HBO Real Sports-Deaths in Wrestling by Homesportingadmin
The Big Lead have alerted us to this 2003 HBO interview with Rowdy Roddy Piper which sadly hits home in a special way this week, following his death on Friday night.
Piper was involved in a segment of the show 'Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel' where he discussed the worrying trend of wrestlers dying at an early age. In fact, as The Big Lead point out, the rate of death among wrestlers under the age of 45 was 400% higher than the rest of the population.
Roddy explained how the lifestyle of a wrestler brought about these fatalities:
They’re all dying early and nobody cares about it ... They take them and they screw them up so much. They being the rash of promoters I've gone through in 30 years.
Piper pointed out that he would have to wrestle until he was 65 and could draw a pension. However, he predicted I'm not going to make 65. Let's just face the facts, guys.' He died on Friday at the age of 61.
Shortly after the interview had aired in 03, Piper was let go by the WWE.
To be fair, the WWE in particular have really upped their game over the last decade or so but this serves as a grave reminder of the sad reality that plagues the sport.