A certain amount of competitive stress is good. It can encourage hard work and keep one on his toes. Too much, such as occurs in today’s wrestling business, causes, in my opinion, nothing but problems. First and foremost, it influences wrestlers to do everything humanly possible to increase their chances of success. This, of course, can lead to steroid and other “performance enhancement” drug abuse. It also tempts performers to take unnecessary chances in the ring to get the attention of promoters and fans. The bottom line is that without options most wrestlers feel the need to go the extra mile at all times in all ways. This, as we’ve seen, can lead to tragedy.
In 1994, the wrestling world was turned on its head when Hulk Hogan signed with WCW. What followed were cheesy storylines, the arrival of ex-WWE wrestlers and the continued burial of Ric Flair. Billed as the “Ultimate Surprise”, The Renegade was a knockoff version of the Ultimate Warrior that Hogan hoped would trick fans into thinking it was the same man upon his debut. From the start, The Renegade, real name Richard Wilson, was panned by fans . He was a terrible worker, and was much worse than the Ultimate Warrior. That in itself was a true accomplishment. Being saddled with the ripoff gimmick did not however help his career. The Renegade would go on to win the World TV title from Arn Anderson, along with the Wrestling Observer’s Worst Wrestler of the Year Award. In 1998, three years after debuting for WCW and being a fixture on WCW Saturday Night , the company parted ways with The Renegade. Suffering from depression due to his wrestling career stagnating, Wilson ended his life with a gunshot wound to the head. He was only 33 years old.