No, this is not a rehash of the Chris Benoit tragedy, although, this particular story ranks right up there with some of the other ridiculous stuff you read about when it comes to professional wrestlers. For the last few years, we’ve all been either shocked or fascinated with stories about Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Eddie Guerrero, Miss Elizabeth, Owen Hart, and of course, Chris Benoit.
It seems as if professional wrestling and personal tragedy go hand-in-hand; a fact supported by revelations from the recently released book authored by WWE and WCW superstar, Bret Hart.
If, as a wrestler, giving your all for the square circle doesn’t cripple you, lead to heavy drug problems, or kill you, you will probably wind up in some sordid situation that requires legal intervention. It seems very few wrestlers make it out unscathed, much like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson did (I guess he knew something the other wrestlers didn’t… that or he was smart enough to see what was in store for him had he stayed). Even the uber-popular Stone Cold Steve Austin has had to deal with spousal abuse issues since his back got so bad he couldn’t continue with his WWE career.
Well folks, unfortunately we have another log to throw on the wrestling bonfire.
The genius that is Harrison Norris has decided he’d play his part in further trashing the name of professional wrestling. In case you don’t recall, Norris was a bit-player in the WCW stable and went by the name of Hardbody Harrison. Apparently, that moniker went to his head… and then some.
Norris was recently found guilty, in a federal court, of multiple counts of sex trafficking because Harrison thought it would be a great idea to kidnap some women and force them into his prostitution ring; all under the guise of a professional wrestling training facility. Prosecutors indicated Hardbody would lure the women in, under the guise of a wrestling trainer, and then force them to perform manual labor and into his ring of prostitution:
Witnesses testified that Norris, a former Army sergeant and veteran of the Persian Gulf War, imposed a strict military structure, with each of the women assigned to a squad overseen by an “enforcer.”
One witness testified that Norris beat or threatened them to keep control and that he threatened to throw one through a hotel window when she would not engage in sex with two customers. In addition to forcing the victims to work as prostitutes, Norris made them work in and around his houses, requiring them to haul trees, lay sod and paint, according to testimony.
I mean, how is this not a brilliant idea? Snatch up some women, force them to landscape your houses and then make them have sex with your clientèle, all under the threat of violence. Isn’t this how every successful marriage starts? Anyway, Hardbody Harrison, who, in another brilliant move, decided to represent himself in court — against federal prosecutors — is expected to be sentenced in February 2008. He is facing a life sentence.
It was certainly nice of Norris to further perpetuate the incredibly strong image America has of professional wrestlers, especially since the details on the Chris Benoit story hit the mainstream. Keep up the good work (something he apparently excels at), Hardbody… although, this may be tough during your stay at the PMITA Federal Penitentiary.