How many wrestlers have died due to opioid addiction? Honestly, it’s a sad figure and one that we don’t have a definitive answer to. But, there’s no debating that pain pills have had a long and sad history in pro wrestling, and more recently, they have become a huge problem in the United States.
On Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling, the company aired a short video on Rockstar Spud, who was recovering after he was beaten with a hammer by Swoggle on last week’s episode. The video was meant to be comedic, and most of it was quite funny.
The absurdity of Spud, with dramatic music playing in the background of a black-and-white video, asking “Why’d he do it? Why me? I didn’t mean to pull down his pants,” was really funny.
But the opening few seconds of the video left me with a real sour taste. Spud said that he needed to “take four painkillers every morning, just to go to the bathroom.”
It made me uncomfortable. It took me out of the intended comedy. Not only did we see Spud chomp on pills, but we saw empty pill bottles strewn about on a table.
Here’s the video:
People have died. People who have wrestled for Impact have died, and I’m sure others are suffering with addiction problems at this very moment.
Prescription painkillers are a real problem in this country, and a real problem in pro wrestling, and it felt extremely uncomfortable watching a wrestler pop pills on television.
Am I being too sensitive? Am I overreacting? Maybe. I’m not suggesting that we bury our heads in the sand in the face of a big problem, but making light or poking fun at something that serious not only wasn’t funny, it was downright disrespectful.
The point behind the video wasn’t that Spud is inhaling pain pills on a daily basis. That wasn’t the message. But it was still included, and it didn’t need to be. They could have produced that same video, cut those 3-4 seconds, and the message would have been exactly the same.
It was cringeworthy.
Matt Sydal beat Eddie Edwards
Good match. The post-match angle where Davey Richards attacked Edwards on the ramp was pulled of well, too.
Josh Mathews has taken a lot of flack lately, and deservedly so, but I liked how he was trying to throw to McKenzie Mitchell backstage when Richards and Angelina Love attacked. It made the moment feel more spontaneous.
This result should be an indication that Impact plans on doing something big with Sydal. He’s not involved in any programs, yet he beat a former World Champion who is involved in one of the bigger, more heated programs in the company right now. And, he beat him clean.
Sienna beat Christina Von Eerie to win the GFW Women’s Title
Sienna’s win was clean and concise. The GFW Title just doesn’t have any value. It’s barely a title. It has no lineage, and therefore, no real meaning.
Overal, Impact is putting too much value into these GFW Titles. After this match, Alberto El Patron and Eli Drake were arguing over who should be the GFW No. 1 contender. Magnus and Matt Morgan argued over being GFW Champion and Impact is basically saying the GFW champion gets an automatic ticket to the main event. Why?
Even the booking for the main event, why should El Patron or Drake care about a GFW Title shot? And if they do care – and we’re made to believe they do – why then is El Patron so willing to put it at stake for a match that Eli Drake wanted?
Drake wanted a match with someone like El Patron, and El Patron agrees, and offers to put the title shot at stake? Weird situation.
There was also a KM backstage segment here, which was funny. He’s channeling Biff from the Back to the Future movies, and it’s working for him. He has a good look as a big, bad bully. He even told his victim to “make like a tree, and get out of here.”
ECIII beat Jon Bolen
I’m not going to knock the squash match. They serve an important purpose and Impact is smart to use them. ECIII’s promo after the match was also solid. The World Title scene is crowded, though. You have Morgan, El Patron, Magnus, Drake, Lashley, James Storm and ECIII. Impact has two months to sort it out before Slammiversary, though.
Magnus beat Matt Morgan to retain the GFW Title
Solid match and good to cement Magnus as a heel, after he used a low blow to set up his elbow drop off the top. Impact needed some top players on the heel side of the card, and with Magnus and the recently-turned ECIII joining Eli Drake and Lashley, they have those guys in position now.
Kongo Kong beat William Weeks
Kong looked awesome, again, even in the post-match angle with Braxton Sutter. Weeks is literally Impact’s James Ellsworth. Just a helpless looking guy who got destroyed without a single offensive move.
Alberto El Patron beat Eli Drake to retain No. 1 contendership to the GFW World Title
Again, why does the GFW Title mean anything? It does seem like Impact is going to move towards unifying the Impact and GFW Titles at Slammiversary, but I’m failing to keep up with why the GFW Title holder automatically gets a title shot.
What is GFW? It’s a company — if you want to call it that — which taped some television episodes that never aired and ran some spot shows in minor league baseball stadiums two summers ago. There’s no value in that brand, yet Impact continues to utilize it.
Get away from it, and get away from it quickly. Establish Impact as THE brand on the show.