Updated: May 30
With the recent announcement of Becky Lynch’s pregnancy (congratulations to her and Seth Rollins), I couldn’t help but give out an audible groan when I thought that WWE would do what they do best and shove it down our throats so much that even if Lynch does come back to WWE programming, it will feel like she never left. Like how on RAW this Monday night, multiple times we were reminded that Becky was having a little ‘Lass Kicker’ of her own and the strange trance-like shock of Seth Rollins like he just heard the news himself gave me a fear that they’ll at some point or another make this into a storyline to generate buzz.
This did get me thinking about the numerous disastrous real events that turned into a storyline. This is not only left to just WWE as multiple promotions across pro wrestling that have used real events in their companies to exploit them for personal gain or, at least, a painful angle to stir the fans.
The Tragic Tale of the Inspirational Warrior
Mike Von Erich never wanted to be a pro wrestler but after the death of his older brother David and the forcing of this father Fritz because of it, Mike truly became a full-time wrestler in 1984. In the summer of 1985, Mike would go under the knife for a shoulder injury that he suffered during a tour in Israel. Despite being released from the hospital he would contact toxic shock syndrome, an illness that usually is diagnosed to women. Because of the illness, Mike would suffer brain damage and a considerable amount of weight which made him look (most likely feel) like a shell of his former self. Almost insanely, WCCW rushed him back to the ring, claiming it to be a “living miracle”, and putting him in a tag team match in order to sell more tickets to their next show.
In 1987, Mike would commit suicide by overdosing on Placidyl and WCCW held the David & Mike Memorial Show where they charged extra for VIP seating and had mud wrestling (well isn’t that nice). Click here to link to the ‘Last Of The Von Erichs’ documentary done by Vice’s Dark Side Of The Ring crew if you want to see a more detailed version of not only Mike Von Erich but the entire Von Erich family.
Disrespecting the Bruiser
Bruiser Brody, alongside Abdullah The Butcher, became the innovators of hardcore wrestling in the 1970s and 80s. His battles became the stuff of legend everywhere he went, especially in Japan. In 1988, the beloved icon was stabbed by José González, a fellow wrestler, and booker who worked as Invader 1, in the showers of a Puerto Rican locker room. As a result of the attack, Bruiser Brody passed away. Fellow wrestler Tony Atlas was supposed to testify against González but his subpoenas were purposely mailed late, arriving ten days after the trial had ended. Here is another Dark Side Of The Ring link if you would like to know more about the tragic death of one of wrestling’s greatest warriors.
In 1990, Japanese death-match legend Atsushi Onita thought it was a good idea to somewhat recreate the stabbing for publicity so Onita and González met for a press conference to hype their match in Japan. After it was over and González had left, Onita stabbed himself in the stomach and forehead and had the media take pictures of him, making it look like Invader had attacked him as well. González was not aware that this was going to happen. He was denied entry back into Japan (most likely because of this) and the plans for the match were dropped.
I realize that comparing pushing some back into the ring who had just suffered brain damage and pretending to get stabbed by a guy who murdered someone is much worse than WWE pushing the fact that Becky’s got a baby on us but it did get me thinking.
So, with that, onto the last moment in history that I want to talk about.
The Pillman Interview
Ohio born Brian Pillman started wrestling in 1986 in Calgary for the legendary Stu Hart’s wrestling promotion, Stampede Wrestling but he would step onto the national stage in 1989 when he joins Georgia based WCW as Flyin' Brian. Although he would turn heel in 1992, he started to make waves after forming the Hollywood Blondes tag team with fellow newcomer Stunning Steve Austin in 1993. Despite the pair not lasting even to the end of the same year, they were recognized as one of the best tag teams of that year. After the breakup Brian would fumble around between ECW and WCW before in 1995, he started his ‘Loose Cannon’ gimmick, making him an unpredictable, reaction provoking, mad man who would often do worked shoot promos and angles, blurring the lines between script and reality. Pillman would later jump ship to WWF, first aligning himself with former teammate Steve Austin before turning on him and joining the Hart Foundation.
On October 5, 1997, Pillman was found dead in his hotel room after a heart attack which was triggered by undetected heart disease at the young age of 35. Vince McMahon, owner of the WWE (WWF at the time) decided to capitalize on this by interviewing Pillman’s wife, Melanie, 24 hours after his passing on a live episode of RAW that was going to be broadcasted in front of millions of people. The entire interview lasts 5 minutes but it feels like an eternity as Melanie Pillman has not dealt with the situation of losing her husband because he passed only 24 hours before this. During this interview, Vince would bring up drug use, in a way to avoid the company taking any heat of the death, and Melanie who was already struggling to remember what day it is because of the ordeal, start to break down towards the end as Vince’s all so soothing voice ends this travesty of an interview. I’ve also put a clip of Pillman Jr’s shoot interview about this moment here as he talks about his mother not sounding genuine during the interview since she and Pillman were going through a divorce at the time. Also, here is an interview from Pillman’s daughter Brittany speaks about what happened after the incident and how the money given to the family by WWF and other wrestlers were blown on Melanie’s drug addiction.
Well after all of that there was still more I could have talked about but I felt like this was enough for now, especially since this is the first editorial I’ve ever done. Honestly, I can write about something less tragic than this and I hope that WWE does not exploit Becky’s pregnancy. Even if they do, it can’t be any worse than the three stories I just wrote about, or can it? I kid, I guarantee it won’t.
At the end of the day, we should all pray for the best for her and Seth as they go through this wonderful life-changing event together, as I wish for it all to be done under their privacy. Once again, congratulations to Becky and Seth, now if you’ll excuse me, I need a drink. I would like to thank Allan Cheapshot for all of the Twitter clips use in this editorial and you can follow him here: https://twitter.com/allan_cheapshot Also, what are your thoughts on the subject matter and on the way WWE is treating Becky's pregnancy? Comment below or talk to us on Twitter.