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The Sun Article - WWE boss: Get off the drugs


July 16, 2007

Despite some WWE stars going public in the last week to deny there is a problem in the wrestling business, privately Vince is said to be determined not to be blamed for another Eddie Guerrero or Chris Benoit style tragedy.

Reports coming out of the States say that Vince and Johnny Ace - the head of talent relations - called their roster together before last Monday's Raw TV show.

After giving a stern speech on drug use, they also offered counselling for those affected by addictions, the Benoit killings or anything else.

However critics note that Vince gave a similar talk after Guerrero died of heart failure in November 2005 and re-introduced drug testing, both of which don't appear to have worked.

They also point to the likes of Ken Kennedy and Fit Finlay appearing on American telly and making misleading statements about the number of recent wrestling deaths and the causes behind them, as well as the McMahon family's recent "disappearing act in public".

The funerals for Nancy, 43, and seven-year-old Daniel Benoit - who were murdered by Chris, 40, before he committed suicide - were held this weekend.

McMahon did not attend, but Fit Finlay, Jim Ross, Dean Malenko and Eddie's widow Vickie Guerrero from the WWE all did.

In front of about 75 family and friends, Nancy's younger sister Sandra cried while telling moving stories of the sister she so admired and the nephew who "completed my life".

Chris Benoit's name was not mentioned once during the touching ceremony.

Afterwards Ross, the commentator on the WWE's Raw TV show, wrote: "The service was reserved and classy. I loved the music.

"The structure of the service allowed for ample opportunities for one to reflect on the lives of Nancy and Daniel.

"Of course, Chris, too, crossed my mind during the service. How could he not?

"Daniel's full name is Daniel Christopher Benoit and I read the little guy's name over and over during the service.

"I thought of so many memories of the Benoit family especially at WrestleManias which has a "family reunion" feel for many of us who don't see the talents' spouses and their kids but a handful of times per year.

"I have literally seen Daniel grow up at WrestleMania as Nancy would have the apple of her eye dressed to the "nines" in either a little tuxedo or a handsome suit.

"Indeed, Mom Nancy made her little boy a sharp dressed man. I loved it when they danced together! I can still close my eyes and hear the music and see their smiles.

"Today, I needed to see those smiles. Today I needed to feel those good memories."

Addressing the massive amount of steroids Benoit was being prescribed at the time of the killings, Jim said he was upset that a debate on 'Roid Rage' overshadowed the day.

He added: "This entire tragedy is about much more than alleged steroid abuse, especially on this day that I will carry with me for the rest of my days.

"Today was a time of remembrance for the loved ones that have been lost and for paying our respect to a devastated family.

"The wrestling business, like our lives, is far from perfect and many areas of it need to be addressed and improved upon.

"Perhaps this mission should be approached as if tomorrow was our first day on the job and we have the chance to start fresh and make things better for everyone who wants to play by the rules and to do the right things so the business will continue to thrive long after guys like me are nothing more than a fleeting memory of bygone days.

"But Saturday, July 14 wasn't about the business. It was about paying respect to a grieving family who need all the courage they can muster and all the prayers they can receive.

"Today. Please remember these folks in your prayers."

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