Professional wrestling is always known to be one of men’s favorite sources of entertainment. Through the years, it has maintained popularity that made careers and legends out of big men. It has created household names such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and their attraction defies different ages and gender.
Pro wrestlers became larger-than-life characters, but adults and most teens have already known what is called the 4th wall. This is the reality that pro wrestling is rehearsed and scripted. It is now public knowledge that wrestling rivals are really friends backstage. They even discuss their storylines together and memorize their moves before their matches to impress the live audience, making adult and teenage groups follow pro wrestling only for its entertainment value.
But those mesmerized by pro wrestling characters are the same age group that believes in Santa Claus—kids. They don’t know about this 4th Wall, and they care less about scripted promos and rehearsed matches. As soon as CM Punk or John Cena goes out of that curtain, kids get hooked on them. Their imagination runs wild, and they become their heroes—somebody they want to be when they grow up.
But what kids do not know and what parents need to know is the dark side of a pro wrestler’s lifestyle. Note that this is not a generalization of all pro wrestlers. Many still have a healthy lifestyle and are worthy of your children’s adoration. However, you don’t want your kids to imitate other pro wrestlers when they grow up.
The Good Side of Professional Wrestling
Most pro wrestlers are first and foremost bodybuilders and athletes. Many of them used to be bodyguards and bouncers, and their physique says it all. They know how to take care of their health and fitness.
They follow a strict physical regimen and spend hours in the gym. They are also hard workers, and their discipline is second to none. Even in their gigantic size, some wrestlers are known to be soft-hearted. Most wrestlers even created a backstage brotherhood built around good friendships.
The Dark Side of Professional Wrestling
There have been documents and reports of pro wrestlers dying at a very young age. In the 80s, it was reported that almost 200 pro wrestlers died before they reached 65 years old. From that statistic, more than 75 of them died before the age of 50.
What’s more disturbing is that among more than 75 deaths, 60 of them died during their 40s, 30s, and 20s. Overall, almost half of them died of health conditions. Some committed suicide, while others died of alcohol and drug overdose and in-ring injuries.
There are many issues that pro wrestlers go through. Most of them are unseen and unreported, happening behind the camera. They are all covered by the glitz and glamour of fame and fortune. But the reality is, not all wrestlers are in good shape.
The sleepless nights and days on tour were among the reasons for many addictions. Although their matches are rehearsed, the punches, chair shots, and bumps they take are real. As a result, most wrestlers rely on pain killers that lead to addiction. Some would rather go through the pain but had to wrestle with injuries as a result.
Aside from interventions, pro wrestlers can get in touch with well-versed DUI attorneys for counseling and legal assistance. In addition, some trainers help pro wrestlers heal from injuries.
How to Protect Your Kids From the Dark Side of Pro Wrestling
1. Be Involved
It is good to watch with them and support their fandom, but it will not hurt to tell them the truth. You can tell them about the realities of pro wrestling without dampening their spirits. Make sure that you know what your kids are watching.
2. Set a Good Example
While it is true that kids look up to wrestlers, there are no better “life wrestlers” than fathers. Communicate with your kids, and make them feel loved and affirmed. Become a larger-than-life character for them by becoming their heroes. It is all about being there for your kids all the time.
3. Promote Healthy Habits at Home
You can always use those muscular bodies on TV as a reference, but you can show them how to achieve it. You can set up a simple home gym and prepare healthy food at home. Or, you can go simply sleep early, exercise, and take your vitamins.
Remember that professional wrestling is just a form of entertainment. As you guide your kids, let them experience the entertainment part of it. But be watchful and careful. In the end, you want your kids to be entertained while still applying family-centered values in their daily lives.