wrestlers playing with fire, by Geoff Robson - September
Anglican Media / Southern Cross Online)
month, World Championship Wrestling hits our shores
for a series of shows in Sydney and other major centres.
As the first full-scale tour staged in Australia by
WCW, the tour is a clear sign of the growth of pro
wrestling, both for WCW and its rival World Wrestling
programs regularly top US cable TV ratings, and popularity
in Australia is booming, with the Sydney show selling
out in a matter of hours, and a second Melbourne show
added to cope with the huge demand.
the runaway success of wrestling has been tied to
an increase in violence, obscenity and sexual innuendo
in the ongoing storylines. WCW writers have admitted
to watching the Jerry Springer show for inspiration.
increasingly explicit storylines have forced many
Christian professional wrestlers to take stock of
their involvement in the industry. Ted DiBiase, once
known as The Million Dollar Man, now runs
his own evangelical ministry known as Heart
of David Ministries. He says he is disappointed
that wrestling has taken the low road
in its chase for more money.
do not want to be associated with (the programming)
they are airing now
I can no longer let my
children watch, he said.
is remembered, among other things, as former manager
of Stone Cold Steve Austin, probably the
most popular of the current crop of superstars.
is best known for introducing the gospel of
Austin 3:16 now a slogan adorning countless
T-shirts after defeating a Christian wrestler
who professed his belief in the Bible.
3:16 is blasphemy any way you look at it,
says DiBiase. Just as disturbing are reports from
America of copycat incidents leading to
a number of deaths: A 12-year-old boy convicted of
second degree murder after repeatedly body slamming
his 18-month-old cousin; a seven-year-old boy who
clotheslined his three-year-old brother
to death (investigating police said, he did
not want to hurt him
he just wanted to wrestle
with him). There are countless other reports
of children and even adults being seriously injured
from mimicking wrestling moves.
boss Vince McMahon, in attempting to defend his organisation,
managed to hit on one of the main dangers wrestling
poses to children: Our superb performers, as
though in a classic cartoon, get knocked down over
and over, only to get up again like Wile E. Coyote.
So why is the WWF held to a different standard?
seemed to miss what an increasing number of studies
(and common sense) suggest: young children can distinguish
cartoons and even movies as fictitious, but wrestling
packaged as a regular, authentic sporting event
blurs easily into reality, often with disastrous
standards set by professional wrestling are a reminder
not only that sport has become an entertainment industry,
but also of the sometimes subtle dangers that such
an industry can introduce.
DiBiase now spends his time encouraging young people
to turn back to God, away from the temptations and
machismo portrayed by wrestling.
drives people to these things? he asks. Whether
its the world of wrestling, Hollywood, professional
athletics or the travelling salesman if you will,
we are all tempted by the same things. Of course,
as a Christian, the thing thats missing in these
lives is Jesus Christ.
Media / Southern Cross Online
DiBiase official website
Wrestling Returns to Australia, by Greg Tingle - 15th
N Wrestling: The way it was