Hardcore Wrestling, I’m Not Quite Dead, Yet

Bill Behrens

The 250 disappointed CZW fans had to settle for a thrown together battle royal that the promoter, John Zandig won, but John didn’t want to “put himself over” so after putting himself over, he humbly awarded the match to Thumbtack Jack.   I’m guessing it was an emotional moment for all and sent the now desensitized fans home happy.  


Since 2000 I’ve been interacting with Georgia’s State Representatives and Senators and Members of The Georgia Athletic Commission who at various times have push for wrestling regulation.  So far the only regulation involves a State Law that requires promoters to register and pay a $100 fee each year, plus potential reporting to the Commission if requested.   In my interactions with these politicians, many of whom are wrestling fans, the one thing that gets the most discussion and fuels the fire of potential regulation is blood.   Try as I might I can not aggressively defend bleeding to these folk even though I believe as a wrestling person, booker and promoter, that used limitedly blood has a place in professional wrestling, and the risks in most cases to the wrestlers is limited.  That said, if somebody knows a way to explain that to someone who is not in the wrestling business, and sees self-blading as at best odd and at worst an indication of a severe psychological condition, please let me know.  So when I hear about shows like the one CZW just promoted built around Hardcore Matches or Death Matches or another over a year ago in Tennessee that Kevin Brannon promoted where two wrestlers were hospitalized, I wonder how long it will be until the floodgates of wrestling regulation burst, and activities by the worst of us, paint all of us with the same brush.  Much as Randy The Ram’s story in THE WRESTLER is not reflective of most professional wrestlers, Hardcore & Death Matches are the exception, not the rule, in fact the Sideshow/Freak Show of our industry, not really part of the three ring circus of wrestling.


That may be true for now, but for how long will it remain true?


My guess is only until some promoter actually delivers on a Death Match stipulation, and maybe even sometime prior to that.  Stay tuned!


For further ranting on this subject listen to my podcast recording at http://whosslammingwho.podomatic.com/player/web/2009-06-08T09_55_59-07_00



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