This article was posted on WU Online

This article was posted on WU Online -  If you have a question you would like answered by Mr. Jarrett regarding steroid and drug use in wrestling, send it to WU Online.)

     The wrestling of today is advertised as sports entertainment and not sport.  This seems to make the business more kin to theater than competitive sports.  If we follow logic, professional wrestling should be held to the standards of the movie industry or theater rather than professional sports.

     My position is not to condone steroid use.  I have done all in my power to caution and explain the negative effects of any drug use to my own family as well as the wrestlers that worked for me.

     My point is that if the government is going to hold the professional wrestling business to the standards of pro-sports, the government must also investigate the movie and theater industry.  The recent drug bust of top movie stars should at least be a signal to congress that drug use is going on in Hollywood.  What are the drug testing policy of Fox Studios, Paramount and Time Warner.  Should congress ask Rupert Murdock to supply the same information they have requested from Vince McMahon?

     Another point I wish to make concerns the single investigation of WWE from the business of professional wrestling business.  Our laws are based on fairness and the premise that we are all equal under the law.  Is the WWE being singled out because of their success?  Should companies that are successful be held to a different standard than those who are not profitable?  Is the WWE penalized because of their size?  Should the company that promotes twelve events per year be less accountable than the company that promotes a thousand events each year?  Should congress mandate a steroid testing policy for only promoters who hold 500 events or more each year?  Should congress mandate a steroid testing policy for only promoters who show a profit at the end of each year.

     If this sounds like I'm a WWE fan, you are greatly mistaken.  I encourage my children to not let their children, my grandchildren, watch either TNA or WWE.  I think the content of both shows are a negative influence on children.  I do hope our congress will be fair in the investigation of the industry.

     The first thing Congress must do is to determine if they are investigating fish or fowl.  They must decide if professional wrestling is true sport or theater.  At that point, they must investigate everyone in the industry.  It appears to be a grasp for headlines to single out WWE and no other professional wrestling company.  It is also a safe area for politicians to investigate WWE and not take on the movie industry.  WWE is financially successful but they are a sheep compared to the lion that is the movie industry.

Jerry Jarrett


Mr. Jarrett,

I have the utmost respect for you, however, I believe there is no comparison between wrestling and the theater. The only actors who require the same physical skills as professional wrestlers would be stunt actors.  Whereas an actor might have to worry about his physique in order to get a particular part, it is not something he need worry about 24/7 as does every wrestler who steps into a ring.  Wrestlers work every week sometimes more than once a week.  Actors have breaks between movies or theater performances. Wrestlers risk more damage  to their bodies constantly  in order to provide entertainment to an audience than any actor.   

An actor who has been around for years will tell you that his life is nothing like that of a professional wrestler.  There is no age limit for actors.  Many actors in their 70's and 80's are still very much active in the movie business.  If they were professional wrestlers chances are they would start to falter during the mid 40's if not before.  If an actor hops off the wagon he can check himself into rehab and wait for the next job offer.  If a wrestler hops off the wagon, it is much tougher for him to find work the next time around simply because he lost time in the ring. A wrestler takes more hard hits to the head than any actor and they do so much more often than any actor would have to worry about. 

And yes there is no doubt that Hollywood has now and has always had drug and alcohol problems.  And yes I think they should be appropriately punished.  The same goes for musicians.  And politicians.  I would like to see follow the same mandatory testing as any wrestling organization. 

The Benoit tragedy touched where none of the other early deaths of professional wrestlers have touched.  Is World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) the only organization at fault?  They are not.  They happened to have Chris Benoit on their roster working in their shows when he killed his family and himself.  Do I think WWE should be held to a higher standard?  On many levels I do.  To the best of my knowledge they are the largest wrestling organization in the world.  They have the money and the ability to have the best possible drug-testing program.  If Chris Benoit was popping pills and getting away with it while employed by WWE  there is obviously a problem with their drug-testing program that needs to be addressed.  WWE wrestlers travel most of the year.  WWE wrestlers have schedules that are physically and mentally demanding.  Wrestling fans watching--  or not watching weekly as the ratings seem to show – are  wondering who will be next. 

Again I don’t believe drugs alone caused Chris Benoit to do what he did.  I do believe they may have played a large part in his actions or reactions.  It is something that should not have happened.  Tragedies of this magnitude have happened before but this was not the guy in the next town who no one really knows…this was someone wrestling fans watched every week for years.  It makes what happened personal on many levels. And that personal feeling has people clambering for reform.

Making drug-testing mandatory for any and all promotions may seem impossible but I, for one, would gladly vote to put an end to the  premature deaths of wrestlers. 


Reference Links ................

TNA Wrestling . Com
Wrestling Bodyslam . Com