Posted by: thescoundrel | June 29, 2007

Vince McMahon: Professional Wrestling Villain


I was a big pro-wrestling fan starting back in my childhood. It was like the ultimate male-testosterone-rush guys beating up on other guys – then bragging about it to each other, bad vs. evil and running to the assault or rescue of an individual and then they get back up and do it all over again the following week. It was a cornucopia of addictive aggression aimed at young male mentality and those that value controlled violent conflict. I followed it very closely up until a few years ago following what in my estimation was a despicable action by Vince McMahon. Despite the sport being scripted and the show recently turning pornographic the competitors that perform in the sport are extraordinarily athletic individuals and push the very edges of human endurance, pain and jeopardy. In addition it has always had that soap opera theme that keeps you tuned in week-to-week and day-to-day. It is probably that pushing the “envelope of extreme spectacle” that has led many of the contestants to turn to legal, questionably legal and illegal drug usage. This week another premature death circumstance with possible drug abuse connections of one more young combatant, Chris Benoit, rocked the sport. Now I am not going to attempt to “Nifong” the event and prejudge those involved in what happened. But instead I am going to touch on events that followed the release of the horrifying information concerning the situation.

As I said before I used to be a big fan of wrestling. But the same man, Vince McMahon, who has built wrestling into the juggernaut showpiece it has become also turned me away from the sport. Professional Wrestling, like all sports (well maybe not table tennis), has been dealing with drug issues and the negative media consequences that piggyback the problems as long as I can remember. And not to excuse McMahon, but I suppose when you have a multimillion-dollar corporation to run, the media’s quick to jump on, prejudge and ride-the-story situations could make you testy enough to play obfuscation games. Which is where the Chris Benoit tragedy has reminded me of why I quit watching the WWF/WWE wrestling program. Back in 1997 the WWF/WWE had another death tragedy involving a wrestler named Brian Pillman. It was how McMahon handled that event that turned me away from the McMahon wrestling programs. Like in the Benoit incident drug abuse was a concern brought out immediately and McMahon was desperate to deflect possible drug allegations by rolling out his obfuscation program. At the time of Pillman’s death professional wrestling had just went through some trying government drug investigations. So McMahon wishing to keep further tarnish off his corporation did something I have never forgiven him or his company for. He compelled Pillman’s visibly upset wife to go on national television and had her doing a pro-WWE/WWF interview disclaiming any possible drug or steroid abuse policies by the company or her husband, the day after Pillman was found dead in a hotel room. When I saw McMahon on Television spinning his spin-doctor wheels after Benoit’s and his family’s death, it was easy to see that he still put the reputation of his company over the value of his performers. Shame on you Vince McMahon and your callousness by attempting to take benefit by spinning the events surrounding the tragedies that accompany your programming.

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Responses

  1. Although my son is a big fan of WWF, it’s not a particular interest of mine, but I have been following this story casually. While I did see the steroids angle played up, I also saw something about how the Benoit’s 7 year old son had a form of autism known as Fragile X. The Fragile X activist group took me to a school (and to task!)in a post I did mocking Hare for picking this as his “cause”.

    But enough about me! The story I saw about this was quoting friends and family claiming that the stress from dealing with an autistic child may have been what drove Benoit over the edge. Well, actually his wife was handling most of the burden of this since Benoit was on the road and out of town a lot.

    Don’t know if it was that or the steroids or what, but I assume at some point down the road we’ll find out. But since there was no suicide note—-maybe not.

  2. LMAO, I remember the Fragile X spanking. I get beat on for calling it rare, which is what it is, a rare disorder. That doesn’t mean that there are not a lot of kids and their family that will have to face the disease; it just means that it is a small percentage of the 300,000,000 people in this country. I suffer from a rare genetic disorder that hit me back about fifteen years ago. It doesn’t mean that there are not a lot of people who have the same problem I face; it just means in the numbers game I am grouped with a small percentage of individuals who come down with the problem. It is just part of life and you learn to live with it. It doesn’t do any good to bitch and moan about it because like most other disorders there is no cure.

  3. […] of illegal steroid abuse by its employees following the murder-suicide events surrounding WWE Star Chris Benoit. Now word has splashed across the Internet that they have suspended ten of their professional […]


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