Sex, Drugs, and Wrestling?
In recent years, wrestling fans have seen a drastic change in the field of pro-wrestling. What at one time used to be a clean and wholesome family event has become an uncontrollable and sometimes even explicit display of mayhem, violence, sex, and yes, even drugs.
The most drastic of these changes can be seen the WWF’s new ATTITUDE format. While it may be suitable for adult and teenage fans, it is often too mature for younger viewers. Every week on Monday Night Raw you can expect to see a pimp(The Godfather), some girls flashing the cameras(if DX is in the building), or even a drunk and stumbling wrestler(Hawk of LOD). While many adults may understand that this is only pretend, children may not. These wrestlers are heroes to many of today’s youth so many kids begin to copy these antics.
Also in the new format, the use of explicit language is also common. Figures like Stone Cold aren’t afraid to test the censors and flip the bird or use almost every swear word in the book. Wrestling catch phrases such as “SUCK IT!” and “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!” are also particularly popular. After attending a wrestling event I can guaranntee that many of the kids watching wrestling are picking up this kind of behavior and lack of respect for authority.
Now you must understand, I am a huge wrestling fan and a huge fan of the WWF. I think it’s new format is great for older audiences, but the younger fans are becoming exposed to what is meant for older eyes only.
Now there is a reason for this new attitude. Vince McMahon is not a stupid man. He realizes that the people who have been buying the T-shirts and other wrestling paraphenalia, as well as attending the events in recent years are a much older crowd. Understanding this, he is tailor-making the wrestling stage to fit that kind of viewer in hopes that parents will monitor what the child is viewing. This just does not seem to be the case, but is that his fault, no.
The evolution of wrestling will help propel the sport into the new millenium. Perhaps one day we will see a return to the good old-fashioned days where clear cut good guys ruled the ring or maybe it will stay as it is, reflecting society’s ills and problems and defeating them one by one in the center of the ring with a 1-2-3.