and management can have more than a week to think of new story lines to freshen up the product. Second and most important, the wrestlers can finally have a break to rest. The perfect time for this offseason could occur after WrestleMania. Usually, WrestleMania takes place on the last Sunday in March or the first Sunday in April. Since most fans probably believe that the pay-per-view in April “Backlash” is a waste of time and money, this would be the ideal time for a break.

The fans are burnt out from the circus that is WrestleMania and so are the wrestlers and managment. April could be the off month and the storylines could resume in May along with the draft leading up to SummerSlam in August. Anybody else feel the same way?

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16 Responses to “My take on steroids in wrestling and why there is a need for an offseason.”

  1. urdead2me Says:

    RIP – Eddie Fatu, 36, nephew of the Wild Samoans & cousin of The Rock. In wrestling, he was the Samoan Bulldozer. Too bad he’s yet another pro wrestler who took too many steroids. He was so big it took 2 heart attacks to pin him! http://urdead2me.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/rip-eddie-fatu/

  2. Sandberg23 Says:

    I totally agree with that Fro. They can use Wrestlemania as they’re Super Bowl or World Series where it is the end of the season where all the champs are crowned going into the off-season. I say give them a little longer time off then a month. Let they’re be a build up before the next season begins and start the shows back up in July for the build up to the first pay per view being Summer Slam. I think that actually would help drive out some of the steroid and drug abuse. Guys got time to heal up and re train for a new season. These guys don’t ever have any off time and if they get hurt and can’t go. Vince just drops them from the company like nothin. So in some ways I can see how these guys get driven into going the route of using steroids to keep they’re jobs.

  3. Fro Dog Says:

    Sandberg23,

    I would actually prefer more than a month. But Vince is an egotistical maniac and wants his money so more than a month is not what he wants. Since the ticket prices are so cheap (Because of no offseason), the prices probably have to go up at least a bit. I would be fine paying the extra $5 or $10 if that means that the wrestlers are going to be in the best condition possible. The average fan only goes once or twice a year anyway because they tour everywhere. It doesn’t affect us as much as it would for football or basketball teams.

    But on the other side of the coin, if you have the offseason, more people will tend to tune in when the show starts back up. Ratings will be higher resulting in more revenue and sponsors. Pay-per-view buys will increase due to the layoff. It’s almost like the money they would make in the couple months will be made up in a matter of months after the season starts.

  4. chucky Says:

    Fro

    I don’t know if you saw the AWA dvd that WWE put out several years ago. I bought it the second it came out because I literally grew up watching the AWA.

    There was a segment there where Greg Gagne talks about their road schedule. He and Blackjack Mulligan, Blackjack Lanza and Baron von Raschke all talked about it. Mulligan stated that they drove so much that he thought he would drive off the edge of the earth. Car accidents used to be the main killer of pro-wrestlers. Remember Adrian Adonis?

    My point is this: Gagne said that the AWA ran far fewer cards during the summer, and that they did massive business during the winter months. Nick Bockwinkel said it too. Springtime they would conclude most if not all of the major fueds, then take it a little bit easier over the summer. Then, starting up again full bore in October, they ran battle royals all over the territory with Andre the Giant.

    The whole point in my post is that some companies DID allow for breaks in the schedule. Vince McMahon, when he began his expansion all over the country, became by all accounts a fucking slave driver. But he wasn’t alone or solely responsible for it all. Jim Crocket from Mid-Atlantic Promotions used to run “Great American Bash” cards for the NWA all over the country for anywhere between 45 to 60 days in a row. No days off at all. Some days were a double shot. Some guys might get a day off here or there, but for the most part if they took time off, they lost their spot. How guys like Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Arn Anderson, and Ivan Koloff are still able to stand is a testiment to those men and their work ethic.

    This much I believe: Vince McMahon is a money-grubbing bastard and in my opinion doesn’t give a goddamn about the health of his wrestlers. John Cena may be on record saying he’s been tested all those times but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that is bullshit. I think the whole “Wellness policy” bullshit is strictly a PR move to save WWE from bad publicity if something happens. I think they started it after the death of Eddie Guerrero. And it really didn’t help them when Chris Benoit did what he did. Do you honestly believe they test guys like HHH? Vinces son-in-law. Or Shawn Michaels. Or Undertaker? I sure as hell don’t. And if they are testing those guys, I’d bet money they are fixing the results.

    And everyone knows that Vince has had a massive boner for the big freakish looking maulers. He has had one for 30 years.

  5. Fro Dog Says:

    Chucky,

    You hit everything right on the spot. I can’t disagree with anything you have said. And you’re right, nobody should be surprised about anything that happens with Vince and the drug testing.

    I see TNA tape their shows two to three weeks in advance. They don’t have an offseason either but having those shows in advance gives them anywhere from a week to two weeks off a month. I wouldn’t mind that either but the internet is out there and people can easily get the spoilers online.

    It should be interesting what happens with both companies in January. TNA will go head-to-head with WWE on Monday, January 4th. Hulk Hogan is suppose to make his debut on TNA that and everyone knows that his presence alone equals ratings. However, if the ratings are not what everyone expects that night for Hogan and the company, then it could be a problem.

    My prediction for that night and you heard it here first: Vince will get The Rock to be the infamous guest host of RAW that night to counter with Hogan’s debut.

  6. robert Says:

    While wrestling may not need an offseason what they need is force each wrestlier to take 3-4 weeks in a row off and make them be there selves for instance force shawn michaels to be mike hickebottom….if you dont think wrestlers need some time off i got two words for you chris benoit

  7. chucky Says:

    That could work, Robert. Did you guys hear that “Test” , aka Andrew Martin suffered from the same head injury disease that Benoit had? Martin was like 33 or 34 when he died.

    What I’m wondering is when the fuck are people (nobody here) going to wake the fuck up. There still seems to be a good number of old-timers that are still alive and too many current wrestlers are dying. Anybody ever wonder about that? Fuck no. They just look at 40 year old pro wrestler who kills his wife and 7 year old son, then hangs himself and blame steroids. All they are after are the money grabbing headlines. Of course, this is the same media who would prefer to ignore soldiers who have died in combat and corrupt goverment officials and instead report about a missing blonde in Aruba. The media is loaded with fucking douchebags. We will probably never know what the real story is.

    There is one man who is really trying to raise awareness about CTE. His name is Christopher Nowinski. He used to wrestle for the WWE until concussions forced his early retirement. His work and his research has been quite extraordinary. Google his name and see what there is out about him. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was his efforts that have made the NFL enact the the new rules they have about concussions.

  8. Fro Dog Says:

    Chucky,

    Christopher Nowinski was a good wrestler and entertainer in the short time he was wrestling. If you remember that also with his concussions at both Harvard and in the WWF, he also broke his nose and it had a long term effect.

    I actually happened to run into him at WrestleMania 22 at the Allstate Arena in 2006. He was walking around greeting people around the concession stands during one of the matches. He was a class act and what he is doing now is really cool with the study of concussions in sports. Right now, he is making a huge impact and I am looking forward to what he does in the next few years.

  9. Fro Dog Says:

    According to Wrestlezone.com reports, Hulk Hogan’s hip “went out” during his comeback match in Australia a couple weeks ago. He is still going to be with TNA on January 4th for the live show but probably won’t get involved physically.

    I actually did not want to see him wrestle again because it is more of an embarrassment rather than entertainment. I will say this: I am as much of a Hulk Hogan fan as the next guy but damn. Hang up the boots already. The same goes for Ric Flair who is pushing 60.

  10. chucky Says:

    Fro…Flair is 60. He was born in Feb. 1949. Hogans birthday is 8-11-53.

    I’m really pissed at Flair, too. After the retirement ceremony he got after his match with Shawn Michaels, he just basically pissed all over it. And Hogan can’t even walk anymore. Why they still try to wrestle is to me just proof that these guys can’t stay out of the spotlight.

  11. Fro Dog Says:

    I just thought of this: Is it because guys like Flair and Hogan never had an offseason in their prime that they are so use to wrestling, that they can’t let it go? Or is it the fact that their egos have taken over their mind? I cannot give the right answer but it has to be one of those choices.

    I mean, if you were on the road for the last 25-30 years then all of a sudden, you had to stop, you would get bored right?

    Maybe if there was that offseason of a couple months like most of us have been screaming for, maybe we don’t have to deal with this garbage.

  12. robert Says:

    fro next time you are at a book store pick up pipers book and read a chapter called the sickness it will explain a lot

  13. chucky Says:

    Robert

    Piper wrote a book? I didn’t know he could stay sober long enough to write one.

    Seriously, I always liked Roddy Piper. Especially ultra-asshole heel Piper.

  14. Fro Dog Says:

    This has become a good discussion. You guys are putting in a lot of good points. New things keep popping up in my head on this issue. Do we really know who has never taken steroids and ones who have?

    Example: Triple H. In 2001, he blew out one of his quadriceps. The muscle was ripped completely. He was out for eight or nine months. Then in 2007, he blew out his other quadriceps and was about again for the same amount of time.

    Does anybody really believe that Triple H’s injuries are just bad luck? Not a chance. I am sure we have heard about people tearing their quadriceps but both of them? I am not saying that is unheard of but I have never known anybody who has except this guy.

    Let’s look at another wrestler: Chris Jericho. He has looked nearly the same for the last 10 or 15 years. The only difference now is his beer belly which many men get as they are older. However, no major injuries and if there were any, you wouldn’t consider them to be because of steroids and no substantial physical change.

    The same can go for Shawn Michaels who looks like he did 20 years ago. The only real injury he has is when he threw out his back in 1997.

    I want to clarify that I am NOT saying guys like Jericho or Michaels have been completely clean. But looking at them physically throughout time, you can make the argument that they didn’t get involved. However, everyone is a suspect.

  15. robert Says:

    Two of the worst steroid abusers 1 is dead 1 weighs 175 and is bedridden I am talking Larry Phoel and Mike Hegstrand….The former is lex luger the latter is road warrior Hawk…chucky pipers book is one of the best I would rate it up there with foleys

  16. chucky Says:

    I’ll make it a point to read it then.

SHOW DA FIRE AND PASSION, MY FRENDT!

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