The Dark Side of the Ring episode about WWE’s Plane Ride from Hell was illuminating to many people and has been the subject of a lot of chatter since it was released this week.
Despite the shock and awe that it sent through the internet wrestling community and social media? It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. To hear that pro wrestlers often act like overgrown children isn’t new information. These are the stories that have been re-told in many a car ride. And, it’s the same kind of things we’ve been hearing in shoot interviews over several years now.
The sad thing is? Listening to fans and wrestling personalities try to defend this type of nonsense. Whether they like it or not, their ‘boys will be boys’ mentality doesn’t play all that well in 2021. Rather than making excuses, they should be handing out apologies.
Dark Side of a Plane Ride
Many male celebrities have behaved in this manner in the past, and pro wrestling is no different.
None of what was said should surprise anyone, as everyone from rock stars to ringleaders have used positions of power and privilege to act like overgrown children. They tend to act like middle-aged versions of Peter Pan: a bunch of boys who will never grow up.
Wrestlers have been documented online, making jokes about some of the disgusting things they have done to women. It’s almost like they are downright PROUD of it: Simply using their level of celebrity to manipulate young girls, by either seducing them or (in some cases) drugging them.
Jim Ross, Justin Credible, and Rob Van Dam
came off as the most honest guests on this special, as they didn’t hold back and told the truth about the incidents of the Plane Ride from Hell.
Meanwhile? Tommy Dreamer appeared insensitive. He’s now been suspended by IMPACT Wrestling, based on his short-sighted comments. He did himself no favors on this one. And that’s mainly because he’s trying to defend an indefensible point. Sometimes, you have to seperate the persona from the person behind it.
Dark Side of the Ring has been criticized by some in the industry for exposing one of the worst-kept secrets in wrestling: sexual exploitation.
A minority of fans felt the need to attack the producers of the program and labeled those guests who told the real story as either bitter or as outright liars. Apparently? Their level of ‘hero worship’ knows no bounds.
While several people praised the interview for bringing this issue to the forefront, others stuck to their fanboy attitude and dug in their heels. They refuse to believe that the stars they stare at in the ring can fall from the sky, based on their flaws.
For years, wrestlers have used the term, ‘rat’, when discussing the women that they deal with while on the road. While it has been considered for years as a funny term, it’s an even more disrespectful way to describe a female than calling her a groupie.
For wrestling fans to attack the victims of these types of assaults is pathetic.
And, the backlash about hearing the truth regarding Ric Flair borders on the absurd. It’s not something that he and others haven’t already discussed personally. That may not necessarily make him a sexual predator, but it certainly makes him an irresponsible alcoholic.
Having said that? I believe the stewardess’ story. We’ve all seen or known about wrestlers being overly aggressive when they are ‘on something’. And, there are tons of stories about Flair exposing himself because he thought it was funny. This was likely another of those occasions. But, apparently? He ran into somebody that didn’t find any humor in it.
And before anyone comes running to defend their heroes… If the woman was lying about it? Why did WWE (who supposedly has this WIZARD in Jerry McDevitt as their lawyer) feel compelled to settle out of court? It’s because they knew they and their talent were in the wrong.
This bottom line is this: The Plane Ride From Hell was a black eye on the history of wrestling. It was a disgusting event filled with disgusting actions. But, it shoudn’t have been a shocker to anyone who has tolerated this kind of attitude before. Because a handful of the fans don’t seem to care.
After all… It’s just wrestling, right?
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