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20.11.14 1705
The W - Pro Wrestling - Mushnick comments on Hennig's Death
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tomvejada
Andouille








Since: 2.1.02

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#1 Posted on
from nypost.com:

"DID YOU SEE in the paper where that wrestler died?"
I certainly did. Read it Wednesday in the papers. Even heard it on the radio. Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig, 44, one of Vince McMahon's former employees. He was supposed to wrestle Monday night for a smaller-time guy in Florida. Monday, Hennig was found dead in a hotel room.

Dead in a hotel room. That's how and where they typically find fellows who wrestled for McMahon and/or Ted Turner. Usually, the deceased are younger than 44, but dead in a hotel room hardly is unusual.

Hennig had the usual McMahon/Turner payroll physique. He was ripped, muscle-massed far beyond all physiological and empirical sense.

But why did this one make the papers and the radio? Slow news day? Or was it just one of those things where several news people who select what we read and hear coincidentally were inclined to spend three paragraphs or four breaths on a pro wrestler's sudden death?

After all, over the last dozen years, scores of pro wrestlers have dropped dead. How come Henning's sudden death suddenly warranted attention?

How come Turner and McMahon - the country's two biggest pro wrestling impresarios until Turner, a couple of years ago, surrendered to McMahon - long ago weren't hauled before Congress to explain why performers in their recent employ have a nasty habit of dropping dead?

Why did Hennig's drop-dead death make news, while the drop-dead deaths of other stars - Davey Boy Smith, Rick Rude, Brian Pillman - only made news in their hometowns and in pro wrestling circles?

When Smith died last year, the authoritative Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that eight pro wrestlers under the age of 40 had died that year - and it was only May.

Why have the mainstream news, sports and entertainment media over the last dozen years treated pro wrestling like a fabulous fad, one to which they eagerly attached themselves in order to boost ratings, readerships and regard among young males while never reporting that pro wrestlers are far more inclined than most young men to drop dead?

If, every few weeks, an active NBA or NFL player just dropped dead, that would be front page news, no? Federal and state attorneys general would subpoena David Stern and Paul Tagliabue. They'd have years ago been ordered to explain why their players regularly drop dead.

But McMahon, whose ring doctor was sent to a federal penitentiary for drug distribution, and Turner, who for years warred with McMahon over the same 'roids-in-the-morning/barbiturates-at-bed performers, never have been forced to explain why their pro wrestlers keep dropping dead."





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FurryHippie
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Since: 29.10.02
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#2 Posted on
Ripped and muscle-massed? I don't wanna nitpick, but Hennig was, let's just say, a little on the hefty side at times. He was not ripped, I'll tell you that.

The only point I agree with him about is that if NBA guys died all the time, they'd make a big deal. But see what he doesn't realize is he's the only member of the "real" press who takes the time to bash wrestling in the "real" world. That's why he's the only one questioning it. He follows wrestling simply to bash it, which is pretty sad....though we've already clarified this about him.



ahem....

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oldschoolhero
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
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#3 Posted on
Mushnick bashes McMahon. SHOCKING. That's pretty cheap, twisting a guy's death around to further a personal vendetta that's better off dead. And I love how he implies that these guys were sweet li'l innocents led into a life of roids by the big bad BoogeyMcMahon. They had no control over their actions, no sirree.



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shea
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Since: 1.2.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.74
Mushnick happens to have a fuckin' point.

And whether or not wrestlers "know what they're getting into" (a favorite argument of those who prefer sticking their heads in the sand, and which we could debate all day) the fact remains that far too many wrestlers die young from health complications brought on by illicit drug use and abuse.

If you're okay with that, that's on you. But bashing Mushnick for having a vendetta against Vince won't change the fact that professional wrestling is one fucked-up business and no one does jack-shit to change it.

(edited by shea on 16.2.03 0732)
abaldoldman
Weisswurst








Since: 10.2.03
From: State College, PA

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#5 Posted on

    Originally posted by shea
    Mushnick happens to have a fuckin' point.

    And whether or not wrestlers "know what they're getting into" (a favorite argument of those who prefer sticking their heads in the sand, and which we could debate all day) the fact remains that far too many wrestlers die young from health complications brought on by illicit drug use and abuse.

    If you're okay with that, that's on you. But bashing Mushnick for having a vendetta against Vince won't change the fact that professional wrestling is one fucked-up business and no one does jack-shit to change it.

    (edited by shea on 16.2.03 0732)



Hey, the last time I checked, all of these wrestlers are over 18, thus they are considered adults. They have the right to choose what they put into their own bodies. It is not up to us to decide whether it is right or wrong.

I don't agree with his comments and the timing of them. But I do agree with the point that if this was a "legitimate" sport, people would be jumping all over this. Look at the Darryl Kile death last year, in a hotel room, and the press coverage surrounding that.

CRZ
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#6 Posted on

    Originally posted by shea
    Mushnick happens to have a fuckin' point.

    And whether or not wrestlers "know what they're getting into" (a favorite argument of those who prefer sticking their heads in the sand, and which we could debate all day) the fact remains that far too many wrestlers die young from health complications brought on by illicit drug use and abuse.

    If you're okay with that, that's on you. But bashing Mushnick for having a vendetta against Vince won't change the fact that professional wrestling is one fucked-up business and no one does jack-shit to change it.

So what are you doing, then?

Or are you just "okay with that?"



©CRZ™
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
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#7 Posted on

    Originally posted by shea
    Mushnick happens to have a fuckin' point.

    And whether or not wrestlers "know what they're getting into" (a favorite argument of those who prefer sticking their heads in the sand, and which we could debate all day) the fact remains that far too many wrestlers die young from health complications brought on by illicit drug use and abuse.

    If you're okay with that, that's on you. But bashing Mushnick for having a vendetta against Vince won't change the fact that professional wrestling is one fucked-up business and no one does jack-shit to change it.

    (edited by shea on 16.2.03 0732)


So is the music industry a fucked-up business, and really I think that's the more apt comparison. Sports are a monopolistic enterprise where there's a Big Brother there to watch over everybody and demand certain codes of conduct. Wrestlers much like musicians however really have no one they have to answer to. They barnstorm the country, perform, and are pretty much left to their own devices the rest of the time. They work for whomever will pay them be it a major label (or the WWE), or for a small indie label (or a promotion like where Curt Hennig was working when he died). And lastly, there's no weeding out process to determine who gets considered a "wrestler" or a "musician". Anyone who can wrestle one match for the dinkiest promotion or can play one show for a crowd of 20 is now able to be lumped in with the biggest stars in the world for statistical purposes. Imagine what the numbers would be for football if every single semi-professional league in the country were then lumped in with the NFL.

Yes, professional wrestling is a horribly screwed up business. Frankly I'd be very happy to see steroids removed from wrestling entirely. But to pin drug use and such addictions on wrestling is foolish and demeans the ability of the people involved to make choices for themselves. Especially when that person has such knowledge about what they are getting into as Curt did. When your father is Larry Hennig, no one can say you are going into the business with your eyes anything but wide open to what you're jumping in.



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ges7184
Lap cheong








Since: 7.1.02
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#8 Posted on
I would think Congress would have more important things to worry about than the few wrestlers who die each year. How does investigating the wrestling community help the greater good of this nation as a whole?

Of course, I've been surprised by what Congress has apparently had time to deal with before.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
"The only point I agree with him about is that if NBA guys died all the time, they'd make a big deal."

On the other hand, if an NBA player put together an awesome string of performances, he would be praised for weeks in the press, while wrestlers are not.
shea
Bockwurst








Since: 1.2.02
From: Brooklyn NY

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.74

    Originally posted by CRZ

      Originally posted by shea
      ...professional wrestling is one fucked-up business and no one does jack-shit to change it.
    So what are you doing, then?

    Or are you just "okay with that?"



For the record, I wasn't implying that changing the wrestling business was up to us wieners.

My point was that, unlike you and me, there are people who ARE in a position to affect change in the wrestling business, but don't.

When it comes to drug abuse, I do volunteer work in my community. That's something we can actually do something about, and it's an issue that matters to me, so I contribute what I can. But while I can't change the way the WWE operates, neither can we pretend there's no drug problem in professional wrestling. Hell, Hennig's behavior and appearance the last year or so were an unmistakable tipoff that he was in trouble -- but there's no safety net for guys like him. Why not? Why no "Player's Association"-type union? Why no pension plan for retirees? Medical plan for those forced to quit because of injury?

Preventive steps can always be taken.

fuelinjected
Banger








Since: 12.10.02
From: Canada

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#11 Posted on
A union would be the death of professional wrestling, that's why. It'd be impossible to run a wrestling promotion if Vince had to deal with a union.

Stop putting the blame on the business and everyone else and put the blame on the people themselves. If they're too weak not to take that extra pill or that extra drink or to know when to walk away, then they shouldn't have gotten into wrestling in the first place.

Nobody's putting a gun to their head and saying they have to get into wrestling.
Whitebacon
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Since: 12.1.02
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#12 Posted on
Has Hennig's cause of death been made public yet? If it has, I seem to have missed it. I'm assuming it's heart related.



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anibanging
Italian








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#13 Posted on

    Originally posted by FurryHippie
    The only point I agree with him about is that if NBA guys died all the time, they'd make a big deal.


Except that Henning wasn't really an active wrestler neither was davey boy smith or many of the others who've died. Retired sports stars die a lot too and usually it's not blamed on their sport
IPowerbombedKidman
Chorizo








Since: 5.7.02
From: Ft. Worth Texas

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#14 Posted on
I agree with Mushnick to a point. He makes it seem as if Vince McMahon and Ted Turner went knocking on wrestlers hotel doors and killed them. I believe that if you read the Drugs chapter in Foley is Good, it gives a much better insight on why this happens often.



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redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

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#15 Posted on
I think over 90% of us agree that Mushnick is a sanctimonious jerk. However, even a sanctimonious jerk can be correct part of the time. In the Hennig thread, most of us were mentioning that this has been happening way to often, but when Mushnick starts discussing the point, a 180 degree turn begins to occur.
BTW, if you can get the physical copy of the Sunday New York Post, you should pick it up, as about 1/4 of the page is taken up with a picture of Curt Hennig with 1958-2003 across the picture. Plus, the Page Six cartoon of the French UN ambassador being told he needs only to raise one hand to vote rather than the French tradition of raising both arms is hilarious.



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Hogan's My Dad
Andouille








Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

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#16 Posted on
Wrestling is a fatality-stricken business. Something needs to be done about it. If "leaving it up to the people who make the choices" isn't working, and clearly, it isn't, then the choice needs to be taken out of their hands. Making wrestling drug-free would not be as difficult as it sounds, if done gradually.

If basketball players died suddenly, yes it would be news. But the rock-star comparison doesn't hold any water either. Wrestlers die constantly, and the wrestling business, unlike any other, turns a blind eye. Musicians die, then are made into national heroes for their drug abuse and a stern warning comes with their passing to anyone getting in. In wrestlingm, it is always business as usual. Tough Enough goes on TV, and no one tells these kids during the course of 3 series, that if one of them dies, shows don't get cancelled. The promotion goes on. A ten-bell salute if they're on the active roster. No one ever, ever stops and asks: why is this happening?

Vince McMahon doesn't force people to take steroids but those who do get rewarded tremendously. Something has to be going on here. Hennig was not jacked, he was not overly muscled and was not a known steroid-abuser, so we have to ask ourselves what happened to him. His build is closer to Kurt Angle's than Rick Rude's. So to me, that says someone who looks like Kurt Angle is just as likely to die in this business as someone who looks like Scott Steiner and that's not something I would have considered realistic before Hennig's death. Changes need to be in place. There has to be a drug-testing policy in the WWE. It's not unconstitutional, as the suits will claim. See, cuz if people are dying, you have to legislate something to help them. If baseball players, who are heavily abusing steroids right now, start dropping dead in a few years; watch what happens. The drug-testing policy will be brought in. Fans won't stand for it.

Wrestling needs the same. I hate to ever agree with Phil Mushnik but he's right; if the federal light shines on Vince about drug problems in wrestling he'll have no choice but to change things. Last time that happened, he put Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart on top. Wrestlers need to know they can clean up their act and still have a job to come back to. The cutthroat nature of the business where you're done as a professional if you let your guard down for five minutes is retarded and is simply a descendant philosophy from the carny days when it wasn't a million-dollar enterprise. But for guys like Brian Pillman, Rick Rude, Davey Boy Smith, and now Curt Hennig the question never should have come up. In all honesty, there was always going to be a place for guys of this calibre.

Why didn't someone make them understand that?




(edited by Hogan's My Dad on 16.2.03 1405)


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drjayphd
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#17 Posted on

    Originally posted by Whitebacon
    Has Hennig's cause of death been made public yet? If it has, I seem to have missed it. I'm assuming it's heart related.


Not for another 4-6 weeks.



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Tribal Prophet
Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
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#18 Posted on
I think Mushnick needs to write "drop-dead" a few more times before his point gets hammered into my brain... Nice to know even the kids who get solid D's in English can still find a profession with writing.

As far as our lack of blame goes (since "It's Vince's fault this is happening" seems to be the leading trend here) how many people get excited when they hear The Dudley's and Edge/Christian are going to do a TLC match at the next PPV, or chant "ECW! ECW!" like a much of morons when someone gets creamed with a baseball bat, compared to how many of us actually think "Shit, these guys are going to be seriously hurt and could end up dead down the road from this match". And of the two reactions we may have, which one lasts longer and which one do we "get over" once we start being entertained?


Tribal Prophet



Wrestling exists in the eternal present. What is, has always been, and when it no longer is, it never was. It has no past and no future, and sometimes even today is in question. - Madame Manga
Venom
Boudin rouge








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#19 Posted on
Tribal Prophet does have a good argument, although I'd have to counter-act that by saying the WWF and ECW pushed the mindless brawling style to the top and never looked back. Paul and Vince encouraged suicidal spots and pushed guys like Foley and Sabu when they tried to defy death every other month. I will give the WWE credit because as of late they've moved more towards mat-based stuff as opposed to table spots and chair beatings. People cheered just as hard for TLC as they did back in the early 90's with Bret and Owen going at if for 30 minutes.

There's always been kind of an unspoken agreement with fans and wrestlers; we will not feel bad about you physically punishing yourself every week and in return we will make you millionares. Don't forget that factor, guys like Henning and Bulldog were paid quite handsomely for their years of service.

Ultimately, I don't think you can really blame anyone one person or factor. It's a tragedy, and that's it...

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong...




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deadbeater3
Chipolata








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#20 Posted on
Yeah, but they weaned the fans so much on Signapore cane and garbage can wrestling that a mat match, especially a good one between women, does not get the pop it should have, and worse, gets 'boring' chants from a few loud yokels.

(edited by deadbeater3 on 16.2.03 1812)


The divas should not be about T&A, they should be about Kicking A.
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