I would like to start off by introducing myself. My name is Terri Bey. I am a devoted reader of WrestleChat.net, and Brett, and the crew do a great job reporting wresting news, and proving fans podcasts with stars of the industry. I am a blogger for Camelclutchblog.com, and I have been a devoted pro wrestling fan for 15 years through watching WWE, and WCW, and through tapes. I am a huge fan of Randy Savage, the British Bulldogs,Ric Flair, HBK, HHH, and especially the now retired, Rated R Superstar, Edge. I also have written guest pieces for F4Wonline.com on occasion. I am doing a few guest blogs here , so I hope you enjoy them.
My first topic is the recent controversy over former WWE wrestler, James Harris, also known as Kamala. As most wrestling fans who have been following the story, Harris made a video accusing two promoters of not sending him money to him to help him with medical bills. One particular one, Wrestler’s Rescue which is run by former WWE/ECW Diva Dawn Marie , which has come under fire before, really got into it with Kamala through videos, etc. This is just a generalized depiction as Wrestlechat.net has a great recap on several stories on their site.
The story is very bizarre, and sad, but I think some good can come out of the whole situation, but there has to be some cooperation. What I am going to talk about is a pretty hot button issue amongst the wrestling industry, including fans. I know I am not the only one who will be writing about this because I have seen blogs/articles about this issue on F4WOnline, PWInsider, etc. What I think the whole industry could be looking at is better care of wrestlers after their careers are over, and even giving them time off while they are wrestling. I don’t care if they are wrestling for Independents, Ring of Honor, TNA, or WWE.
The men, and women who go out there in the ring for our entertainment (the majority of them) pay their own transportation, food, etc. They drive hundreds of miles to get where they are going, and then have to get in a ring, and take painful bumps, and then do it all again. Edge said in one of his interviews, that he didn’t miss much at all, with the exception of being in front of the fans. He said that he didn’t miss the traveling, especially. These wrestlers need time off during their careers. Their bodies take a lot of pounding, and then have to do all that traveling, and such. The human body just can not take that kind of pounding, on 3 days rest, using WWE as an example. I am not even including personal appearance.
Wrestling companies, and I know it would hard for the smaller ones, but they should give their wrestlers time off to heal up small injuries, spend time with their families, or even go on vacation. Racing thoroughbred trainers, and owners even give their horses time off to recover from minor nicks, or if they’re not training well, or just a break from a hard campaign. I think pro wrestlers should be given the same. It should up to the company how much time off, but I think 6 weeks off is a good idea. Taking WWE as an example, it would be a good idea. It would help storylines, and different people would get pushed. The six weeks do NOT have to be all at once either. After someone has finished their title reign, they could take off whatever, etc. The time off, may even extend careers. I mean, do fans want to see their stars miss 6 weeks, or 6 months?
Like Kamala, wrestlers have suffered horrible injuries. I think another good idea is to have some sort of retirement fund set up by all the promoters. I think this is paramount. Of course, a good idea would be if the talent got into a class of some sort to learn how to manage their money while they are working, but my point is that no way should someone like Kamala have to beg for money to help him in his condition after all those years in the ring. There has to be some way to take care of them such as have the fund pay for their surgeries, and such. Edge may still have to undergo that neck surgery, and I hope WWE will pay for it. Edge has the money, but the injury still happened under WWE’s watch while he was wrestling for them. I just think promoters need to chip in for a retirement plan.
In closing, I think these men and women such as Kamala, even though they knew what they signed up for, are humans, not animals where promoters can just use them till they are worn out, and discarded. Wrestlers need their time off, and need to do “regular” stuff like “normal” people do. In fact, they are “normal” people that are given a God given talent. I love watching the wrestlers, but I just feel that they are giving so much of their lives, maybe too much just to entertain me.
I hope the Kamala controversy will be a wake up call.