Professional wrestling and marijuana are two things that one doesn’t commonly find together. Except, perhaps, when some fans are smoking some cannabis in the comfort and privacy of their homes while enjoying an episode of Raw or Smackdown. But marijuana consumption isn’t part of the show itself unless the show happens to be called Wrestle Sesh. On Saturday, April 8, a gang of wrestlers descended upon Oak Park Hall in San Diego for a slew of matches filled with kicks, slams, leaps, falls, and one very sizeable joint.
Vendor tables were posted along the walls inside, displaying a variety of flowers, concentrates, topicals, and edible products for sale. More vendors were set up in the fenced area outside, including one selling non-medicated BBQ items for the inevitable hunger that tends to follow cannabis consumption. Shortly after the event’s opening, and when people had made their way into the main hall, the evening’s wrestling matches began. Two-by-two, wrestlers clothed in spandex and a myriad of other materials made their way to the ring to battle it out on the mat, outside the ring, and in the air for the ultimate goal of a pinned three-count.
After a few of the matches had been finished, the guest of honor took to the microphone to speak on how cannabis had benefited him in his life and professional wrestling career. Charles Wright, known to fans as The Godfather, was the first WWE superstar to incorporate marijuana as a regular theme in their storyline. Even so, rules bar the company’s athletes from using cannabis, even medicinally. They will fine wrestlers who test positive for THC and take further disciplinary action for subsequent offenses. Wright told the crowd about how his life changed after his first experience with marijuana. He said, “At 28 years old, I tried marijuana for the first time. At that point, man, I stopped drinking, I stopped doing pills and opiates and all that…at 56 I think I don’t look too bad and I really attribute that to cannabis and all the benefits from it.”
The outcomes of professional wrestling matches are predetermined, but the stunts are real, and so are the injuries that come with them. The world of pro wrestling is no stranger to the consequences of the misuse of prescription medication, alcohol, and other drugs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Chyna, and Eddie Guerrero are just a few athletes whose substance-related deaths are examples of the need for change in how the World Wrestling Entertainment organization treats their athletes’ injuries. The company does have a wellness policy to help get wrestlers off painkillers, but medical marijuana is not part of the program. The WWE may not like Godfather’s vocal stance about his cannabis use, but they should pay attention to the facts. His choice to use marijuana instead of pills produced for him a drastically different outcome than that of some of his colleagues, who opted for other substances.
Following Godfather’s speech, the final set of matches of the night began. After one bout, Bobby Rocket was awarded, then smacked in the head with the championship belt before a tag-team main event, featuring a foot-long joint, capped off the night. Some wrestlers medicated before their matches, some during, and others afterward, but with the hits they were taking in the ring that night, hitting some cannabis is just what the doctor ordered.