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Inspector Winship

I may be setting my self up for ridicule on this one but I use to enjoy watching pro-wrestling. The event collectively known as "The Benoit Tragedy" was a terrible shock to me not only because Benoit was known by fans and insiders as one of the good guys (meaning a hard worker who loved his profession and the fans) but because just a few years earlier I took my nephew to a Smackdown! taping in my city and enthusiastically cheered for this man along with fifteen thousand others. I haven't watched WWE since the death of Eddie Guerrero in 2005 and since Benoit, I have hoped for a "Going Out of Business" sign being hung on the organization's front door. But it isn't likely to happen as the fans simply won't stop buying tickets or watching the shows. As long as the fans reward the wrestlers in spite of bad behavior, the workers will continue to use steroids to gain the "Superstar" look. Most insiders dislike Vince McMahon immensely and have put the blame for these deaths squarely at his feet but the fans are just as much to blame for the twisted culture that has developed in the industry.

A Voice of Sanity

A recent look on TV at this, plus other cases, made the point that we need to study the effects of brain injury (concussion). These may be much more of a source of violence than steroids.

Kevin M. Sullivan

Can somebody say, "smack down"?

Actually, the best part of the whole mess are the B-movie acting skills of the wrestlers and announcers, and the gullibility of the crowd. I have to say, I don't watch a lot of this stuff, but the guys involved work hard at what they do, as they must be very tough to withstand even the choreographed slams and tumbles in the ring.

But oh, there is nothing quite like the two old ladies I saw screaming and swinging their fists at some wrestlers who were making their way out of the arena one time here in Louisville. This was in 1968 or 1969, and I had attended the match with a friend. Well, the cops had to separate these two frail but very angry 70 year olds from these big bruising monsters, and the brief incident was, (how does the credit card company say it?) "priceless".

The only other time I intended to watch a match live is when Andy Kaufman was coming to Louisville to wrestle Jerry Lawler, but other obligations prevented me from doing so. If memory serves me correctly, he and Lawler
were traveling throughout the South, and I think they went to Nashville from here, but don't quote me on that.

Kevin M. Sullivan

Come to think of it, I believe Andy Kaufman was wrestling women mostly, and I know that he had an encounter with Lawler in Memphis or some place down south; and that they did some shows after that on television. It was all part of the gig.

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