WWE Chairman Vince McMahon will address viewer complaints about the three-hour USA Network tribute to pro wrestler Chris Benoit that aired Monday night, a WWE spokesman confirmed.
The WWE and USA Network received criticisms of the tribute, which was hastily produced after Mr. Benoit, his wife and their son were found dead in their Georgia home Monday afternoon.
Authorities said Tuesday that Mr. Benoit strangled his wife and suffocated his son, then took his own life. But WWE and network officials were unaware of the circumstances of Mr. Benoit's death when the tribute was assembled, sources said.
The WWE canceled its regularly scheduled "Monday Night RAW" event on USA Network Monday night and aired the tribute in its place.
Mr. McMahon will address wrestling fans tonight on Sci Fi Channel's live Extreme Championship Wrestling. Sources said Mr. McMahon planned to apologize for the tribute special, but a WWE spokesman said Mr. McMahon is still working on his comments and may address the issue without apologizing per se.
The WWE plans to resume its regular wrestling telecasts, which air on USA Network, Sci Fi Channel and the CW.
Earlier, the WWE issued a statement protesting media speculation that Mr. Benoit may have murdered his family due to "roid rage." Prescription anabolic steroids were found in the wrestler's home. The statement noted the drugs were legal and that toxicology tests have not been completed.
"WWE strongly suggests that it is entirely wrong for speculators to suggest that steroids had anything to do with these senseless acts, especially when the authorities plainly stated there is no evidence that Benoit had steroids in his body, pending the toxicological reports, and that they had no evidence at this time as to the motive for these acts," read the statement.