If you see a wrestler with a black X on their wrist tape, there’s a good chance they abide by the straight edge lifestyle.
The movement was born as a subculture of the hardcore punk music scene in the '80s, to combat the excesses often associated with lifestyle before. The name stems from a song called ‘Straight Edge’ by the band Minor Threat. Regardless of the evolving representations of straight edge and its movement in society, the core values of it – abstaining from drinking, smoking and drugs – remain unchanged from when the movement first began. Straight edge now predominantly centres on being healthy and being your own person.
It’s often been said wrestlers back in the day partied harder than rock stars. The '80s was a decade of indulgence for wrestlers and it only increased in the '90s, treating painkillers and cocaine no different to beer. The number of high-profile, premature deaths in this industry as a consequence of drug abuse is tragically long.
Just like straight edge originally combatted the punk lifestyle, it combatted the hectic '80s/'90s wrestler partying lifestyle too, with numerous modern wrestlers following the straight edge ideology in 2020.