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Accountability in Wrestling
At the ROH tapings over the weekend, Steve Corino was suplexed off the top rope, on to a steel guard rail that was positioned on four chairs, and could have easily broken his neck and/or back. Luckily, he's going to escape with just a little soreness.
It's not the first time wrestlers have attempted crazy stunts to get over, and it won't the last. The problem though is that the risk vs reward ratio is completely out of whack -- yes, I said "whack" -- and for what? To be seen by a thousand people in Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Is Sinclair really bringing enough TV viewers to make it worth it?
I guess the usual and proven table spot wasn't enough?
I'm a fan that's guilty of finding entertainment in dangerous, never-seen-before wrestling moves. And that's a major part of the problem. But had I not been exposed to so much of it, I would stop looking for it to fill my wrestling urges. WWE hasn't been "extreme" for a few years now and I'm still watching. I still find enjoyment in their product (when stories are told well in and out of the ring).
I wonder if independent companies can find success without wrestlers going the extra mile in the ring. I know David Herro doesn't require fire, barbwire, or other risky #Shenanigans to build a profitable audience on a regional level. TNA fans haven't left in droves since they decided to tame down the X Division considerably and limit the risks they subject their stars to each week. I can't imagine ROH fans would abandon their favorite company either.
I think the solution starts at the top. Steve Corino -- and most others trying to make a living on the indies -- is going to continue doing what they feel is necessary to earn and keep their spot on the roster(s). You really can't expect any less. It's the owners and promoters that need to put a ceiling on the level of extreme they expect, require, and allow.
If Vince McMahon gets blamed for wrestlers' premature deaths, addictions, and mental illnesses caused by years of abuse to their bodies, independent promoters should also start being held accountable, right? Or, are you the type that believes it's all on the individual for making their own bed (full of glass and thumbtacks), and they should have to lie in it?
Ultimately, I do think it comes down to the individual, at least when pointing fingers. However, spirit of competition and the natural human tendency to want to succeed and make it to the top of their profession often prevents people from putting their own bodies' health first. Exploiting that fact and doing nothing about it might not be a crime, but I'm not sure it's okay either.
Regulation is not always a bad thing, especially when you're saving lives as a result.
Real curious to what you think about this issue. Send your thoughts via Twitter or leave a comment below.
PS. I didn't mean for this to go so deep when I started writing it.
Follow Chris Cash on Twitter @RealityofChris