In this “Do not try this at home” culture we live in, where nearly every decision we can possibly make effects people’s safety in some way, there are some things I just don’t understand.
One, if not the most troubling, of these societal contradictions are those backyard-wrestling videos advertised primarily to children and young adults.
We repeatedly tell little Johnny and Timmy not to fight, even if it’s just pretend fighting, because they could get hurt. Then they turn on the TV and see a commercial with some lunatic smiling after jumping off a garage onto his friend who was lying on a flaming wooden table.
These videos are nothing but mindless violence. They are designed to make a quick buck off the millions of children who will grow up to be the people who drive their cars slowly when there’s been an accident on the other side of the highway, just hoping to see a severed arm in the road or some other gory carnage.
Now I’m sure some people are going to read this and assume I’m also talking about professional wrestling. Not true.
I’m not indicting professional wrestling. In fact, I actually enjoy it as some very interesting storytelling, coupled with some of the most amazing displays of athleticism on the planet today. However, there is a big difference.
The professionals are just that: professionals. They have been in their business for years, some even decades. And during each of their shows, be they televised or not, there are always warnings about the dangers of wrestling without being properly trained. Even then, almost every professional wrestler has had at least one serious injury resulting from an in-ring accident, and injures have ended many careers in the business.
Now throw in a flaming table, a baseball bat dipped in wax and covered in broken glass, or a sledgehammer with knives taped to it and you can just watch the possibility for permanent injury rise like Cirpo sales.
Apparently, many of the kids in these videos think this is the best way to, pardon the pun, break into the business. They see these backyard venues as a way to jump past the traditional method of entering the business, the wrestling school. Unfortunately, while looking to bypass tradition, they all too often bypass safety.
So, when some kid breaks his neck while trying to lift his friend over his head and spike him through a table covered with tacks and rusty nails, maybe then we as a society will wake up to the danger that is backyard wrestling. Or at the very least, maybe little Johnny and Timmy’s parents will realize the dangers inherent in letting some guy with a camcorder watch as their children try to do things that no human being with an instinct for self-preservation would dare try.