“He has injured more wrestlers in a few months than most would in a lifetime”

Sep 19, 2016 - by Steve Gerweck

Seth Rollins

Smith Hart posted on Facebook:

Obviously my post yesterday ruffled a few feathers. Most of which I feel was unwarranted, but multiple comments were made and I felt rather than respond to each individually which would be almost impossible, it would be much more cohesive to address it as a blanket statement.
Although I have no personal issues with Seth Rollins as I barely know him, my comments about Seth Rollins still stand, I do believe he is not a safe wrestler. My comments came from the fact that he has repeatedly injured multiple opponents. He has injured more wrestlers in a few months than most would in a lifetime. Now many argued that guys like Balor, Sting and Cena all came to Seth’s defense on this. To this I respond that A) That is the professional thing to do in these situations. Very rarely are talents as unprofessional as CM Punk to bitch about the wrestlers they work with. Or at least that was the case once upon a time and most personal issues were confined to the locker room. B) It is not beyond the scope of WWE to ask talents like Cena to make public statements like that, so WWE can protect their investment in Seth. That is no different than the hundreds of people who have made public claims coming to the defense of John Cena when the trolls of the internet came crying about how they hated Cena.

Beyond this many seem to fail to understand that when I compare Seth Rollins as a worker, I am not comparing him to Joe Schmo indy loser in track pants and I am not comparing Seth to other likewise lesser talented high spot artists currently on the WWE roster. In that regard yes Seth may be one of the “better” workers in WWE today, but that is akin to saying he is the skinniest kid at fat camp. Just because you are the skinniest kid at fat camp, doesn’t make you skinny by the overall standard. And just because he is the best worker in WWE today (by Seth’s fans opinions) doesn’t make him a great worker by the overall standard. I compare Seth to a higher standard which includes comparing him to the likes of Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, Curt Hennig, Nick Bockwinkle, Archie the Stomper, Jushin Liger, William Regal and a throng of other talents who did present immaculate in ring acumen. To this Seth rates maybe a 2 out of 10 tops. When the standard is lowered for in ring ability then Seth profile is raised.

Therein lies a larger issue, which I have touched on in the past. Those of you that claim that the business has evolved, I ask how? Television ratings are down, live event attendance is down, ad revenue is down, merchandise sales are down, PPV buyrates have disappeared (albeit at their own discretion) and more than anything all non-WWE pretenders business is down. The only thing keeping WWE afloat is A) being the only game in town anymore. And B) The WWE Network. I don’t say this to criticize WWE as much as it is a wake-up call to everyone who thinks the business has evolved. Half the audience is watching that was watching 10 years ago, a quarter of the people are watching that were watching during the attitude era. And less than 10% of the audience that was reached during the height of the territories is being reached today. That is a pathetic evolution if you ask me.
This isn’t said to make me sound like an old bitter veteran or an ultimate authority. Rather I am quite content, that I was able to see and experience first-hand what wrestling could be and what wrestling truly had evolved to be. I feel more remorse for those alive today that aren’t able to share that same experience and instead are force fed the garbage which is seen today, most notably that of the twinky far-fetched sketches, that literally suck. You really aren’t fathoming what it is you are missing.

While I had hundreds comments from mis-informed geeks, about how I wished I could do moves like Seth Rollins, I had to laugh. Although I was very well-trained and somewhat bigger than many of my brothers, my goal in wrestling was not as much to be a wrestler, but moreso work in the creative ends of wrestling. I aspired to be another Vince McMahon or Stu Hart behind the scenes. In my lifetime in wrestling, both in the ring and training students I never hurt a sole, and pride myself on an immaculate track record with a physically demanding style. I would never consider doing something as ridiculous as the flips and stunts that Seth Rollins does in his gymnastics routine. See the difference is most of the men of my era could get over without doing the ridiculous, risky, unrealistic and damn-well dangerous and sadly tragic stunts. Today’s talents apparently need to do these stunts in order to get over because they don’t have the psychology or personality to get over any other way and very rarely can any of them say they are over to any real degree. For those that say I am stuck in the past, perhaps. But if the alternative is to see what is on TV today, I would much rather stay stuck in the past, and I would argue anyone that has truly seen the difference in both would likely be doing the same.

Some disrespectful morbid assholes, dragged my late great brother Owen into the argument stating that he was responsible for the accident of Stone Cold Steve Austin, to which I have always had my doubts about Owen’s responsibility in this matter. I would still defend this to say that there is a large difference between Owen who may have made one accident in his entire 15 year career. To Seth who is truly creating a pattern of destruction. Those that are unable to measure the difference in those statistics really should learn to count.

Finally to address the issue of the death at his school, I must admit, I wasn’t and still am not completely familiar with all the details. What I can address is that we have already established that Seth is a dangerous wrestler. As someone that has trained students and been a part of a dynasty of training students for more than 70 years including more than 30 Hall of Fame talents that we as a family have trained, I feel I understand the fundamentals of training and starting prospective wrestlers careers. I realize Seth was not present at the school when the death occurred, but at the end of the day he is, at law, responsible for anything that goes on in that school, because he is the owner and the basis of its advertising. Beyond that Seth is responsible for any curriculum that students must adhere to if he is the owner and “head trainer”. Beyond all that, most have claimed that it was likely a pre-existing condition. Most reputable schools, including all Hart based camps, have always required a pre-medical screening before commencing training. While this doesn’t eliminate all potential disasters, it is successful in eliminating over 95%. I have been told that Seth’s school did not require such medical examinations. While some would argue that the cost of doing this is far too great, I would argue that the cost of not doing this can be far greater. Those schools that don’t have this stipulation are nothing more than indy con-artists looking to hustle a quick buck.

Finally I would like to address that while most messages I received, specifically from those within the business were favorable to my post a large contingent of internet based wrestling fans said some vile things about me and my family. While I respect and appreciate clean debate over any topic, there is never any need for fans to make such vile comments. My criticisms are based on fact and in experience and while I encourage anyone to refute what I say with the same, I will show no respect to those that make incendiary comments that have no basis in any topic I have outlined here. While I understand the internet is created so everyone can have an outlet for their opinions, nobody is ever forced to read someone else’s opinion and if you disagree so heavily, please feel free to move onto another page and read someone else’s opinion.

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