high toll on his health. By his tenth year in professional wrestling Al Sharp had broken nearly every bone in his body and had suffered several concussions. Early on, in order to cope with his physical pain, Al turned to drugs both legal and illegal. For the pain of his physical injuries he took Tylenol three with codeine and later graduated to Percocet. The wrestler said a few doctors in every city were very willing to prescribe all kinds of drugs for them including steroids.
The fact was that most wrestlers used drugs. The painkillers became an absolute necessity. Even if the wrestler played it right, did not intentionally try to injure you, professional wrestling was painful by its very nature. It’s true that wrestlers learn all the tricks to avoid serious injury, but accidents still happen. Every wrestler is going to have an off night once in a while. Also, the ring mat itself is very unforgiving.
Within his first month of being a professional wrestler Al was already a drug addict. His alcoholism came a couple of years later. In some ways a life or a professional wrestlers is similar to that of a rock star. They both of sex and drugs in common but not rock ‘n roll. I take that back. The wrestlers all have entrance songs that are rock and roll.
Steroids entered the picture for Al in his fifteenth year of pro wrestling. In his early career, appearing to be out of shape and overweight was common for wrestlers. There were one or two bodybuilders in the business but they were somewhat of a novelty. Al felt the pressure to start pumping iron and take steroids in order to prolong his career and to compete with the younger wrestlers.
Matt met Mike at the entrance to Al’s warehouse gym.
Al was busy training some rookie wrestling prospects as Matt and Mike entered the gym. “Can I help you guys?” asked Al. “Yeah, hi, I’m Mike and this is my friend Matt. We were invited to come here by Blue Hair and Orange Hair.”