Add Another Ex-Wrestling Star To The "Just Fell Over And Died" List
just turned 31 at the end of April.
If there is one thing I can count on every year, it will be my younger
brother coming up to me and saying, "damn,
man you haven't changed a bit."
According to my youngest brother, I rest easy any fears that he has
about growing older because when he looks at me he sees the same big
brother that he knew when he was a kid. In many respects he is absolutely
correct. I might be a little taller, a little heavier and have a lot
more facial hair but I am the same guy I was when I was a kid and
I am proud of that fact.
I have found that the key to staying young is not in some snake oil
potion or in the waters of a magical fountain somewhere but in never
losing the ability to appreciate the things that you enjoy. I know
on the surface that sounds over simplified and probably a bit silly
but its true. For example, if you are a person that likes to dance
then find time to dance. You shouldn't stop dancing because you are
an adult now and you have "responsibilities".
Do whatever you need to do to avoid falling into that trap. You being
an adult and taking care of your "responsibilities" has
nothing to do with whether or not you like to watch cartoons or you
like to play video games.
I still read comic books, not nearly as often or as many as I used
to, but I still do read. My tastes in comics have changed since I
was 10 but I can still appreciate them for what they are. I still
listen to the 80s music that I grew up on. In fact, I have over 9,000
MP3 files on my hard drive representing nearly every song I ever heard
from 1979 to 1987. Sometimes when I am writing material for this site
I am blaring those tunes out of my computer like they were just released
I still go to bed a few nights a week watching a tape of my favorite
episodes of Marvel Superhero Hour. When time permits, my friends and
I are always up for a game of "Dungeons and Dragons" or
Despite how it might appear, I am not on some crusade to stay young
by nurturing some unhealthy attachment to my youth. I have a very
simple philosophy that I live by; this is my life to live. There is
a difference between being stuck in the 80s and not letting yourself
forget how to appreciate the things that you enjoyed about being a
kid. I don't care how old I get; I will always like watching cartoons
because I have never allowed myself to forget what I enjoyed about
them. I have found that the older I get I just acquire new tastes.
Often times as I mature and acquire an appreciation or other things
I end up acquiring a new appreciation for the things I already enjoyed.
One of the drawbacks of being a nostalgic person however is when I
get slapped in the face with information that forever changes how
I view something; it hurts a little longer than it might someone else.
For example, I used to like professional wrestling when I was a kid.
I came up as WWF and professional wrestling in general was turning
mainstream. Up until the early 80s professional wrestling it was something
that rednecks watched. I think I started watching wrestling the week
Rowdy Roddy Piper hit Super fly Snuka upside the head with that coconut,
for those of you that need a reference. As I got more and more into
wrestling I started subscribing to the fan magazines and even going
to shows when I could with my little brother. Wrestling was hands
down my favorite television program. Hands down. Nothing was close.
Professional Wrestling is as 80s to me as Devo.
So when I got older and started hearing about all of the wrestlers
that have died as a result of heart attacks from their painkiller
addictions, misuse of steroids, suicides and what not, it kind of
tainted it all for me. In the last three years alone I have watched
too many wrestlers die that I grew up watching. Rick
Rude died from a heart attack while watching television in
his living room at the age of 42. It blew me away.
Then if you want to really depress yourself you can also add Davey
Boy Smith, Brian Pillman,
and most recently Mr. Perfect Curt Henning to the list of the "just fell over
In an article I was reading about Curt Henning in the NY Post they
were talking about how 8 professional wrestlers had died in 2002 by
May alone; none of them were older than 44, all of them died from
Then in May it came across the newswire that Miss Elizabeth, the former
manager and valet of the Macho Man Randy Savage died in Lex Lugar's
house after mixing vodka and painkillers before she sat down to eat.
Miss Elizabeth apparently choked to death on her food. Evidently,
it isn't all that uncommon when you are high on painkillers and Vodka.
There's even a name for it. It's called "cafe
coronary," and it happens when people who are drinking
alcohol and eating lose their eating coordination, choke on food and
die of asphyxiation.
When I think about it, it seems only the porn industry has more fucked
up "not-so-natural" deaths
than professional wrestling.
As sad as Miss Elizabeth's death was to me, unfortunately her death
wasn't the only sad thing about the story I read. Lex Lugar, who evidently
was her boyfriend at the time, was arrested shortly after her death
when police searched his home and found over 1000 illegal pills in
his apartment. He has since been charged with like 13 felonies in
connection with those pills. Among the drugs they confiscated were
steroids (no surprise there) and other body building drugs, as well
as pain medication and anxiety drugs.
He had just been arrested the month before for punching Miss Elizabeth
in the face during one of his roid rages. Needless to say things haven't
been going well for "the total package" as of late to say
See that is the kind of stuff that you just didn't know when you were
a kid. You don't know that the people that you are watching leaping
across the ring and smashing chairs into one another are in the back
popping vicaden like tic tacs. You don't know that the suicide rate
in professional wrestling is higher than in any other form of popular
entertainment other than porn.
No, as much as you might want to never lose the ability to appreciate
the things that you used to enjoy as a kid, some times that appreciation
is inseparably tied into the naivety of the world that you lived in
when you were introduced to it.
Sadly, this is one of those times.