Twisting the Knife: Mainstream Media vs Wrestling

Mark Madden

mainstream media vs wrestlingThe Ultimate Warrior died.

Mainstream media couldn't wait to twist the knife.

Nancy Grace took the liberty of assuming Warrior died from drugs. While she talked about wrestlers dying from drugs, a list of names flashed across the screen. That list included Owen Hart.

Hart fell from the ceiling of Kansas City’s Kemper Arena when an unnecessary stunt went horribly wrong.

But Hart’s name was lumped with those suspected of dying from drug use.

The day after Warrior died, Deadspin.com posted a story with this headline: “The Ultimate Warrior was an Insane Dick.” The story described a bunch of wacky things Warrior did. Some were a bit strange, but it’s not like Warrior was a war criminal, or even an NFL player.

The story was tacky, tasteless and quite indicative of the state of Deadspin. They’ve lost most of their talent, very rarely break a story anymore and are sliding off their perch as sports’ cool website. Warrior wasn’t even dead for day, and they label him a dick. That violates not only good taste, but decency.

I know. I’ve violated both. Before you gleefully drag out my resume, I hasten to point out that Warrior never drowned a girl in a pond.

Mainstream media won’t treat wrestlers like they’re human beings. What wrestlers do on TV is fake and cartoonish, so they don’t count. That’s the attitude.

But these are real people. Warrior was a real person. Owen Hart was a real person.

Many wrestlers died because they made bad choices. Maybe some of the choices weren’t even bad. Maybe they made a Faustian bargain. Gain now, pay later. Maybe making that choice is their right. Size matters. As Rick Rude once said, “I take [steroids] to feed my family.” Rude died young, too. But he made his choices.

Wrestling has a body count, and that sucks.

But that doesn’t mean mainstream media has any right to make light of that body count, or be inaccurate about that body count.

If Nancy Grace had been talking about a profession that’s perceived more legitimately, and somebody was inaccurately said to have died from drugs, there would hell to pay. The person responsible for that graphic gets fired.

But it’s only fake wrestling. I bet Nancy Grace never even apologizes. Who cares what happens to a cartoon character?

DDMe appeared on Nancy Grace, and later said he thought the show would be a tribute to Warrior and that steroids wouldn’t be discussed. Right, because shows like that have such a great track record for their treatment of wrestling. DDMe is either incredibly naïve or, more likely, only knew that a camera would be present and a promotional opportunity available. First things first.

I’m grateful for what DDMe did to help Scott Hall. But when it comes to putting himself over, DDMe just can’t help himself. Consider the WWE Hall of Fame speeches: Glenn Jacobs talked about Paul Bearer. When DDMe inducted Jake Roberts, he talked about DDMe. Typical.

Follow Mark Madden on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX

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