The California Assembly has voted, 60-7, to end state regulation and licensing of wrestlers, "rasslers" or such "entertainers," as the case may be. The state senate will next consider the bill.
"Rassling is not a professional sport, but an entertainment," said Democratic Assemblyman Dick Floyd of Hawthorne, who used an alternative pronounciation of the more common word, "wrestling."
He said referees are licensed and are supposed to protect wrestlers. But he says he saw matches that "had a state licensed referee whose only purpose is to never see the bad buy do something nasty."
He said he saw wrestler Jake the Snake put his opponent in a sleeper hold, pull a huge snake from a bag and "let it slither over his prone opponent. The referee knew nothing about the snake in the ring."
He said he saw Brutus Beefcake put on a white smock and cut his prone opponent's hair. Floyd added: "The referee never asked Brutus, 'Do you have a state license to do barbering?' "
He said the bill "says we're not going to play this game to make you think it has the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. If you license rassling, you should license the roller derby or the circus."