NEWS ITEM from SEPT. 2011: Former Olympic Gold Medalist and current TNA star Kurt Angle arrested in suspicion of DWI.
Oh, it's real. It's damn real.
On the heels of National Pot Day, I have decided to write an article concerning such wonderful substances.
Substance abuse is a serious problem in this world.
Those commercials where ripped twenty-somethings consume alcohol without a care in the world are absolute myths. These people either do not exist or populate the mean streets of Hollywood, Calif.
The vast majority of alcoholics are broken people who desperately need a mechanism to cope with pain. It is no secret that many wrestlers are noted alcoholics or drug abusers. Alcohol and drugs have been a plague to the professional wrestling industry.
Often, these wrestlers die too young because of their addictions to alcohol or drugs.
It's no surprise they turn to alcohol and drugs to alleviate the pain endured by countless bumps and bruises in that squared circle.
However, alcohol and drugs can KILL YOU if abused long enough.
It all starts out with one drink, as Chris Jericho states so eloquently, before it all crashes down. Countless people have just had "one drink" and had their lives fall apart because of it.
One instance of drug use, and everything falls apart. Alcoholism is a deadly disease. Once the bottle has control over you, you have control over nothing.
Drug addiction is an endless war which can never be fully won. Every battle must be won. Otherwise a relapse occurs.
Here is a harrowing and comprehensive list covering all of the drug-related deaths from notable people.
Rick Rude, Luna Vachon, Sherri Martel, Andrew "Test" Martin, Edward "Umaga" Fatu, Bam Bam Bigelow, "Mr Perfect" Curt Hennig, Brian Pillman, Miss Elizabeth, Davey Boy Smith, the Von Erich Family, Chris Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero were just some of the names in the wrestling industry who died because of drugs or alcohol.
This list is so sad.
I saw Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit work out back in the 1990s at a gym in my hometown. It's so difficult to grasp that they are already gone from this world.
There are many more wrestlers who have succumbed to the disease of alcoholism or drug addiction.
Scott Hall was one of the most underrated wrestlers of all time. Now, he is battling his demons in the form of drug and alcohol addictions.
Jeff and Matt Hardy once revolutionized wrestling with their incredible TLC matches with Edge and Christian along with the Dudley Boys.
Last year, Victory Road's main event between Sting and Jeff Hardy was a black eye in Hardy's stellar career. Hardy should have been fired for performing while under the influence of a foreign substance.
At one point, I honestly cried when Matt Hardy lost it on twitter. That was a horrid and unacceptable joke which was absolutely disgusting. Hardy was under the influence of drugs during that appalling lapse of judgment.
Drugs and alcohol have also made their impact in the entertainment industry on a grander scale.
Entertainers often have trouble with substance abuse because it is nearly impossible to replicate the high they receive when they perform.
I can list countless names who died of drug or alcohol abuse outside the realm of fame. Virtually all of us know someone who is enduring an addiction of some sort.
After the evidence presented, there is no denying drug and alcohol abuse are severe problems in the entertainment industry, much less the wrestling industry.
But, there is a beacon of light in the midst of terrifying darkness. A light of hope at the end of the tunnel of hopelessness.
Straight edge: an alternative to substance abuse
The straight edge movement started out as a counter to the drug and alcohol abuse associated with the hardcore punk movement.
In fact, the trademark straight edge X sign started when an underage band called the Teen Idles performed in a club in San Francisco. Club employees were told to put X markers on the band to serve as an indicator not to serve alcohol to them.
It later spread to all underage patrons who wanted to listen to concerts in bars and clubs.
Philip Jack Brooks was a man who was in touch with all the history of drugs and alcohol. Brooks grew up in a broken home because of his father's alcoholism. Therefore, Brooks dedicated his life to not partaking in drugs and alcohol. Brooks is better known as WWE Champion CM Punk.
CM Punk just happens to be the best wrestler in the world.
Best in the world!
CM Punk proved that you don't need drugs or alcohol to climb the proverbial mountain to reach the top.
Punk's outspoken straight edge lifestyle has been positive to impressionable youth constantly tempted by a barrage of drug and alcohol ads.
Straight edge is a bastion of freedom in a sea of tyranny from substance abuse. A pillar of morality in the immoral world of drugs and alcohol.
Being straight edge will not solve all your problems in life. But, a conscious decision not to partake in drugs or alcohol will go a long way in ensuring that there will not be any substance-abuse problems in your life.
Don't think for a second that you are oblivious to alcoholism or drug addiction.
Even CM Punk himself was caught walking in to a pub. If the best wrestler in the world can potentially succumb to alcohol, you obviously can too.
But, what does being drug- and alcohol-free mean to you?
Why straight edge matters to me
Feb. 1, 2012 was a fateful day in my world.
I was almost killed in a car crash on a crisp Wednesday evening. My car was utterly annihilated by a drunk driver going at least 45 mph
I am glad I am still breathing on this Earth. It was an absolute miracle I was not injured at all.
I managed to overcome the initial shock of the car accident. I pulled my destroyed car into a parking lot.
Shortly, the police came. Eventually, the person who hit me was arrested for DUI. Surprisingly, given my notoriety for embracing the hate, I was poised throughout this whole ordeal.
But at one point, I flashed the X sign to taunt the drunk driver. That sign was a pseudo-pact to myself not to partake in drugs or alcohol in order to avoid becoming a pathetic loser.
The drunk driver was crying because that person realized the ramifications of drinking while driving. There was no remorse over nearly killing someone. Sadly, the person who hit me did not completely renounce alcoholic beverages after nearly killing me.
While this story is not necessarily relevant to the wrestling world, it goes to show the perils of alcoholism and drug addiction. It strengthens my opposition to drugs or alcohol.
Almost everyone had has had friends or family somehow affected by drugs or alcohol.
I wrote this article because I just hope people realize the scope of substance abuse throughout the wrestling world.
Don't get me wrong. I am not entirely opposed to people consuming alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their home or out in public venues.
I have no problem with people drinking beer or wine as long as they are responsible about their choice to consume alcohol.
Sadly, alcoholism and drug addiction are serious problems in the global realm. Professional wrestling is no stranger to these problems.
I hope someday people realize that they don't need drugs or alcohol to succeed in life. I hope someday society moves away from idealizing the person doing drugs or alcohol.
Call me crazy, but CM Punk's real-life straight-edge lifestyle might very well cause a revolution among wrestling fans.
No drugs. No alcohol. No smoking.
Thanks for reading!