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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wrestled to Death

3/22/2015 2:15:59 PM

As I said on one of my previous posts, wrestling may be a sport with several plot twists, but taking the risks just to entertain you guys was NEVER a joke. And you can bet Daniel Orton on that (remember that joke issue with the PBA and Manny Pacquiao itself?).

What I’m talking about right now? As much as I want to include this on a previous post which tackled the accidental death of a wrestler in Mexico, I’m afraid I would have another article that is "very lengthy."

So here are three of the notable deaths inside the squared circle. As Ryan Songaila of Rappler reported:

Michael DiBiase, known as the Iron Mike and father to WWE legend Ted "Million Dollar Man" DiBiase, and a grandfather to Ted, Jr., suffered a heart attack during his match with Man Mountain Mike in July 2, 1969 in Texas. And despite Harley Race’s efforts to save him via CPR, he was pronounced dead right before he was sent to the nearby hospital.

However, reports also stated that Iron Mike’s real culprit was high cholesterol. He was 45 years old and spent nearly half of his age for professional wrestling.

Over the course of time, he held the American Wrestling Association (AWA) Midwest Heavyweight Championship thrice; and the Midwest Tag Team Championship for two times. He also competed in a light heavyweight boxing match against Archie Moore, becoming the last of the latter’s 131 recorded knockout victories in 1963.

Owen Hart, brother to the more popular Bret, fell 70 feet after his safety harness malfunctioned while he was lowered to the ring. Everyone who witnessed that incident on that Over the Edge pay-per-view presentation held May 23, 1999 at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. He was supposed to battle the Godfather for the Intercontinental Championship.

His death became even controversial when the Hart family sued WWF for having an ill-plotted stunt which cost the 34-year old wrestler’s life. However, the issue both parties reached a settlement and the case was dismissed.

Owen, the youngest of former wrestling legend Stu Hart, had two IC titles under his name, as well as other prestigious accolades such as World Championship (1), European Championship (1), and Tag Team Championship (4). He was also the winner of the 1994 WWF King of the Ring.

And in June 13, 2009, Mitsuharu Misawa died after an awkward landing from a back-to-belly suplex in a match against in Hiroshima, Japan. He was 47, and was on the business since August 21, 1981.

His career spanned eight world championships after participating on several wrestling promotions in Japan; and was named Wrestler of the Year for three times by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Misawa also assumed several positions in the industry: being the president of All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) in 1999.

His death became a hot topic in the wrestling world that even CM Punk posted an account on what he thinks of Misawa via his website.

It was coincidence though that Hijo de Perro's death came few days right after figuring myself into series of death involving former wrestlers.

Yes. some few days ago, I remember myself scrutinizing Chris Benoit’s demise by watching a CNN documentary that featured him; as well as series of Eddie Guerrero tributes—which shocked observers, avid aficionados and spectators alike. These incidents occurred at their respective residences.

Though upon hearing the reports, it was founded that Benoit had committed a double-murder case before hanging himself over a three-day period. The news broke out June 25, 2007 after authorities went to is home for a “welfare check,” only to find out the 40-year old wrestler, as well as wife Nancy and son Daniel, all lifeless at their residence on Fayetteville, GA.

His death sparked mainstream attention, prompting WWE to cancel its live airing of RAW and instead gave tribute to the departed wrestler. However, their overall perception changed after the real angle was discovered.

However, the angle regarding the use of steroids became more evident; and put the WWE in a bad spotlight.

On the other hand, Eddie Guerrero was found by his nephew Chavo, lifeless inside the motel room in the Marriott City Center at Minneapolis, Minnesota. Paramedics who arrived at the scene confirmed his death, after unable to response from Chavo’s CPR.

His demise prompted WWE to give a week-long tribute to the Latino Heat via its RAW and SmackDown episodes.

And just over a year ago, James Brian Hellwig, known as the legendary Ultimate Warrior, passed away after suffering heart attack in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

And it happened just Tuesday afternoon (April 8, 2014) after having a weekend of tributes: 

Saturday, April 5, 2014, he suited up for WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. 

The next evening, Hellwig, along with other legendary names in the business appeared in the HOF segment of WrestleMania XXX at the nearby Mercedes Benz Superdome. 

And on Monday, Warrior appeared on RAW for the first time in over 18 years; spoke a very sensible speech in the ring. 

His death triggered sympathies from the wrestling world: his name trended on Twitter, 7Lions dedicated their single One More Time to him; and the promotion gave its own tribute accompanied by a ten-bell salute.

Also, in 2014, Nelson Frazier, Jr.—known by different ring names such as Big Daddy V, Mabel and Viscera, also passed away. He was 43. He suffered a massive heart attack, as similar as what happened to Umaga in 2009. Aside from the mentioned, there are lot of guys in the industry who suffered similar fates at their own respective ways like Andre the Giant and Yokozuna.

This just proves that even in the world of “scripted” sport, the risk is still real. You may fake the fall but you can never hide the pain and take it as a plain pun. If you berate them as fake, then try to find a mirror, look at yourself right there and ask: why you are still watching televisions if majority of the programs right there (just an exception to news and other variety game shows) were actually fake?

Think about it.
Author: slickmaster | ©2015 september twenty-eight productions

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