Monday – Part 1, Dr. George Zahorian
Tuesday – Part 2, 1992 Drug and Sex Scandals
Wednesday – Part 3, 1994 Drug Trial
Thursday – Part 4, The Defense Lawyer, the “Fixer,” and the Playboy Model
Friday – Part 5, Aftermath
TODAY – Part 6, Waxman Committee Interview
Sunday – Part 7, Conclusion
Following the June 2007 double-murder/suicide of World Wrestling Entertainment star wrestler Chris Benoit, two committees of the U.S. House of Representatives explored holding public hearings on the health and safety standards of the professional wrestling industry.
One was the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, then headed by Henry Waxman of California. Late in the year committee staff investigators interviewed Vince and Linda McMahon and other WWE officials, including contract administrators and doctors of the company’s talent wellness policy. This program – the third and most recent regime of the drug-testing of wrestlers of WWE and its predecessor WWF – had been instituted after another star wrestler, Eddie Guerrero, died suddenly in November 2005.
The transcripts of the Waxman Committee interviews, and even their existence, would not be released publicly until January 2009 – long after the calls for hearings on pro wrestling had died down. (There have been no such hearings by either that committee or the other that had expressed interest: the House Energy Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, chaired by Bobby Rush of Illinois.)
Vince McMahon’s interview with the Waxman staff took place on December 14, 2007.
When McMahon was told that anonymous sources had advised the committee that WWE’s “business model” relied on the talent’s use of “steroids or illegal drugs,” McMahon’s lawyer, Jerry McDevitt, interjected: “Vince, don’t even take these baits. You don’t have to answer those kind of questions.”
McMahon also was asked if he, himself, were subject to the wellness policy. McMahon replied that he was not. He explained that he performed inside the ring only a few times a year. Besides, he added, “I’m 62 [years old], not 26.”
McMahon then was asked if he had taken steroids since his 1992 admission after the Dr. George Zahorian trial.
Calling the question unfair and “bullshit,” McDevitt objected. “I’m not going to allow you to harass this man,” he said.
McMahon confirmed to the committee: “I’m refusing to answer the question.”
NEXT: Part 7, Conclusion