Make no mistake about it, pro wrestling does have a dark side to it. There are hundreds upon hundreds of stories about the dark and sometimes sinister side as chronicled in my ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ series. This piece is a direct opposite of that. With every bad story I have shared…there are also positive stories. Stories of wrestlers making it above and beyond the ring. Positive stories to inspire. Pro wrestlers aren’t all drug addicts, scam artists and carny sideshows. They all don’t die at an early age, or are broke and need to wrestle till they die. They don’t necessarily have to get into acting like The Rock or Batista. They don’t have to necessarily switch over to MMA like Brock Lesnar or CM Punk. Some of these stories are just about hard work, dreaming big and doing whatever it takes to succeed. We’ve already covered some stories as chronicled in part 1. With that said, let’s look at some positives…
This is both a heartbreaking, yet heroic story about a former WWE star in Shad Gaspard. During a day of swimming at a beach in Southern California, Gaspard and his son got caught in a strong under current. The Life Guards were able to locate the two and it was Shad who made sure his son was rescued first. By the time, they got to Shad…he had gotten swept under and tragically lost his life. No doubt that Shad Gaspard died a hero.
During the Corona virus pandemic, WWE’s Paige offered to help a few of her fans who were hit financially hard by the sudden lockdown. Paige’s generosity helped a mother buy an inhaler for her asthmatic daughter and another fan buy groceries after losing his job. It isn’t known exactly how much money she gave away, but that really doesn’t matter in the long run.
Also during the pandemic, Rusev pledged $20,000 of his own money to help out WWE staff that were laid off. Rusev credited these men and women who worked in production and security with being the backbone of the company. Unfortunately, Rusev was released from the company himself…but had no regrets with his charitable contribution.
Sonny Siaki wrestled for WCW, TNA and had a developmental deal with WWE. In the midst of wrestling in WWE’s developmental program…Siaki decided to take time off to deal with some personal family issues. As it turned out, those family issues involved his brother who was dying and needed a kidney transplant. Siaki donated one of his, saving his brother’s life and thus ending his wrestling career in the process.
All Elite Wrestling
AEW put on a show for charity called ‘Fight For The Fallen’in 2019. All the proceeds for the event went to the Jacksonville, Florida Victim Assistance Advisory Council. The JVAAC offers assistance to the families of victims of criminal violence.
Chris Nowinski was the very first Harvard alumnus to become a WWE wrestler. His wrestling career was cut short after suffering multiple concussions. Nowinski would go on to author a book about the dangers of chronic head injuries and also co founded the Concussion Legacy Foundation. The foundation has quickly become one of the leaders in research and education in the fight to help reduce concussions in athletics.
In 2017, Harry Smith spotted a young woman crying and hanging off a bridge in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Smith acted quickly and used his grappling techniques to wrestle the woman off the edge of the bridge safely. The woman was then taken to a mental hospital for evaluation. Local Police deemed him a hero for his courageous act.
Xavier Woods has certainly made a nice career for himself as a member of the New Day in WWE. If by any chance Woods decides to hang up his wrestling boots, Xavier does have a solid back up plan. He has has two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and philosophy, a master’s in psychology and a Ph.D. in educational psychology.
Not only is Britt Baker a professional wrestler seen on AEW television, she is also a real life dentist. She owns her own dental practice in Central Florida.
The Bella Twins
Brie and Nikki Bella are worth an estimated 12 million dollars combined. Both have retired from wrestling and have become entrepreneurs with a production company, clothing line and own wine.