By Kim Artlip, Columnist
On a recent episode of The Maury Show, the show teaser caught the everyone’s attention and taught the world a phrase many had never heard before with “My Husband Is a Wrestler … Is He Cheating With Ring Rats?” Apparently the wife of a pro wrestler is worried that he is cheating on her with groupies. Check that teaser clip from the show out below and a great classic interview from Ric Flair on ring rats.
What exactly is a ring rat, you might ask? A ring rat is a pro wrestling insider term that refers to someone, generally female fans or wrestlers, that is known for sleeping with the wrestlers on a regular basis. It was definitely a conversation starter and I had several people who had never expressed much interest in wrestling suddenly salivating to find out if my company was a hotbed of women on the prowl and cheating men.
I’ll be honest, we’ve never really experienced any real issues with ring rats or groupies. Yes, I do know of several in the sport and fans that are notorious for hitting on wrestlers but it’s not an issue for us. But, as in any field, you learn who is an issue and who is not.
So there are certain women whose reputations have proceeded them and honestly have no business in our locker rooms since they are not booked performers. You have the valets/managers who flit from one guy to the next. Now please understand that I am not broadly painting all valets in this article. I’m talking about two specific ones that I know in the sport who I know of personally.
It’s not a great environment to have when someone is this one’s ‘side chick’ or that one’s girlfriend. Even worse… when they are cheating on their significant other who is not in the sport. So yeah, drama not needed in any locker room. Fortunately, they are not part of our roster or ever will be.
Then you have the serial dater/girlfriend. This particular species usually ends up dating a fellow wrestler and takes bookings independent of their partners where they are playing the field. These ones go from wrestler to wrestler, sometimes even going so far as to be engaged and breaking that to be with another wrestler. Again, not a great scene at all to be part of since sides are always taken.
Still talking about people in the sport and that final one is the barracuda. She’s working her way through locker rooms, trainers, manager, etc. It doesn’t really matter if someone is married but this rare species likes to get what she can and move on and up. Not many of these but they are all around.
Then we get to the fan groupies. The rats who come to shows with the express purpose of hooking up and hanging out with wrestlers. There are a few in particular that come to mind that go as far as inviting wrestlers who travel to stay at their house, take wrestlers out to dinner and pursue them online and at a shows. Honestly, most of these gals age out. They are no longer as young and cute and don’t appeal to the guys over time. Most single guys over time find girlfriends so they just show up and wrestle and leave.
But I’m going to be honest, by and large, the vast majority of wrestlers are there to wrestle. They aren’t thinking of cheating or anything past their match, merch sales and getting home. I may be spoiled, but the guys I know in the sport are fun, entertaining and not out to get laid. They are there to make a name and impression with their wrestling.
But people don’t want to hear that. They like the lowbrow opinion of wrestling being ring rats and guys who aren’t role models. But that’s really not what the sport is about. The sport is about fans, entertaining and building toward recognition and getting the chance to be on the biggest stage in the sport. These guys aren’t lifting, eating clean, training and doing the drives for sex. They can get that at home and in their relationship. They are here to perform in ring.
So maybe I’m naive, or maybe I have been fortunate to know amazing upstanding guys. But in the end, we have to realize the Maury show is not about educating people about wrestling. It’s about salacious ratings and if painting the sport as being covered in trashy girls is what it takes then they accomplished their mission. Now we just have to show the world AGAIN that wrestling is a sport, not a side show. So until next time… ignite your fire, and follow your dream.