Friday, December 11, 2009

Professional Wrestling And Flying

When one begins to look at professional wrestling as a business or a sub-culture, there are a number of interesting themes that arise. One I see is aviation as it affects wrestlers. Seems many professional wrestling stories revolve around the aviation industry. Commercial aircraft and private aircraft come into play. This is not to say that wrestler are flying about in private Gulfstreams. The only one who could afford to own a private jet is McMahon. I doubt even Hogan at his peak could afford a private jet, but that doesn't stop the stories.

One private aircraft story that comes to mind is Ric Flair being involved in a plane crash. It left him with a broken back but he did recover, obviously. But that same crash did leave Johnny Valentine paralyzed. The reason the wrestlers were flying was to save time and money, as they went in together for the flight.

On commercial aircraft wrestlers currently fly. WWE superstars are given vouchers to fly from venue to venue, and only the top stars like Bautista can get first class tickets. He actually has that stipulation in his contract. This is a change from the old days when wrestlers would travel via automobiles together. This made for some awkward moments when supposed enemies in feuds would be caught together. One of the most famous was Jim Duggan and The Iron Sheik getting busted for drugs while traveling together.

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