The Big Redneck Machine

georgia 1(Above: The Georgia State Athletic Commission convenes to discuss further changes to the athletic code)

I have thought of some other rules for the Georgia State Athletic Commission to think about, in the spirit of their earlier announcements documented here, to better govern wrestling events in their fine state.

1. Referees must watch the action at all times, under penalty of fine and/or dismissal. If a pinfall is shown by video to have occurred while a referee was arguing with someone on the apron, that pinfall will count retroactively, and the negligent referee will be fined US $10,000 for the first offense, US $20,000 for the second offense, and fired for the third offense.

2. Any wrestler whose leg is horribly injured by a high impact move must not be seen to rise to his feet and walk under normal power less than twenty-four (24) hours after incurring this injury, under threat of dismissal. Showing the ability to rise to one’s feet 2 minutes after being hobbled to execute a superplex would indicate that the party was not being entirely truthful and probably wasn’t really injured; and violates the spirit of fair play.

3. Pursuant to the high rate of incidents occurring backstage pre- and post-match, security will be beefed up, and wrestlers known to have ongoing rivalries will be barred from interacting with each other backstage.

4. For all wrestling events, all referees on the payroll must be present AT RINGSIDE for all matches. This is to ensure that in the unfortunate event that a referee is incapacitated during a match, another one can step in and make sure the match proceeds according to the rules.

5. There have been a multitude of incidents in which contracted wrestlers hop over the guardrail and create a disturbance during a match and/or television taping, many of which have proven to be beyond the on-site security team’s ability to control. In light of this, any persons under contract to any wrestling organization may not be seated any closer than twenty (20) rows from ringside.

6. All persons contracted to work for wrestling organizations, who announce their retirement, must stay retired for no less than three (3) years.

7. All ambulances on site at wrestling arenas MUST be staffed with EMTs, AND be guarded round the clock by armed security teams. This precaution is to ensure that other wrestlers do not endanger the safety of their rivals by waiting until they are loaded into the back of an ambulance and then driving them somewhere other than a hospital to do them further harm.

Georgia Still Thinks That Wrestling is Real

That somehow includes the WWE, too.

The Georgia State Athletic and Entertainment Commission are proposing a bunch of non-sense rules to be amended into wrestling whenever a show takes place in their state. These guidelines are meant to bring wrestling into the realm of boxing and mixed martial arts, but not as cool as either of the two. However, with the recent events occurring in wrestling or sports entertainment, including an array of staph infections, murder-suicides, and wrestlers dying young, these rules may help bring some safety and precaution for wrestling. Right?

Some of these newly proposed regulations are pretty ridiculous. For example:

“If a competitor touches the ropes, the referee is to move them back to the center of the ring.”

“There will be no physical or verbal aggression or threats levied toward any member of the audience.”

Further, blading or self-inflicted cuts are prohibited; no fighting outside the ring barrier; foreign objects must be approved by the athletic state commission prior to its use; wrestlers have a ten count to break an illegal hold; wrestlers are not allowed to have any grease, lotion, or other substances on their body. And, my favorite, every wrestler must wear clean and appropriate attire that properly meets the rules proposed by the commission.

Wait a second. Where is the over the top rope disqualification rule??

Yet, the most important proposed guideline states that there must be a six foot barrier from the ring and an additional four feet between the the barrier and the first row; which adds up to ten feet of empty space. This regulation may kill the independent wrestling scene in Georgia. Many of the smaller indy shows run in smaller venues that, because of this regulation, would not be legally cleared to run an event in such a venue.

The commission is due to vote on the regulations today, and if passed, this could be very detrimental for wrestling in the independent circuit. Apparently, the WWE is unaffected by these rules, because of a prior statute that excludes any company worth $25mil or more to be included. That’s too bad.. right??


UPDATE: The committee has adjourned and stated that they will postpone any decision on the matter until February. The committee agreed to hear out the industry’s opinions and have invited various promoters to form a group and present their opinions to the committee for further revision of the proposed guidelines made by the commission.

Speaking Out


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