November 11, 2007
Readers sound off on CNN documentary
By SLAM! Wrestling Readers
This past Wednesday, CNN aired a documentary, Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling, and took an in-depth look at drug use in the world of professional wrestling.
SLAM! Wrestling wrote a recap of the show and we asked our readers to give us their thoughts. We received some well-thought, well-written responses. The following is what you had to say. Thanks to everyone who submitted their thoughts.
I think the article was well written and will watch the replay this weekend.
I am and I will always be a fan of Chris Benoit. Yes, I was horrified by what he had done, but more to the point, I feel for the way the whole situation was handled. My issue is with the way the McMahons have decided that any and all signs of Chris should be eradicated from the WWE.
That act alone shows their true colors. You do not treat a family member that way and I think that all the trouble they go to to show them as a big happy family is a waste of time.
Instead of admitting that yes, Chris had problems, he was still a part of their family, and they would not abandon him, they not only abandoned him, they treated his memory as so much dirt to be swept away.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Somebody should make a movie about (Tom Billington) so they can see how he is now.
In this article you wrote:
"He (Vince McMahon) then makes an interesting point in saying that if Benoit essentially had Alzheimer's, then how could he function as a wrestler and go to the airport, things like that." While it might be an interesting point, its also a misleading point.
Alzheimer's, like any other form of dementia, is a progressive disease. Victims of it do not just wake up one morning and not know who they are. Memory loss is a slow and gradual process. All cognitive and functional abilities decline slowly over time. So do motor skills, and at different rates. That process of deterioration does not change, regardless of the age at which the patient is first diagnosed.
I know this because I have an 85-year-old Alzeheimer's patient grandmother who was first diagnosed at age 65. I have watched that process unfold every day of my life since I was a child. So to suggest Chris Benoit couldn't have functioned physically or mentally at a seemingly normal level while deteriorating mentally at the same time is preposterous!
Bottom line with Vince McMahon is that he's angry with Chris Benoit for bringing negative attention to his company, for shining a light on the cesspool within. He feels threatened and he'll never forgive Benoit for that. That's why he characterizes him as a monster, rather than as a good person who did a monstrous deed. And he will continue to reject any and all mitigating facts that could explain the deed in any other terms other than the act of a monster. You just watch and see.
I found your article to be well written and very informative. I did not get to see the show but maybe I will get to see the rerun of it (yesterday).
There is one question I have not found an answer to yet. I heard that the disposition of Chris Benoit's estate was being held up because of not knowing who he killed first,his wife or his son. I heard that if he killed his wife first that the whole estate went to her side of the family but if he killed his son first the estate would go to Chris's dad, so who was killed first?
The Sports Legacy Institute's findings on Benoit’s brain injury could be a partial out for the McMahons in terms of culpability. They could say the increased impact risk from the high flying wrestling style was previously unknown in the industry. And now that it is, they’re doing everything they can to minimize the risk. That would make them come off smelling like roses. But nooooo… Vince McMahon is so rabid in his refusal to take responsibility for ANYTHING in life, he’d prefer to demonize Chris Benoit rather than solve the problem.
How sad for the people who work for him.
I didn't have an opportunity to see the CNN special until after John Cena's segment had been edited. And, after seeing it, I was frankly appalled at how successful WWE has been in turning the Cena segment into a distraction from the important issues addressed in that documentary. Whether Cena said "absolutely not," or "I can't tell you I haven't" to the question "Have you ever used steroids?" is unimportant. Photos from his days in bodybuilding and as Prototype in UPW totally put the lie to his denial anyway. End of story. But the little tempest in a teapot has now overshadowed how badly Vince McMahon came across in the interview, the SLI findings on Chris Benoit, and the criticisms of the WWE Wellness Policy. To me, the WWE effort that went into accomplishing this feat reeks of desperation.