And Here's Another Wrestler Whose Life Suddenly Has More Meaning Thanks To Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke's performance in "The Wrestler" has not only been a boon for his personal acting career, but it's also helped freelance writers and broken-down wrestlers everywhere stay afloat.

The NY Times ran its second "Real-Life Wrestler"-piece in the last couple weeks. Unlike the Tito Santana story from Feb. 21st, this one about Jon Rechart, of Spring Lake Heights, N.J. is a little more similar to Randy "The Ram's" sad-sack narrative. Rechart, pictured in that photo, is 36 years-old, but could easily pass for 50. He no longer makes the big bucks, but at one point in his career, made six-figures wrestling as a scary Santa Claus character in the WWF/WWE Balls Mahoney of the late, great ECW. All he has left of that career is the battered body to show for it:

"I got a torn A.C.L. in one leg that I never got fixed. In '97, I broke my C2, C3 and C4 vertebras in the ring. A move went wrong and I got dropped on my head. Both rotator cuffs are shot. Every single day is a struggle with pain."

Mr. Rechart's forehead is a bulbous collection of scar tissue running from one side of his face to the other. He looks like a mugging victim.

"The scars are from forks, cheese graters, barbed wire, light bulbs, glass, beer bottles," he said, listing the various items opponents have used to attack him. "If it's not nailed down, I've been hit with it."

But remember the Real "Ram" is everywhere. Like in Chicago, where Jerry Lynn sees his life in Randy's. He says his story is a little more "feel-good" than the wrestler portrayed by Rourke. So that means his life is less interesting and only relevant for a quick, three-question q-and-a.

Hint to freelance writers: Go to your local V.F.W.'s depressing weekend wrestling spectacle, find the most mangled looking performer possible, ask him about "The Wrestler", then write 800 words on it. This story is eminently recyclable.

Faded Glory On The Wrestling Circuit [NY Times]