Page-2 | Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and sports spending: From Olympics to the WWF | Professional | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

newjerseynewsroom.com

Tuesday
Oct 21st
  • Login
  • Create an account
    Registration
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    REGISTER_REQUIRED
  • Search
  • Local Business Deals

Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and sports spending: From Olympics to the WWF

The McMahons decided that Pennsylvania had too much say in their business. Eventually the state elected officials saw it the McMahons way.

The McMahon's successful business was built on a house of cards in 1984 after Vince McMahon decided to "rewrite" the rules of professional wrestling and invade other promoters’ territories. McMahon's World Wrestling Federation had the big east coast markets, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and other cities and the other big wrestling promoters, the NWA's Crockett family and the AWA's Vern Gagne totally misread the landscape thinking McMahon had the money to pull off the national expansion. According to one insider, McMahon did everything he could to find money and rolled the dice on Wrestlemania at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1985.

The McMahons won.

Madison Square Garden was packed, the money flowed in and the WWF had a solid financial footing.

McMahon's wrestlers looked like super heroes out of comic books with enormously sculptured bodies. There were also some "steroid-rage" incidents involving a few wrestlers outside the ring but steroids were not deemed illegal until President George Bush signed legislation in 1990 banning the substance. Vince McMahon was indicted in November of 1993 on charges of possession of steroids and conspiracy to distribute steroids. McMahon beat the rap after a jury came back with a not guilty verdict on July 22, 1994. In 2005, McMahon’s wrestling circuit was still wrestling with drug issues and following the death of Eddie Guerrero, the McMahons imposed new drug testing policies.

The McMahons knew they had a problem on their hands and according to the WWE website, "(the) WWE implemented a WWE Talent Wellness Program on Feb. 27, 2006. The WWE Talent Wellness Program is administered independent of WWE by (a) team of physicians." The statement goes onto say that "the Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Policy prohibits the use of drugs by WWE talent for other than a legitimate medical purpose pursuant to a valid prescription from a licensed and treating physician. The use of masking agents and/or diuretics to conceal or obscure the use of prohibited drugs is also forbidden."

Despite the policy, wrestlers are still dying in alarming numbers.

The WWF, now WWE, has not faced the same sort of scrutiny that professional sportswriters and other gadflies heaped upon Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and former Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Donald Fehr. Not many professional sportswriters aside from Frank Deford, Phil Mushnick and some wrestling reporters nor the gadflies around wrestling have bothered to take a closer look at the mortality rate of wrestlers who may have been using banned performance enhancing drugs. The percentage of professional wrestlers who died under the age of 50 in the past decade from a drug overdose or of heart attack, liver or kidney failure brought on by drug abuse is high far than the mortality rate in the general population.

Former Minnesota Governor and one time McMahon wrestler Jesse Ventura in a 2008 interview on the Howard Stern radio show that he was fired by the company after Hulk Hogan told Vince McMahon that Ventura was trying to unionize wrestlers.

WWE performers are independent contractors which means that the McMahons do not pay social security benefits, Medicare contributions and unemployment insurance. The McMahons have contended they pay wrestlers extremely well and that makes up for the lack of benefits. It is unknown how many former wrestlers who suffered disabling injuries are now on the government dole getting social security insurance or Medicare to pay medical bills.

The NBA, which apparently bothered Santorum in 2008, takes care of the employees who perform with medical and other benefits.

Linda McMahon and Rick Santorum should be asked they think of social security and health care and find out how many wrestlers now in their 40s and 50s that performed for the WWF/WWE that are getting government support. Santorum, who is running a faith-based moral values campaign, should field inquiries about storylines that included something that called the "Mr. McMahon Kiss My Ass Club" where wrestlers performed the act. There should also be a question or two about the debasing of women as part of the on-going “soap opera”.



 

Add your comment

Your name:
Subject:
Comment:

Follow/join us

Twitter: njnewsroom Linked In Group: 2483509