WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Dark Side of Professional Wrestling

There is a fine line between being a wrestler, being a character and being a person. Sometimes the lines get skewed.

This week in the LA Times, there was an article about Hulk Hogan and his battle with depression and suicide following the essential collapse of his life after the reality television program, “Hogan Knows Best.” Admittedly I watched as much as possible because there are times when you just have to watch a train wreck unfold.

And to be honest, Brooke Hogan isn’t hard to look at.

The Times story focuses on the Hulkster and the truth and veracity his story of feelings of suicide and how he was saved by fans and their admiration for the 60-year old wrestling icon.

“ In this past Sunday’s episode of the “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” series, Hogan said his fans saved his life.

“Everything kind of went downhill really fast,” Hogan said, getting emotional while speaking to the camera. “There was an accident that my son was involved in, and a good friend of ours was in the accident with my son. Just the marriage basically crashing and burning.

“After the show, I kind of hit rock-bottom. Everything got dark, everything happened at once. I was drinking alcohol very heavily. I always wondered how could someone possibly take their own life. I got to that point where I thought, ‘You know what, maybe this would be easy. Maybe this would be an easy way to fix things.’ ”

At a New Year’s party, Hogan says he stepped onto a balcony for some fresh air and was greeted by fans down below who cheered for him.

“It hit me that there is clean air and there is dirty air,” Hogan said. “Once I walked back inside again, I realized that I couldn’t take it anymore. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

It is a sad situation, but it summarizes how some wrestlers deal with heartbreak and loss. It also shows how some wrestlers never break character. And with that come the demons that haunt wrestlers until they are dead. Ric Flair talked in “To Be The Man” of his fear of failure, his womanizing, his drinking and his ability to live the lifestyle of “Slick Ric.”

Jake Robert’s road to recovery is well documented, especially with his working with Diamond Dallas Page. Roberts was a drunk addict most of his wrestling career and wrestling later in life (he still gets in the ring today) as a necessity rather than a want and desire.

We could go on and on and on. Terry Funk, Mick Foley, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper (whose drug use was well chronicled in Flair’s book), even Dory Funk Jr. They all do it because it is all they know. Even Sting, at 54 years old, gets in the ring. While he is better than most today.

It is instinctive.

Hogan has been quoted as saying he wants to be part of WrestleMania XXX and his good friend Jimmy Hart has said he thinks Hogan has one more match in him. I hope both stay away. The WWE is already a cluster of confusion with storylines, bad characters and cheap subplots. Want to make some noise? Don’t let Hogan back in the WWE.

With the wrestlers today, the veterans who still hold it down – which ones will be haunted by the demons of the past? Not to sound creepy, but does Triple H carry on? Kane (who is still an amazing talent)? Mark Henry and Big Show? William Regal? All have stories to tell. All have been through battles.

It makes you wonder if their story will be like Hogan’s, or will they be able to just walk away. Personally, I am betting against it.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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