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Respect For The Wrestler

The professional wrestling industry has been an enigmatic industry as far as mainstream America, and it's society. It's a multi-billion dollar business that sells out the biggest stadiums and arena's worldwide, and garners the highest television ratings on television. It's an industry that many are entertained by, yet thrown under the bus at any opportunity.

Unlike every other country in the world that respects the hard work, honor, tradition, and history that comes with the business, American society continues to neglect the industry until a scandal or death occurs, where it is then publicized and open for ridicule and judgment beyond comparable conviction. Professional wrestling is bastardized in America, period. If only we were appreciative of the sacrifices made by the professional wrestler. If only the ignorant had a glimpse into their lives. Would it be as easy to judge? As easy to bastardize their craft, and their love?

This past year, two great resources that recollect the life of a professional wrestler were released. The first being the well acclaimed film, The Wrestler, directed by Darren Aronofsky. The Wrestler, depicts Randy "The Ram" Robinson after his glory days attempting to hang on to his fading career, while attempting to dabble in the things in life he missed out on, his daughter, love, and his own well being.

The other is the autobiography of Bret Hart titled, Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. Hart, who kept an audio journal during his career, takes the reader through his intense training, his travels across the world, life on the road, missing his kids, needs for the industry, and the fraternity of brotherhood between the wrestlers.
The professional wrestling industry is as, if not more, competitive than the entertainment and sports world. Wrestlers attempting to break into the business pay great dues with little pay. Those who are fortunate enough to get caught up in the chaos, are on the road 350 days of the year, traveling all over the world, while taking a pounding to their bodies and rarely seeing their families. Doctors have labeled the business as more physically and mentally demanding than any sport season. Greatly in part to be there being no off-season for the wrestler.

There is too large of a sacrifice in the wrestling industry for it to be bastardized the way it has been. Its a business that is every bit a part of the American pie (Imagination - The Missing Piece of the American Pie) as pop culture, baseball, and American Idol. It is an industry, history, and art form that yours truly respects and enjoys. An industry that has its flaws like every other, but does it's service in stretching the imagination and removing us from reality. An industry that has an audience that demands so much, yet, satisfies and gives so much more. It's an industry that should have respect. Not because it deserves it, but because it has earned it - on the back, soul, and love of every wrestler.

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