I was watching the collection of previous Money in the Bank matches to get ready for this year’s show (which was a very good one if you ask me), and I noticed that one of the participants in I believe 2010 was none other than Drew McIntyre. In his previous stint with WWE McIntyre was labeled The Chosen One because he was supposedly handpicked by Vince McMahon to be the next big star. It didn’t work out that way and before long Drew was in the comedy faction 3 Man Band alongside Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal, then eventually released along with Jinder. Both men wen out onto the indie circuit and eventually worked their way back to WWE. And if you notice looking at both men, they are considerably larger than they were then. That lead me to tweet out last night during RAW that if you looked at Drew from his first run and look at him now you can see the difference, and that it’s probably due to the gas. If you’re wondering what the gas is, it’s basically PEDs. Not necessarily steroids per se but maybe some kind of HGH or testosterone or something, something that’s legal but would get you popped in a non worked athletic competition.
The reasons to do that kind of thing are because it makes you look better and helps you recover from workouts and working matches. Some wrestling fans often delude themselves into thinking that workrate is the most important thing but in reality your look and the persona you can project based from that look are more important to the paying customers. And yes, size does matter also. Pro wrestling is for all intents and purposes somewhere between action movie fights and real live shoot fights a la boxing or UFC.
In movies looking the right way is number one and in boxing the heavyweights, when they are good, rule the roost. Wrestling being a mix of two makes it pretty easy to see that having the right look, being the right size, or both will give you a leg up in the business. So guys are going to be to be thinking about any way to get there if they already aren’t. And there’s only so much that working out and styling can do for you so yeah, if being 220 pounds isn’t working for you but 240 might then you’re going to be tempted to get those 20 pounds. Drew and Jinder’s before and after pictures, and going from being in 3MB to having prominent roles on RAW, paint a pretty clear picture.
I’m not saying those two didn’t work hard. Both of them bust their asses to get back to the company that released them a few years ago, and they’ve earned the spots they now hold. But I’m guessing their second chances may not have come if they still looked like they used to. I’m also not demonizing them or any of the other guys with interesting before and after pictures for being on the gas if they indeed are. They don’t play a competitive sport, and as long as they aren’t out in back alleys scoring the kind of unsafe stuff they use on livestock and shooting up with it then I’m not frowning on it.
I do not want any of the guys dropping dead in a hotel room at 50 years old with an enlarged heart and I don’t want them in jail, so if they don’t have a safer and legal outlet to get whatever they might be taking then they shouldn’t do it. But if they do, then the best thing would be for us, and ultimately Vince, to stop tip toeing around it and just embrace it. Vince knows he prefers the guys to look a certain way and have a certain kind of build, and instead of hoping they don’t get busted in such a way that he has take action just let them do it freely and safely.
If you think that’s ridiculous, then I think you need to be honest with yourself. Deep down inside you know you’re not paying WrestleMania ticket and travel prices to watch a couple of 198 or even 225 pound dudes exchange holds for 25 minutes. If you’re in my generation you had your chance to do that kind of thing at WrestleMania XII and you probably passed. You may not even pay local ticket prices to go to a second tier event like Backlash. While the unwritten in regards to appearance that apply to the men aren’t anywhere near as unfair as they are to the women, they do exist and you enforce them as much as everyone else.
So with that in mind it’s time to stop pretending that you care how they guys get the type of build that makes you and I more likely to spend money to see them work, because you really don’t (with the exception of the jerks who sit around hoping that guys they don’t like get busted then fired or suspended). And while we’re at it we need to make the same admission about the women’s division. You don’t care about weaves, boob jobs, or how much time they spend getting hair and makeup done to participate in a wrestling match, except for when you to bash someone you don’t like, you only care that they look good for you when they head to the ring.
Don’t lie to me, and more importantly don’t lie to yourself. If they can do PEDs safely and legally, then there’s nothing wrong with hitting the gas.