I used to watch wrestling. A while back now. It's always been one of those things that I drifted in and out of, without any serious dedication, so I've not really got much of an idea about what has been happening recently.
Well, except for the death of Chris Benoit, of course.
The last real period when I watched wrestling was when the WCW promotion still existed, and he was on that. As a character in the show, I liked him. He put on good matches, too. There's nothing about his presence on the TV that I would have connected to the person who, last weekend, skipped a match, went home, strangled his wife, waited a day, smothered his seven year old son and, some time later, hanged himself with a cord from his weight machine. Now, I've got a pretty cynical and jaded view on life, and it takes a lot to dig a little under my skin, but here I am, all at once, appalled, fascinated, sickened, and watching as the events surrounding the murders and suicide get stranger and stranger. For example, his seven year old son, retarded, or so I read, was being shot up with growth hormones. A friend of mine told me this morning that the drugs were bought from a dodge pharmaceutical company that her work recommended for investigation last year. This morning, I read an article that said that Benoit's wikipedia page was updated with the information of his wife's death fourteen hours before the bodies were found. In the piece, fingers are pointed at the WWE, and in general, the media appears to be pointing to the wrestling organisation, and the culture surrounding it in general. Rightly, wrongly, it has a death toll that can be attributed to the culture of drugs and lifestyle in the scene, so maybe in this case what seems like knee jerk reactions from the media is right.
In addition to that, the WWE have come under fire for making a tribute show in they show in response to the first hours since Benoit's death was discovered. I'll jam intro at the top of this and the apology that was issued a day or so later at the bottom of the show. In the second, McMahon says that they will not be making mention of Benoit in the episode. Likely, this will be the company stance for the future, because the whole tragedy does not blend with the sensationalised, bright lights, over the top tone that is entertainment wrestling. I suppose that there's really not much else that they can do, but it wouldn't surprise me to see a collection of anti-wrestling pieces coming out of the American media shortly. I doubt it'll have much result.
At the end of whatever is said, however, is that the whole thing is just tragic. I have no idea what it takes to put you in a position where murdering your wife and son and then, after placing bibles by their bodies, killing yourself--I have no idea what it takes to make all of that sound like reasonable choice to be making, but I figure you got to be pretty fucked up to get there.
Which is pretty much my reaction to the whole tragedy.