In America the soap opera of the ring can become a satisfying horror movie

I put on the clothes of pain, I put on the costume of suffering. Nothing was too tight, nothing scared me. I powdered myself with blood, I tattooed myself with nails and glass, I exalted myself among tables and barbed wire.

It was all so real to be fake.It was all so fake to be real. I remember the beer-flavored screams, out of tune and angry symphonies that intoxicated the air. It didn’t matter if I was in a remote provincial bar, a brightly lit arena, or a dated casino.

That was my martyrdom. That was my show. My body, a canvas of scars and anabolics; my Gimmick, a personal story to be interpreted inside that ring. Near those ropes I was actor and athlete, human sacrifice and organized chaos.

They called it Hardcore, it was the extreme of wrestling, its ultra-violent, ultra-choreographic drift. Every match was a death match. It wasn’t the classic TV soap opera, it was a late night movie, a fascinating X-rated horror film. Every weapon used against my skin led to a roar, every wail to a collective ecstasy.

It was my life, it was my death. It was my death, it was my life. It was a small cog in America’s thirst for suffering. It was a quick sip for the atavistic human thirst for the torment of others. A thirst that continues to exist. A thirst that will continue to exist. Like that ring.

Richard Wade
IG @richwadephoto