The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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April 10, 2014

It’s cool to appreciate Ultimate Warrior

As those of you who follow professional wrestling probably know by now, the Ultimate Warrior passed away Tuesday at the age of 54.

A few news sites are speculating Warrior died from a massive heart attack, but nothing is official as of yet.

For those who don’t follow professional wrestling, Ultimate Warrior was a popular figure in the ’90s. He was well-known for his colorful mask and high-octane adrenaline.

I must admit, it does bother me a little when people who know very little about pro wrestling conditioning, athleticism, etc., go to message boards around the Web and write a post saying they think Warrior probably died from taking steroids.

Actually, that goes for all wrestlers who recently have died.

Now, I don’t know whether Ultimate Warrior took steroids. In my dozen or so years loosely following pro wrestling, I’ve never studied up on which wrestlers were on steroids.

But people still have this image in their head of all wrestlers being steroided-up freaks, when in today’s world, that’s clearly not the case.

Sure, some wrestlers still might be doing steroids, just like some baseball players and other athletes are still doing steroids, doing whatever they can to not get caught.

But if you turn on the TV and watch the product today, it’s a lot different. Gone is the blood, the swearing and the sexual promiscuity. Instead, the typical pro wrestling show is a lot cleaner, and it’s mainly geared toward families and advertising revenue.

My “ultimate” point is that even IF Warrior took steroids in the past, the way he contributed to professional wrestling’s rising popularity in the ’90s (along with Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock) should be respected. His athleticism and dedication to the business should both be commended.

Finally, since we’re on the subject of professional wrestling, let me make one more point: Wrestling is not “not cool” anymore. It’s perfectly OK to be a fan of the business. Tons of celebrities and athletes are fans of wrestling.

Even if match finishes are predetermined, you can still root for someone’s character to succeed as they make their way toward accomplishing whatever goal they’re reaching for.

How’s that different from “Game of Thrones,” “The Walking Dead” or any other popular TV show out there?

Joe Malan is editor of the GetOut! section. Email him at jmalan@enidnews.com.

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