Message to Congress: Stay Out of the Wrestling Business

Yes, that is my title to this blog post. I have done a complete 180 on my original calls for Congress to intervene and investigate the rampant steorid and drug use in Professional Wrestling.

My original thoughts after the Chris Benoit Double Murder-Suicide was that someone had to do something and that Congress should get involved. As someone who has been involved in the Pro-Wrestling business for 15 years, I had to do something. I even went so far as to email and contact some friendly congressional staffers and asked them what can be done from a Congressional standpoint.

As I watched the media circus unfold and the naive interviews conducted by Nancy Grace, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and others; people who DO NOT understand the wrestling business, I started to see a trend of people who have been out of the wrestling business using this tragedy to further their dwindling careers and put themselves back in the spotlight.

From Marc Mero’s “death list”, which contains many names of wrestlers who passed away due to circumstances unrelated to drugs and steroids to Congress now wanting to get in on the action: is reporting that two members of Congress have asked WWE to provide records pertaining to WWE’s drug testing policies and procedures.

Rep Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the ranking minority member of the committee Rep Tom Davis asked WWE in a three page letter to “provide a series of documents intended to give the committee and its investigation a detailed look at WWE’s drug-testing policy, including information about the results of performance-enhancing drug tests on pro wrestlers.”

The letter also says, “The tragic deaths of World Wrestling Entertainment star Chris Benoit and his family have raised questions about reports of widespread use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs by professional wrestlers.”

“These allegations — which include first-hand reports of steroid use by prominent former wrestlers — have swirled around the WWE for over a decade. Investigations by journalists have described a culture of performance-enhancing drug use in professional wrestling, high fatality rates among young professional wrestlers, and an inability or unwillingness of WWE to address these problems.”

The letter gives WWE until August 24 to comply.

My change of heart actually came full circle yesterday, first it was this great blog post by Eric Bischoff:

Congress has “requested” documents from WWE relating to their drug testing policy. I hope that the likes of Dave Meltzer and Wade Keller are happy. I am sure they are, as more than likely they might get a chance to be on television, or at the very least will see the traffic to their websites and subscriptions to their wrestling tabloids increase. After all, they worked hard to contribute to the media frenzy that rushed to vilify the wrestling business. They continue to promote the “death and drug culture” on their websites and prop up self-promoting sycophants that still can’t deal with the fact that they are irrelevant.

This is nothing more than a chance for a handful of parasitic politicians who feed off the teat of the public coffers, and are more reliant on television face time than Joanie Laurer to extend their careers.

Perhaps congress hasn’t heard about the immigration problem, or issues like Katrina. Perhaps the fact that government funded and administered programs that allow astronauts to fly space shuttles while legally under the influence of alcohol is just not newsworthy enough. Maybe the fact that members of their own body like U.S. Representative William Jefferson is accused of soliciting bribes, laundering money, obstructing justice and hiding pay offs in his freezer is just too mundane and doesn’t equate to votes. Or how about the esteemed member of congress from the state of Florida (Bob Allen) that was recently arrested for offering to polish the knob of an undercover police officer in a men’s room in exchange for a $20.00 bill? Congress feels the need/opportunity to stand up (get face time) and investigate professional wrestling. I’ve got a better idea. Hey Congress: investigate thyself.

Eric is right on the money in his analysis, he is also correct in realizing the true nature of Congress wanting to get involved:

The proposed congressional hearings are not a criminal investigation. It is simply a way for politicians to get face time and try to convince their constituents that they are looking out for the publics’ interest by flogging professional wrestling. Because of the Benoit tragedy, professional wrestling is an easy target right now.

And on the same day that I read Eric’s post, the news came out about yet another Senator being investigated for corruption and betraying the public’s trust, validating Eric’s blog post:

Republican Senator Ted Stevens, the architect of the infamous ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ may be heading over a Bridge to Jail instead:

That convinced me that Congress is not the right group to be handling this matter. While I’m not sure what the right answer is, I concur with Eric Bischoff, the answer is not Congress.

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