EXCLUSIVE: Saving Wrestlers From Themselves

Kevin Kelly

Saving Professional Wrestlers from Themselves
By Kevin Kelly

Lance Cade died at 29. Tired of writing about dead wrestlers, I finally have thought of something that might work. Better than rehab… better than anything. I remembered a story that Artie Lange told on the Howard Stern Show and thought it might work.

Artie battled the demons of opium addiction throughout his time on the show and he talked about how legendary Eagles member Joe Walsh stayed off heroin… he had “Smokey”. Listed as Walsh’s personal tour assistant, Smokey Wendell keeps Walsh clean and sober and alive. What does Smokey do? Walsh doesn’t do anything without Smokey knowing about it and approving. Has Walsh stumbled? Probably… most addicts do. They say you’re not in recovery until you fall.

But the bottom line is Joe Walsh is still alive because he has “Smokey”. Ironic that Artie Lange talked about needing his own “Smokey” but was unable (or unwilling) to find one before he nearly took his own life, deep in the grip of his addictions.

Would “Smokey” have saved Lance Cade? Or Umaga? Or Steve Bradley? Or any of the others? Or the ones who aren’t dead yet? We don’t know because no one travels with personal assistants. That’s what I’m suggesting. WWE needs to hire babysitters… professionals who are trained to say “no” and slap the pills out of the hand of the user.

Rehab doesn’t work. Firing them doesn’t work. I know… this idea sucks and it will never work. But I am sick of it and out of answers. Maybe it would work? Who knows? But if I was Vince, I would fly to meet Joe Walsh and Smokey… to see how they make it work. Saying that you have a Wellness Policy and offer rehab is all well and good but wrestlers are still dying. Maybe wrestlers need their own “Smokey”?

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