By Bayani Domingo, Staff Writer
Apparently, our current Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, hasn’t gotten the memo that the “War on Drugs” is over, and we lost. About 30 years ago. In 1971 when Richard Nixon declared drug abuse as “Public enemy number one”, I’m sure he never would have believed just how normal drug use has become in everyday life. From medicinal pot, the opioid epidemic, steroids in sports, to the recreational black tar heroin user. You know the kinda folks that just find themselves at a baby shower in their 30’s and have no children of their own, just a quick, casual bump of black tar heroin to help get you through the “Melted candy bar in a diaper” game. In wrestling, drug usage has had a long history, and now with the legalization of marijuana in more and more states, maybe it’s time to think about a new way of policing drugs.
Right off the bat we are not talking about hard drugs. Crack, smack, Quaaludes, Four Loco, or prescription strength Propecia cut with Cialis. There is absolutely no reason for a wrestler to be allowed to test positive for any hardcore drugs while he has his own and other’s lives in his hands. If at any point we become so desensitized to heavy drug use that Jeff Hardy starts bringing “Meth Brownies” backstage to share with the rest of the wrestlers, we need to seriously start considering the “The Purge” as a legitimate form of law enforcement. I also believe steroids no longer have a place in pro wrestling. Outside of the specific doctor subscribed steroids used to aid in the recovery from injury that are regulated by a licensed physician and not Dr. Yankem DDS or Dr. Wagner.
Say what you want about testing being inconclusive for steroid abuse being involved in either the early deaths of wrestlers, brain damage (1/3rd of ex-NFL players), psychotic episodes (Benoit), increased risk of heart attack (Eddie), or accelerated degeneration of muscle tissues and other harmful side effects. I just can’t seem to find any examples where steroids actually IMPROVED the lives of a wrestler OR athlete after they retired. Let alone actually making a wrestler good in the ring. I mean performance wise, it’s all well and good to say that guys like Hulk Hogan, Ahmed Johnson, Lex Luger, Chris Masters, or the Ultimate Warrior would never have made it in the business for as long as they did without steroids, but it hardly made them better wrestlers. Steroids are often referred to as “Performance Enhancing Drugs” in sports, but it didn’t do anything for any of those wrestler’s performance. Now a day there are guys who don’t have that chiseled Adonis physiques who are doing just fine on their own like: Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura, and even CM Punk in his day. Taking the steroids out of wrestling is long overdue and I don’t think fans would even miss it that much. Besides, it would give a clear advantage to those body builder types who could actually achieve those results cleanly.
So what are we talking about today? We are talking about the Stickiest of the Ickiest my friends. Marijuana. Weed. Mary Jane. Dank. Kush. Herb. Actually, I think I just created a new stable for IMPACT Wrestling right there. But I digress, recreational marijuana use has been legalized in 9 states already, with 21 additional states legalizing the use of medicinal marijuana. This means that over half the country has legalized the usage of marijuana, deeming it to be no less harmful to people than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. Ok, bad example, but still this goes to the legitimacy of long term usage of marijuana and the effects of it being at least on par with other forms of recreational “drugs”. Marijuana from a medical standpoint has also shown to be as effective or even MORE effective in the management of pain than pain killers and opioids. Opioid addiction is a real epidemic in America and there are a lot of wrestlers both current and retired who have given their own accounts of how their addiction to pain medication caused the deterioration of their bodies AND their careers. Going from pain meds, like Vicodin or Oxycontin, to heroin. Opioids are considered a gateway drugs considered to be highly addictive. Is marijuana addictive? Perhaps. But the only thing I’ve seen marijuana be a gateway to is 2 am quesadillas and pie binges at Marie Calendars.
That’s not to say there aren’t going to be problems from a legal standpoint. Not every one of the states in the union has legalized medicinal pot. You’d only be able to sanction the use of it in states that allowed it. That’s easy enough because the wrestlers travel pretty regularly and can easily find homes in states that permit it. You’d also need to regulate it’s usage leading up to shows. You don’t want someone getting high out of their mind right before a match because of the danger it poses to all performers in the ring. Again, I’m not saying let’s have everyone spark a doobie by the craft service table, I’m saying using it for treatment of injury and pain management and with a prescription from and under the supervision of a company physician would be the main intent.
Look, I don’t know what the long term effects of marijuana usage actually are. Maybe we’ll find out later that it contributes to brain damage, memory loss, or Taco Bell gut. But I DO know that there are far more harmful drugs out there that wrestlers are exposed to every day. There is also downside to marijuana, guys like Jack Evans, Rob Van Dam, Matt Sydal, and Teddy Hart have lost jobs due to heavy marijuana usage and their inability to control their usage of it. I’d argue that it actually might be addictive to those who may be predisposed to addiction, perhaps genetically. Matt Sydal is basically banned for life in Japan because he couldn’t do one tour without marijuana, even synthetic marijuana. That shows either very poor judgment or a serious addiction because Japan, like many other countries, have a very strict policy against any and all recreational drug use. Almost every wrestler is aware of that once they go over. But that’s not much different than back when heavy drinking was the norm in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. The difference is legality, not morality. I hate it when people conflate morality to legality. Just because something is Illegal, doesn’t mean it’s immoral or wrong. Just like laws that allowed slavery weren’t moral just because they were legal. If you were to open up this door you’d need to heavily regulate and control marijuana usage. That will be tricky, but no more so than the current drug testing administrated by the E.
Because the E is a publicly traded company they are at risk of being heavily criticized by taking this step towards proving a POTENTIALLY safer alternative to pain management, and perhaps concussion recovery to their workers. While they’d have to abide by federal regulations they could defer to state laws when they are applicable during their touring schedule. Not only that but as a private company they chose how to enforce their drug policies, where to make it more or less stringent based on their own judgment. I’m not even sure how strict, or if testing policies even exist in Indy Feds or Impact/GFW, but clearly they aren’t as public. Again, I don’t want there to be mentally or physically impaired wrestlers in the ring because of the immense safety risks those represent, but I’ve got to think outside the ring they cold spend at least some time researching the benefits medically speaking. The real question is whether they’re willing to handle the potential blow back. Well thank God they don’t have any ties to the current Presidential administration that is taking a hard line on…marijuana…awwww crap. Ok, forget it, just scroll down to the jokes.
- Lita and JR are calling the Mae Young Classic. I assume that means Jerry “The King” Lawler wasn’t available. I mean, what says “Women’s’ wrestling is JUST as serious and important as Men’s” like a commentator shouting “PUPPIES!!” every 30 seconds?
- Asuka’s NXT title reign has passed the 450-day mark. Also known as 162,000 Yokozuna title reigns.
- IMPACT wrestling just announced they’ve bought/merged with Global Force Wrestling. Which is kind of like two hobos going into a Wells Fargo to start a joint bank account.
- I will give GSW props however for booking stars from both AAA and NOAH for Slammiversary. With LAX and Laredo Kid & Garza Jr joining the 4 way dance, it’s got to make Marafuji and Ishimori feel like the Japanese tourists that bought the cheap tour package to Los Angeles that just dumped them off in East LA at a taco shop and directions to the nearest Discoteca.
- Not to disparage the “Big Bad Booty Daddy”, but Scott Steiner’s tastes in “Freaks” has really nose dived. I’ve never wanted to hear Josh Matthews scream “Boomshakalaka” less than I do now.
- *Spoiler Alert*….NXT just landed themselves a big…Fish. Bobby Fish debuted on NXT to all the pomp and circumstance usually reserved for a star like Kyle O’Reilly. Who when he arrives should be getting the kind of star treatment usually reserved for a Scotty Goldman.
- The main event at the NJPW G1 Climax first day will be Okada vs Cody for the title. What do you get when you mix an “American Nightmare” with a “Rainmaker”? That’s right, Pacman Jones punching a stripper.
- I’ll be honest, No Racist, I thought Keegan Michael Key was doing a Lavar Ball character on RAW. I had no idea that they were going to pay homage to the Ultimate Warrior by letting Lavar cut one of his old promos for….I dunno, it felt like 45 mins?
- I want to talk to the road agent that talked to Lavar Ball before he went through the curtain for his Miz TV spot and said, “Ok Lavar, just be yourself, don’t worry about stepping on people’s lines or showing people up, and…if you’re REALLY feeling it and the moment strikes you…go ahead and take your shirt off…it’ll be fine”.
- Oh, and how the HELL did they not let Ball and his Ball Boys NOT practice entering the ring? I’ve seen Parkinson’s fetish S&M videos with more coordination on the ropes.
- LaMelo dropping N-Bombs Monday night was a little TOO RAW. However…if LaMelo knows something WE don’t know, Miz might just be the next member of the NEW DAY!!
- Thank you Jinder Mahal for bringing back the match that NOBODY asked for: The Punjabi Prison Match. In this version, however, the title will be suspended above the bamboo inner cage and each wrestler will be force fed 1 gallon each of extra spicy chicken vindaloo and Lassi that’s been left out uncovered in Dehli for a week and the first one to retrieve the title without shitting himself wins.
- I guess the rumors of Paige and Alberto El Patron’s breakup are now being refuted. These two crazy kids need to understand that its not that complicated. Most relationships only have two ways this can all go. Then again, when Paige is involved, there’s always 3 ways.