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The W - Pro Wrestling - WWE Offers Rehab to All
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Since: 18.5.04
From: Badstreet USA

Since last post: 6 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.49
Saw this news bit from PWT via LoP. Obviously, until it is confirmed elsewhere, it's all just speculation. But I thought it would make for good discussion, maybe...

http://www.lordsofpain.net/news/2007_/articles/1190398388.php

    Originally posted by PWT
    World Wrestling Entertainment is sending letters to formerly contracted performers offering to pay for drug and/or alcohol treatment. According to one person who has received it, the letter is printed on WWE stationery and is hand-signed by Vince McMahon himself. Here is a transcript of the letter WWE is sending out to their ex-performers:

    Over the last ten years, an inordinate number of wrestlers have passed away. Some of those deaths may in part have been caused by drugs and alcohol.

    In an effort to prevent such tragedies in the future, the WWE is willing to pay for drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation at a certified treatment chosen by WWE for any performer with a prior WWE booking contract who may need this service. The WWE will pay for this service in full.

    There is no cost to you or your family. Help will be provided regardless of the circumstances of your departure from the WWF or the amount of time you performed for the WWE.

    If you do not have a drug and/or alcohol problem, but know you know a former WWE performer who does, we are asking you to try to help them by encouraging them to take advantage of this opportunity.

    Liz Difabio has been appointed as a representative in this matter. Liz has been with the company for over 24 years and has been directly involved with the majority of WWE performers who have received treatment for substance abuse. She understands emotions that individuals and family members go through in this process. Any conversation you have with Liz will remain confidential and will not be released to the public.

    In many instances, an individual in need of help is in denial and will not want rehabilitation. There are professional intervention companies that will help persuade that person that they need treatment. Liz will be able to facilitate such interventions, should they be necessary. An intervention and treatment will be at the cost of WWE exclusively.

    This service is being provided for performers with a prior WWE booking contract only. No family or friends. Please reach out to Liz if you think you might have a drug or alcohol problem or if you know someone who does. We all need to do anything we can to help prevent another tragedy.

    Sincerely,

    Vincent K. McMahon
    Chairman, World Wrestling Entertainment






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Since: 27.6.02
From: Champaign, IL

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
Anyone who has EVER been under contract with the WWE? If this is true, then Vince is going above and beyond with this, and I hope people will cut him a little slack in regards to other things because of it.



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The Vile1
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Since: 4.9.02
From: California

Since last post: 1825 days
Last activity: 1557 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.91
But it's also basically an admission that they are part of the problem. Which WWE has gone out of it's way of trying to absolve themselves publically to where that they have absolutely no connection to these deaths at all. Especially when you have Ken Kennedy on Fox News proclaiming that most of the wrestler deaths were of people not under WWE contract.
thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 5 hours
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
The newsletters previously mentioned there was a letter like this sent out, this is just the text reprinted.

To you and me and sane people, this is WWE taking some responsible for the problem, but I believe a talented enough lawyer could put the right words in Vince's mouth at any congressional hearing to say something like "no, we don't think this admits fault, we're just trying to clear up problems people have had before/after working for us so we don't get unfairly blamed."



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Brian P. Dermody
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Since: 20.9.02
From: New York, NY

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.31
Even if it actually is the right thing for the wrong reasons, it's the right thing.

It's also a lot more than I ever expected out of McMahon. My hat is off to him if he makes good on this. (No reason to think he wouldn't.)



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Since: 27.6.02
From: Champaign, IL

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
The people being targeted by this letter are no longer under contract by WWE (cynically, the people being targeted by this letter are in Congress) It will probably be seen as altruistic by most people because there's no way of tying these drug problems directly into WWE.

Yes Ed Leslie has a coke problem, but he's not been under contract to WWE for almost two decades, and now they're offering free rehab. I wonder how many of these free passes the former WWE people will get? Given the number of times Hollywood people are in and of rehab, this could be VERY expensive.

Edit: On the other hand, why free rehab, but current wrestlers under contract don't get insurance through WWE?

(edited by Zundian on 21.9.07 1557)


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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.33
    Originally posted by The Vile1
    But it's also basically an admission that they are part of the problem.


My employer offers drug and alchohol rehab as part of our insurance. Does that mean if I am a cokehead, it's my company's fault?
hansen9j
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.42
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
      Originally posted by The Vile1
      But it's also basically an admission that they are part of the problem.


    My employer offers drug and alchohol rehab as part of our insurance. Does that mean if I am a cokehead, it's my company's fault?


No, but how many companies offer rehab for long past employees? How many companies had an atmosphere of turning a blindish eye to such activities?



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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.33
I don't personally think it's an employers place to regulate the personal lives of it's employees, unless they are police officers, firemen, government officials and jobs like that.

The fact is, they made a ton of cash off these people and they are putting some of that cash back into them, even if it is ten to fifteen years after they left the company. Either way, it's a nice jesture.

I just wonder how TNA is going to explain Road Dogg being off tv.
TheOldMan
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Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.33
    Originally posted by Brian P. Dermody
    Even if it actually is the right thing for the wrong reasons, it's the right thing.


+1

    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    I just wonder how TNA is going to explain Road Dogg being off tv.


Zing! also +1, heh. I wonder if K-Fed qualifies..


It's a good thing, and I don't care how it came about... however -

It goes to show you what a mere congressional hearing can do even when there's virtually no chance of legislation. You can't convince me that this policy being announced at this time is anything other than McDevitt & Associates working to bolster the case for the defense, and limit the bad press that's going to come out of the hearings.

And it's still a great benefit for the former "independent contractors" that WWE legally owes squat.

But get back to me in about 5 years and let's see how this works out. Will the program get scrapped like drug testing in the later 90's? Will people off the roster for a decade be given more than one chance to get clean if that's what it takes? Will Ken Kennedy go on Nancy Grace to complain that some future fatality 'had their chance to get sober, stop whining'?






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Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

Since last post: 146 days
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.37

This might be a little too much to ask, but could we possibly just hope that this is a legit offer and that those affected can get real help?

You know, without the jollystomping and such? It's a good idea, who cares why?



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Since: 2.1.02
From: nWo Country

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
    Originally posted by Eddie Famous
    This might be a little too much to ask, but could we possibly just hope that this is a legit offer and that those affected can get real help?

    You know, without the jollystomping and such? It's a good idea, who cares why?


Spot on. God forbid Vince actually, y'know, WANTS to do something to stop these deaths, selfish reasons or no.



To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires, and lights, in a box.-Edward R. Murrow
The Vile1
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Since: 4.9.02
From: California

Since last post: 1825 days
Last activity: 1557 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.91
    Originally posted by Eddie Famous
    This might be a little too much to ask, but could we possibly just hope that this is a legit offer and that those affected can get real help?

    You know, without the jollystomping and such? It's a good idea, who cares why?


This wasn't a pro-active, un-selfish gesture on the part of WWE. So is it good that all these guys are going to get paid help and treatment by WWE? Yes, but this doesn't feel like some pure, innocent move on their part.
oldschoolhero
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Since: 2.1.02
From: nWo Country

Since last post: 1799 days
Last activity: 1733 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
And one wonders why that matters to people. If the right wrestlers are getting the right help, motive shouldn't really matter to you unless your concern for Vince McMahon's moral fibre is more important than your concern for drug-addicted retirees. Some of the greatest gestures in the world are informed by selfish motivations.

(edited by oldschoolhero on 22.9.07 0036)


To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires, and lights, in a box.-Edward R. Murrow
Chumpstain
Kolbasz








Since: 21.1.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 9 min.
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.67
In Vince's defense, he has done this before. WWE paid for the rehab of both William Regal and Eddy Guerrero at a point when neither were under contract. He has looked out for people in the past.

The main stumbling block here is going to be the people in need actually wanting the help, or asking for it. I imagine a lot of these guys are proud and might not want to be seen needing help. Hopefully they'll eat a slice of humble pie and get themselves looked at, and then we won't have monthly "Who died now?" stories.
CTX
Salami








Since: 11.5.02

Since last post: 6 days
Last activity: 4 hours
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.75
    Originally posted by oldschoolhero
    And one wonders why that matters to people. If the right wrestlers are getting the right help, motive shouldn't really matter to you unless your concern for Vince McMahon's moral fibre is more important than your concern for drug-addicted retirees. Some of the greatest gestures in the world are informed by selfish motivations.

    (edited by oldschoolhero on 22.9.07 0036)

It would/should certainly matter to people if they suspect this is just a quick fix attempt to get some good PR and defense before the congress hearings and in five years time everything is back to the way it was before.

I don't think it's being overly cynical judging by Vince's past record to question whether or not this is just his way of saying to congress that they have everything under control and have a huge list of guys they've offered rehab to as evidence.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: nWo Country

Since last post: 1799 days
Last activity: 1733 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
The problem is that at this stage, the guy can't win. Every time he takes a big step like this - clearing out thirteen guys for a month, cracking down on the wellness policy, sending these letters out - the only thing that gets said is "well of COURSE he's doing it to cover his own ass". It's really very unfair.

I mean, when all is said and done, Vince is pretty much the most principled wrestling promoter in history. He's got more regard/concern for his workers than anyone else you can care to name, and these current steps are big things towards solidifying that reputation. But he still, repeatedly, gets shit on. If this system goes the way of the dodo in two years' time, maybe then people can start rolling their eyes and talking about hwo self-interested Vince is. Until then, cut the company a little slack, because constantly moaning and calling McMahon and his minions selfish sure ain't gonna push 'em to do more stuff like this.



To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires, and lights, in a box.-Edward R. Murrow
rv581
Goetta








Since: 2.12.02

Since last post: 1295 days
Last activity: 465 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.78
    Originally posted by Brian P. Dermody
    Even if it actually is the right thing for the wrong reasons, it's the right thing.


Ditto. But it DOES open Vince up to the whole "slippery-slope" argument:

1. If he'll pay for alcohol / drug rehab for past employees who've abused pain-killers & booze... then what about paying for medical rehab and hospital treatment for past employees who suffer from medical problems stemming from years of steroid / HGH abuse? Couldn't you argue that Vince has indirectly profited from YEARS of steroid / HGH abuse by his talent?

2. What about rehab and health care for past employees who suffer from on-going health problems stemming from the brutality of WWE-sanctioned matches -- i.e. getting bashed in the head with steel chairs, needing hip replacements, concussion-related impairments, etc. -- in the years that follow their tenure with his company?




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BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 7 hours
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.31
I wonder how many people actually take him up on this offer? I can't imagine it would be a whole lot.
Tribal Prophet
Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 5 hours
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.36
    Originally posted by Chumpstain
    Hopefully they'll eat a slice of humble pie and get themselves looked at, and then we won't have monthly "Who died now?" stories.


The stories will keep coming. Once the damage is done to your system, your lifespan is shortened. It's not a bell you can un-ring that much. It might stop a few of the OD stories, but the ones of a guy's heart exploding from decades of drug use will still be there.

And I don't think people should be saying "Vince is evil and is only doing this because he has to". But it's equally naive to look at this and say "He's doing this because he's a great guy". Were it not for the incredible amount of bad publicity he will get in the next 10 years when more wrestlers die (is there any doubt that Brian Adams only got mainstream coverage because Benoit made McMahon a major media target?) he wouldn't be doing this. What happens in ten years when we get stories like Edge or Matt Hardy showing up? They made this wellness policy to look like they were looking after the lives of their employees, and I'm glad that the fear of congressional action has them actually taking steps to do it now, especially such a strong one as this.

What makes me glad though is instead of putting up the walls and basically saying "We fired that guy 3 weeks ago, so he wasn't under contract when he died from all the shit he did while working for us" someone with some sense got through to them that they have to start making more gestures that will hopefully improve the lives of people working (or who have worked) for them if they're looking to not be painted as pure evil from now on.


Tribal Prophet
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I've been watching for 15 years, and I'm sorry, I know there are already a few threads about this, but WWE is so sissified, it isn't funny. All the men I watched for years, from Poffo to Monsoon to Savage to Vader to HHH, to Hart.
- Ringmistress, WWE?! F-NO! (2002)
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