I just learned this morning that a very good friend of mine, a Mr. Insane Lane, has decided to ‘cut his losses’ and call it quits in the wrestling business. Though I can’t say that I blame him, or really that I’m even surprised (I saw him after the match and the testicular damage, and I know that I would’ve been similarly inspired to walk or stagger away), I must say that I’m filled with sadness at the loss of yet another of my favorite people from this business. This follows shortly on the heels of two of my other best friends, the Naptown Dragons, deciding to be done with wrestling for a variety of reasons. I can’t fault any of these men for their decisions. But from a personal standpoint, I’m really going to miss all of them. They are great guys who have helped make my experience in Indy wrestling a good one.
To be honest, there is really no viable reason to stay involved in professional independent deathmatch wrestling in America. You make very little money—just enough to justify it to yourself, but certainly not enough to deflect the ridiculous cost of hospitalization if you’re unlucky enough to get hurt. The risk of injury is obviously very high…increasingly so, as fans (and even wrestlers, themselves) are demanding more and more “danger” all the time. There’s constant drama, a lot of assholes, and the fans seem to be more and more unappreciative. So why do we do this?
Well, I can only speak for myself, obviously…but to quote the title of a rather awful movie, I do it “for love of the game.” Were we in Japan, we could be doing this for a living. To my understanding, Japanese indy wrestlers manage to ply their trade for a living. Here in the good ol’ U.S. of A, unfortunately, we’re relegated to doing it as a poorly-reimbursed supplemental job on the weekends…little better than a hobby. And let me tell you, it sucks. But goddammit…that’s the way it is. And I LOVE being a deathmatch wrestler. And eventually, more than likely, something terrible will happen to me, and I’ll be forced to walk away, just like my friends. I wish that it was a more mainstream-accepted form of entertainment, so that we could be better-paid and more respected, but that’s unfortunately not the way of things right now in this country. So, short of moving to Japan—and I realize that, even if I did that, I’d have to get a helluva lot better to excel in this business over there—I have to live with the fact that, in order to do what I want to do, I’m going to have to deal with a lot of bullshit. And I will. And I do. But now, some of my friends won’t. And that makes me sad.
But something that makes me sadder is the despicable response that this news has gotten on the message boards. I try only to skim the message boards once in a very great while, and even that is something I often regret. But almost never have I been so dispirited and disappointed with the “fans” of this sport than some of the things said about it on the CZWFans forum. This man, whom—I will tell you—is a fucking awesome dude, and who gave it his all for the fans EVERY time, had a handful of really lousy comments hurled toward him by a handful of classless jerkoffs hiding behind screen names on the internet, just after suffering a horrible injury trying to entertain them. It really disappointed me to see that this was the level of people we bust our asses to please and impress. I love wrestling, and I have met so many cool and decent people—fans and workers alike—thru it, but reading some of those comments made me sick to be a part of it. I’ve read a lot of awful and tacky shit on there directed toward good people, but this was some of the worst. The man just suffered an agonizing and dreadful injury, trying to put on a crazy match to entertain the fans. I don’t generally comment on this kind of thing, because I get tired of hearing people shit on the internet fans and such, but I just couldn’t keep this to myself. I don’t care if this comment causes me to be lambasted by said fans, but to those assholes who couldn’t keep their distaste for a wrestling style or a particular wrestler inside, and felt the need to take it to the point of mocking an injury or wishing ill upon a person, I hope you rot in hell. Fucking douchebags.
As for Lane, Dusty, and Scotty...my friends, I love you and I wish you well in all of your future endeavors. You will be missed.