In 2008, Mickey Rourke played an aging wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson who, despite his failing health, continues to wrestle in an attempt to cling to the success of his heyday as a wrestling star in the 80’s. When I first saw the critical acclaim film my first reaction was, “Why doesn’t this guy stop wrestling?”
I’ve also seen big name stars in other sports such as “Brett Farve,” “Michael Jordan,” and “Jerry Rice” who were all great in their primes, struggle only to become shells of themselves until they finally decided to retire from something they truly love to do.
For years, or if they’re lucky enough for decades professional athletes put their bodies on the line to entertain you and I on a night in and night out basis. On the outside looking in, one would see an aging athlete go the Randy Robinson route of hanging on to collect a check and continuing to keep that last glimpse of spotlight before it’s all gone.
Right now in World Wrestling Entertainment, there are a few superstars that made major impacts in their heyday are now forced to play the role of the has been also known as the aging wrestler.
October 5th, 1997 was the debut of the devil’s favorite demon Kane. Not only did the monster make an impact that night giving The Undertaker a Tombstone Piledriver during his Hell In The Cell match against Shawn Michaels, Kane remained a pivotal component of the WWE’s Attitude Era. “The Big Red Machine” has won 18 total championships during his WWE career, becoming WWE Tag Team Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and defeating “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for the WWE Championship in his first pay-per-view main event at the 1998 King of the Ring.
Kane is looked upon inside World Wrestling Entertainment as one of the well respected wrestlers in the company and in my opinion, one of the most underrated superstars of his era. All I see from the former monster now is the guy that got screwed over by X-Pac, Tori, and Lita, learned how to talk threw a machine, only to cut his hair and become a suit wearing Authority suck up jobber that lost the most matches of any WWE superstar in 2014.
At the age of 24, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry has been anything but a push over.Not only has he set records outside of World Wrestling Entertainment the former Olympian, has also reached the top of the mountain defeating Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship in 2011.
Those are the highs of Henry’s career, the lows are without question the Mae Young love triangle, and now at the age of 43 missing the past three months, only to make a surprise entrance and get speared through a barricade at the hands of Roman Reigns last week on SmackDown.
Another guy that has fallen to the bottom, is no other than World Wrestling Entertainment’s largest athlete The Big Show. The Giant burst on the scene as Paul Wright, defeating “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan for the WCW Championship then moving over to WWE and destroying everyone in his path.
When I see Show now as a veteran crying in the middle of the ring before he’s force to punched Dusty Rhodes, or being destroyed by Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns I always forget that his a former WWE Champion.
It’s hard to sum up the right solution on how to managed a career when the window is slowly closing. As an competitor, doing something you love and having success at it for decades, we would be torn as well whether to continue jobbing for younger stars or retire while you’re on the top of your game. I’m sure they all will be in the WWE Hall of Fame someday, It’s just sad to see three of the most powerful men in World Wrestling Entertainment slowly end their careers fading into the background.
Real Wrestling Talk will be back with another episode next Wednesday.
If you like the column and have a special topic you want to hear about leave me a comment below or find me on