Literacy Practices and Interpretations of Professional Wrestling
In our daily lives there are many forms of entertainment that distinguish themselves through particular literacy practices. Some forms of entertainment make us use our emotions based on our own interpretations. The way we interpret events can make us react in laughter, sadness, shock, and even anger. To understand the form of entertainment there may be literacy practices or rules that must be followed for others to understand what is happening. Professional Wrestling is a form of entertainment that follows a set of literacy rules for an audience to understand what is happening. Professional Wrestling is very much like a play we may see in the Broadway scene following similar literacy practices like catering to an audience and dialogue incorporating storylines in matches just like there are storylines taking place in a play. The audience watches and cheers clapping for their favorite wrestlers just as they would clap for an actor’s performance in a play. The actions that a professional wrestler does must impact the audience and make their actions seem important to the audience just like an actor draws their audience in by their actions. In professional wrestling a wrestler’s main stage is the wrestling ring commonly a four sided platform with three layers of rope surrounding each side of the ring tied to four poles at each corner surrounded by an audience while in a play it the actor’s main performance area is the stage.
While it is a form of entertainment and Professional Wrestling may have similar qualities to actual plays they are not the same. There are specific rules to Professional Wrestling matches. Pinning an opponent for the count may be a confusing message for one who is not familiar with professional wrestling. One would have to understand the action of pinning an opponent and holding down enough weight on the opponent so that they can’t lift their leg or arm up showing that the opponent’s force is not enough to counter the pin for a referee’s 3 seconds count. A submission is another literacy practice in professional wrestling. A submission is a hold or maneuver used to lock an opponent’s limb in place while applying pressure so that they cannot escape making them helpless and forcing them to give up to save themselves from enduring more pain from the hold. However if there is enough might left within the opponent’s strength to reverse or counter the hold, they can be released. If the opponent does not have enough strength to counter the submission hold than the opponent must tap out by tapping their hand on the wrestling ring canvas, signifying that they lost the match. Another literacy practice in professional wrestling is called a rope break. To an individual who is not familiar with professional wrestling a rope break could be misunderstood for the act of physically breaking or tearing a rope or wrestling ring rope, but that is not what that literacy practice means. A rope break happens when an opponent is being pinned or in a submission hold. If the opponent can reach the wrestling rope with their arms or legs then they must be released from the pin or submission hold continuing the match. A disqualification is a literacy practice where a wrestler is penalized for using a weapon on his opponent when he is not allowed to or bringing in other wrestlers to help weaken an opponent when they are not scheduled to be in the match. Disqualifications can only be counted when a referee sees the unfair action-taking place, but if the referee doesn’t see it than it can go unnoticed and heels usually take advantage of this. If the referee does notice the action taking place then he can call for a disqualification and the opponent who did not break the rules of the match can be awarded with the win.
As with specific rules of professional wrestling there are also literacy practices used to identify a wrestler. Professional wrestling journalists who write about wrestling news and are not typically employed by a wrestling promotion as well as a number of wrestling promoters use the term baby face or face to describe wrestlers who are playing the role of a fan favorite or a “good guy”. The baby face’s goal is to play off the audience’s emotions and generate a reaction of cheering from the audience. The term heel is used to describe a wrestler who is playing the role of a villain or “bad guy”. The goal of a heel is to generate a heated reaction from the audience against that wrestler so that the audience’s support is behind the baby face. The term neutral is used to describe a wrestler who is neither baby face nor heel. They may not have developed their character yet and are not well known making it hard for the wrestler to draw reactions from the audience, or the wrestler’s reaction from the audience might be mixed with some fans supporting him and others booing. A wrestler does not always remain a baby face, heel, or neutral. They change their character direction in the interest of drawing the audience into new story lines. In my own observations I’ve seen wrestlers such as AJ Styles who currently wrestles in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling go through many character changes where he started out as a baby face in the company always showing off acrobatic moves that looked hard to pull off, but also using a clean style of wrestling. Using a clean style of wrestling means that the wrestler is not using unfair tactics like striking in the foreign areas, using weapons for an advantage when the other wrestler is not, or using other wrestlers for back up protection so they can get involved in the match when they are not scheduled to take part in it. Years later the same AJ Styles that had been playing the role of a baby face and using clean tactics to win his matches switched to the role of a heel and began using unfair tactics without the referee seeing him. He would use chairs as weapons and use them on his opponent when the referee was not looking in order to avoid a disqualification of the match. He would bring in allies to help inflict more pain and damage to his opponent to make it easier to get the win by pin or submission. However there where times where his dirty tactics cost him the match because of the disqualification he received for using a weapon when the referee saw him.
While disqualifications are a piece of a literacy practice in professional wrestling some organizations change the literacy practice by catering to different age groups of wrestling fans. One organization called Extreme Championship Wrestling from 1992-2001, which was more of a regional urban wrestling organization catering to older teenagers and adults decided to ignore disqualifications completely and add a new style to the wrestling ring. Their style was barbaric using dangerous weapons like staple guns, fire, barbed wire, flaming tables, and much more. This graphic hardcore wrestling style does not match the modern Extreme Championship Wrestling from 2006-present, that is under a different ownership today than it was years ago as they cater to younger fans now by watering down the violence. The reason that the new ownership of today’s Extreme Championship Wrestling has been toned down compared to the previous owner might be because the new owner may be avoiding the confrontation of the media about increasing violence in schools. Participatory culture is seen in and outside wrestling when a fan might emulate a move on their friends that they saw on television and they might put it on youtube or somebody might get hurt in the process of the move. Participatory culture can be seen in skateboarding too when a person might want to attempt to do a move that his favorite skate boarder does. He might record it on video and broadcast it on youtube of his attempt of the move. Participatory Culture is responsible for individuals who may not have experience in how to do something properly and as a result of lack of experience might cause serious issues attempting to perform an act based off of another individual’s achievement. When tragedies happen because of these participatory culture related events a mainstream company could be blamed and risk judicial affairs to be involved. As a result the company might not be as willing to show the same graphic content and in the process of toning down the content might have to face catering to younger age groups. Another organization in the independent wrestling scene is Ring of Honor. Their literacy practice regarding their organization is not necessarily about violence, but putting on competitive wrestling matches, showcasing the art of professional wrestling and featuring experienced, skillful in ring action. In this organization I’ve seen fans cheer for wrestlers that could put on great matches and shaking hands before and after the matches following a literacy practice of the organization called “the code of honor” and not messing up moves. The code of honor is the literacy practice of Ring of Honor where wrestlers are required to shake hands before and sometimes after the match, although heels sometimes break this literacy practice. One well-known mainstream wrestler under the name Jeff Hardy, who wrestled for the World Wrestling Entertainment, an organization seen on television around the globe, went to Ring of Honor for a brief period and messed up a certain amount of moves. In the mainstream company he wrestled for it would not be a huge issue for him to mess up a small amount of moves, but in Ring of Honor when he messed up the moves he was booed out of the building by the audience causing an ordeal just like if a comedian was to have objects like tomatoes thrown at him if he delivered a poor performance on stage. I think that this incident tests Ring of Honor’s literacy practice of performing great matches and showcasing the art of wrestling because it doesn’t matter who you are or whom you work for. When a wrestler steps into a Ring of Honor wrestling ring and delivers a poor match their performance determines the reaction they will receive in Ring of Honor. Is a wrestler at fault for messing up a move when their working schedule requires such a large amount of time of their lives and when each performance is a risk that the wrestler takes by putting their body on the line and crippling themselves for the appreciation of the fans?
Unlike the literacy practice of baseball or basketball, the literacy practice of the professional wrestling industry does not have an off-season. This may force the wrestler to continue working, further damaging his body, continuing to possibly abuse drugs both legal or illegal so he can keep up with his work, and missing his family as he travels to the next show, or finding a new occupation away from the wrestling industry. Having been a wrestling fan for many years, I saw many experienced veteran wrestlers like Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero have their lives taken from them at an early age through the hardship of having to work without an off-season, turning to legal and illegal drugs affecting their in ring performance, and resulting in serious injury and death.
In my previous assignment I discussed the literacy practices of professional wrestling. I also made interpretations based on my observations of the culture and structure of professional wrestling and how its seasons hold no limits allowing for drug abuse to take place leading to fatal tragedies as well as social concerns in the lives of families. First I will explain and back up my claims as to how the content in professional wrestling leads to social concerns in the lives of families.
In the previous assignment I talked about how participatory culture is influenced by professional wrestling using the example of an individual without any experience and often imitating a wrestler’s move on another individual who also lacks experience of professional wrestling resulting in one or both of the individuals getting hurt. To back up my claim I will use the case of Lionel Tate, a twelve year old boy at the time who was imitating moves he a had seen on a professional wrestling television show and performing the moves on a six year old girl who he had accidentally killed. According to CBS News, a television news program, “the defense in the Lionel Tate court case wanted to argue that professional wrestling, a theatrical entertainment sport populated by cartoon like characters in colorful costumes, promoted violence without regard to the sport's influence over children.” I believe that the tragedy that took the life of a six-year-old girl in the Lionel Tate case was negatively influenced by professional wrestling’s violent content. However it is the parents of the child who are to blame for allowing their child to watch violent content without concern for the consequences of how the content will influence their child. What if the individual is of college age and there is nobody who has the responsibility to watch for the negative consequences of the violent content? According to Richard A. Serrano, Bob Drogin and David Zucchino, staff writers from the Los Angeles Times the student responsible for the Virginia Tech Massacre was a television wrestling fan, watching it night after night alone by himself. While Seung-hui Cho, now labeled the Virginia Tech Killer was not body slamming his innocent victims, could he have been negatively influenced by the violent content that he observed from television professional wrestling shows or was the media simply attempting to blame a vulnerable industry?
Moving away from my interpretation of the participatory culture of professional wrestling negatively influencing individuals and families, I would now like to look at my interpretation of professional wrestling lacking seasons, contributing to serious injuries and drug abuse. First in order to understand what leads wrestlers to serious drug abuse one would have to understand the literacy practice of the hidden role of a professional wrestler. This role is known to professional wrestlers, but is not aimed at fans. According to research conducted by R. Tyson Smith a Ph.D. candidate of Sociology at Stony Brook University, he says that in professional wrestling, solidarity and dominance through pain is involved. He explained how in a wrestling ring the responsibility by the professional wrestlers is to make sure that each of them is protecting their opponent from pain and injury. This determines if a wrestler is experienced to be able to perform a move or land a move being performed on oneself. If that wrestler cannot fulfill this responsibility than they should not be in that ring. However there are instances where another literacy practice called a “shoot” takes place where a wrestler works on his opponent stiffly ignoring this responsibility in order to make an example of a cocky, over confident rookie, or make sure that a rookie wrestler is paying their dues in the eyes of a veteran wrestler who went through the same pain when they were rookies. This could be seen as a bully tactic, but it is engraved in the tradition and literacy practices associated with professional wrestling. This type of shoot can lead to respect amongst other wrestlers showing that a wrestler can take pain. Tyson explained how a shoot may also take place when a wrestler accidentally throws a real strike and their opponent losing trust in their competitor, revolts by a legitimate attack back at them. This is often dangerous, but rarely happens. In an intentional shoot both wrestlers are expected to work stiff in order to gain respect from their peers in the business. Tyson also mentions that if one wrestler doesn’t defend themselves by working stiff against their opponent than the other wrestler will push them around and manhandle them. I think this is a perfect example of dominance through respect and pain in the ring because one who does not defend themselves is bound to face pain. In his research Tyson acknowledged speaking to a wrestler that told him about several injuries he received in the past causing him to miss multiple weeks of wrestling. When he returned he would avoid medical assistance at the first sign of pain or injury. Tyson mentions how this avoidance of medical assistance at the first sign of pain or injury becomes routine for wrestlers that work through the pain ignoring their injury. Keeping in mind that wrestling does not have an off season like professional sports such as basketball and football where athletes can finish their season and rest their bodies, imagine the routine procedures of pain and its long term effects on a wrestler’s body. How can human beings take this kind of beating, and make it a routine procedure without burning themselves out?
In 2003 a documentary on HBO called Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Deaths in Pro Wrestling showed the nightmare of a pro wrestling lifestyle as Louie Spicolli stumbled around a hotel hall way looking for his room while on many prescription medicines. Two years later he passed away at age 27 of an overdose from mixing the pills with alcohol. In the same documentary wrestling legend Roddy Piper explained how he has seen wrestler after wrestler break into the industry and leave their fans, friends, and families at early ages. Piper explained how he has outlived 30 of his closest friends as a result of the pro wrestling number one killer, drug abuse of steroids and pills.
In the same documentary Vincent Kennedy Mcmahon, Chairman of the World Wrestling Entertainment denies any responsibility for the deaths of his fallen former employees who passed away as a result of their drug abuse. Vince stated that the World Wrestling Federation, the company he ran before they changed their name to the World Wrestling Entertainment had a drug testing policy from 1992-1996. The drug policy at the time was criticized as only being established for public relation reasons, but the policy was stopped because it was too costly.Vince claimed the drug testing policy was banned at the time because he had not seen any more syringes and roid rage. The policy was eventually brought back after more wrestlers died and the World Wrestling Entertainment's drug problem was the talk of many evening news programs.
According to Jon Saraceno, a sports reporter from USA Today said, “from 1997 to 2004 more than 60 wrestlers under 45 died. More than a third did so from coronary-related causes.” Jon lists several deceased wrestlers who passed away at early ages as a result of drug abuse. Eddie Guerrero, 38, Davey Boy Smith, 39, Rick Rude, 40, Curt Hennig, 44, Bam Bam Bigelow, 45, Sensational Sherri, 49, and Chris Benoit, 40. This list shows that drug abuse lead to their early deaths, but what lead the wrestlers to taking the drugs? The answer can be found in the diary of Chris Benoit. According to Jon Swartz, a sports reporter in USA Today, the contents of Benoit’s diary described painful hits to the head, a hectic endless traveling schedule on the road that isolated him from his family, and a cryptic message foreshadowing his own death to his best friend Eddie Guerrero who died in 2005 two years before Benoit as a result of drug abuse. Regarding the cryptic message from his diary, Benoit wrote "I will be with you soon." Moments later he killed his seven-year-old son, his wife, and hung himself as a result of drug abuse.
In November of 2007 after the tragedy of Chris Benoit, CNN ran a documentary similar to HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Deaths in Pro Wrestling, called Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling. The Chris Benoit tragedy put Vince Mcmahon and the World Wrestling Entertainment back into the radar of fishy business practices. Vince Mcmahon had been charged by the United States Federal Government in 1994 during an investigation of his business in a steroid scandal. He was under investigation for distributing steroids to his own wrestlers. Terry Bollea, former World Wrestling Entertainment employee and current Total Nonstop Action Wrestling personality who wrestled under the name Hulk Hogan admitted in the 1994 investigation that he used steroids, estimated that at least 80% of the talent on Mcmahon's roster where using steroids, and claimed Mcmahon knew that his wrestlers where on steroids while Mcmahon himself was taking steroids for his own personal use.
According to an article reported on ESPN.Com by senior writer Greg Garber, former WWE wrestler and Harvard graduate, now founder of the Sports Legacy Institute diagnosed the death of Chris Benoit and Test "Andrew" Martin as CTE also known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. The Sports Legacy Institute is an organization dedicated to furthering awareness of and research on sports-related head injuries, while also increasing the safety of contact and collision sports worldwide. Chris Benoit was known as the first case of CTE, Andrew Test Martin became the second case of CTE findings. This does not only affect Professional Wrestling, but universally any sport where head trauma is associated. In the same ESPN report it was acknowledged that, "Terry Long, a Steelers guard, died in 2005 at age 45 after drinking antifreeze. He was Dr. Omalu's second confirmed case of CTE in an NFL player. Philadelphia Eagles safety Andre Waters, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, was the third in 2006." The WWE's response to these findings came from Vince Mcmahon who tried to deny the findings of CTE in Chris Benoit and Andrew "Test" Martin where real claiming that his company had been asking for the research for years, yet Nowinski invited him on countless times to review the data. The NFL's response was the same as McMahon’s. I believe this is an issue for the risk of the players and wrestlers lives. Back in the day when Professional Wrestling was much different it toured through the carnivals. Wrestlers were treated like freaks and promoters only cared about making money. Wrestlers do not have a Union looking out for their safety. As of right now the only piece of a Union that they have is Wrestler's Rescue founded on September 14, 2008 by former WWE and ECW female wrestler Dawn Marie who formed the nonprofit foundation that looks after retired wrestlers. Dawn Marie who was close friends with both Andrew "Test" Martin, and Chris Benoit said, "I grew up with these people," Dawn Marie said. "It's devastating to think that their career choices -- and their passion, which is the same as my own -- destroyed them from the inside out, literally." She also mentioned that in the Professional Wrestling business, wrestlers are often experiencing head pain and while she hasn't wrestled as much as wrestlers like Benoit and Martin she still feels the pain every day and can not imagine what it was like for them.
While the contribution of steroids and other drugs have been an issue in professional wrestling for countless years I feel that the case of Chris Benoit has elevated the situation to a level where more is being done about the problem, but not enough is being done.
Another wrestler had passed away on Friday December 4th. According to Emanuella Grinberg from an article on CNN former WWE and former TNA wrestler known as Umanga passed away from a double heart attack at the age of 36. It was reported that his contract with the World Wrestling Entertainment had been terminated on June 11th, 2009 after his second WWE wellness policy violation and refusing to enter a drug rehab after being advised to do so by the WWE. When his wife found him after passing out in front of the television after returning from Hulk Hogan’s Australia tour he was not breathing and bleeding from his nose.
According to a US Government document written by Henry Waxman, California Democrat formerly the Chairmen of the House Oversight Committee. Now the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote a report after investigating the drug problem in professional wrestling to John Walters, Director of the President’s National Drug Control Policy. Mr. Waxman stated, “Chris Benoit’s testosterone levels were ten times the normal level when he committed suicide.” This piece of evidence alone clearly shows that Benoit had been abusing the use of the drug. Another piece of shocking evidence in the report was that when the World Wrestling Entertainment began their drug-testing program in March of 2006, 40% of their 186 wrestlers tested positive for drugs including steroids even with the knowledge that they would be tested later. The report also showed the World Wrestling Entertainment’s competitor Total Nonstop Action Wrestling with 15 out of 64 of their wrestlers at 25% testing positive for steroids and 11 others for different drugs. In the conclusion to his report Mr. Waxman stated, “over 3 million children and teenagers watch professional wrestling and there is a widespread use of steroids in professional wrestling that sends the wrong message to youth.”
While I believe that Mr. Waxman’s attempt to stop the drug problem in professional wrestling was a much-needed start to rid the industry of this conflict, I also believe that it is a long overdue outcry as more wrestlers have been passing away at younger ages. I agree with Mr. Waxman’s position on being concerned with public figures, in this case professional wrestlers sending the wrong message to youth regarding pill drug abuse because it is another negative influence from professional wrestling that could be picked up by youth. At the same time I feel that not enough was done and that during the period of time that many of these wrestlers passed away, the media was only there to exploit the industry at the expense of television ratings on shows like Nancy Grace. According to an interview conducted by Micahel G a writer for The Heyman Hustle.com former WWE and TNA wrestler Shelly Martinez recalls her experience when she realized that she was addicted to prescription pain medicine. She said, "I realized I was an addict after I had a near-fatal overdose. I almost died," and I am here to give credit to what saved my life. Cannabis saved my life!" Shelly states in the new video entitled The Weed Chronicles seen below. After battling her pain killer addiction and replacing it with cannabis Shelly said, "I was going to die," Shelly stated, "No doubt about it. I was on the wrong path. Now, I'm healthy, happy, pain free, and here to sing the praises of how my life is so much better today because of Cannabis!" In the Shelly Martinez's Weed Chronicles directed by LZ Bowie and Mike Hall, Shelly Martinez explained why she chose cannabis over her prescription pain medicine. Shelly also takes us around Los Angeles, California and shows us around the Cannabis Clubs of L.A.
In the episode of the Weed Chronicles with Shelly Martinez, Shelly mentions a co-worker from the WWE who told her about cannabis being able to save her life and stop her pain killer abuse. Former WWE/ECW wrestler Rob Van Dam has been known to be outspoken over cannabis reform. Rob was busted for possession of 18 grams of marijuana on a police stop in Ohio. He advocated cannabis use on Fox New's Geraldo Show in a video recently removed by youtube. Rob Van Dam also supports NORML having attended the 2009 NORML Conference joined by MMA fighter Toby "Tigerheart" Grear, and former NFL Dallas Cowboys player Mark Stepnosk as they discuss the negatives of the failing US Drug War and how it has affected them in the video below.
On November 27 2006 wrestling legend Roddy Piper was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that attacks blood-filtering tissues. Doctors discovered the cancer early on while performing back surgery after Piper suffered an injury while on a wrestling tour overseas at age 52. The surgery also revealed a damaged disc that threatened to end his wrestling career. Piper commented on the life threatening situation, "This doctor put me on the slab, and it turned out, I had a bone about the size of a potato chip, and about that thin. And it was starting to cut the nerves inside my spine. It was just a matter of me moving too much one way or the other, and I would have been paralyzed.” Piper quickly began radiation therapy. Piper continued “I’ve got a 30 per cent chance of the radiation not working. Well shoot, those are good odds to me. This radiation treatment, it kicks the stuffing out of you a little bit, but I’m a fighter. It’s picked on the wrong guy this time.” Piper’s official web site confirmed that Piper finished radiation therapy on January 15, 2007. In 2008 a video spread around the internet showing Piper smoking marijuana from a bong in front of a crowd cheering him. He later commented on his use of medicinal marijuana, “To alleviate the symptoms associated with cancer. That’s funny tasting tobacco, man!”
Finally the literacy practices of professional wrestling help individuals understand key terms that are imperative to fully understand the subject, and there are other literacy practices used to demonstrate how its brutal schedule included with its culture among wrestler’s lives inside the industry are affected.
CBS. "Wrestling' Case Draws Life Sentence May Punch Hole In Mandatory Sentencing Laws.” 9 Mar. 2001. CBS News. 5 Dec. 2009
. Christensen, Davin. "The Rowdy One Bong Hits Beat Cancer | 420wrestling.com." 420wrestling.com | Bong Hits & Body Slams. 25 July 2010. Web. 28 Aug. 2010. . CNN Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling. Dir. WWE, WPIX, WADF, WGCL, WXIA, and CNN. Perf. Drew Griffin, Vince Mcmahon, CM Punk, Hulk Hogan. CNN, 2007. CNN Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling. Cnn.com, 7 Nov. 2007. Web. 28 Aug. 2010. . G, Michael. "Shelly Martinez: "Cannabis Saved My Life!"" Heyman Hustle. Crave Online, 10 Sept. 2009. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. . Garber, Greg. "Andrew "Test" Martin suffered from postconcussion brain damage, researchers say - ESPN." ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports. 9 Dec. 2009. Web. 10 Dec. 2009. . Grinberg, Emanuella. "Wrestler 'Umaga' Edward Fatu dies of heart attack, friend says - CNN.com." CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News. 5 Dec. 2009. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. . Piper, Roddy. "The Official Site of Roddy Piper!" RowdyRoddyPiper.com. 2010. Web. 28 Aug. 2010. . Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Deaths in Pro Wrestling. Dir. Jeff Winn. Perf. Bryant Gumbel. HBO, 2003. Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Deaths in Pro Wrestling. HBO.COM, 26 June 2008. Web. 28 Aug. 2010. . Saraceno, Jon. "Wrestling: Too many sequels to this tragedy." USA Today 7 Feb. 2007. USA Today. 5 Dec. 2009 . Serrano, Richard A., Bob Drogin, and David Zucchino. "MASSACRE AT VIRGINIA TECH: THE FIREARMS Shooter plotted in silent rage 18.” Apr. 2007. Los Angeles Times. 5 Dec. 2009 . Smith, R. T. Pain in the Act: The Meanings of Pain Among Professional Wrestlers. Publication. 12 Apr. 2008. Springer Netherlands. 5 Dec. 2009 . Swartz, Jon. "Doping still an issue in wrestling." 19 Nov. 2007. USA Today. 5 Dec. 2009 . The Weed Chronicles Pilot Web Show. Dir. LZ Bowie and Mike Hall. Perf. Shelly Martinez. The Weed Chronicles Pilot Web Show. Youtube.com, 20 Aug. 2009. Web. 5 Dec. 2009. . United States. Cong. House. Oversight and Government Reform. Chairman Waxman Releases Letter Regarding Illegal Steroid Use in Professional Wrestling. By Henry A. Waxman. 110th Cong. H. Doc. 2 Jan. 2009. Committee on Oversight and. Government Reform. 5 Dec. 2009 .
CBS. "Wrestling' Case Draws Life Sentence May Punch Hole In Mandatory Sentencing Laws.” 9 Mar. 2001. CBS News. 5 Dec. 2009