[posted 8/26/10 to http://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com]
Well ahead of the journalistic pack, B.J. Bethel of the Dayton Daily News penned a column headlined “Ex-CEO of shady WWE enters world of politics.” The piece was praised here on August 16 (“Ohio Columnist Cuts to the Chase on Linda McMahon, While National Media Fiddle,” http://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/ohio-columnist-cuts-to-the-chase-on-linda-mcmahon-while-national-media-fiddle/), but I believe the link there to Bethel’s own words is no longer live.
Bethel told me his piece was prompted by having read another one by Mike Benoit several months earlier in the Hartford Courant. Bethel said Benoit’s comment “about the McMahons’ broken promises in regard to blows to the head was unsurprising given my experience in talking with her former employees. That the company would only stop the practice when McMahon declared for the race is typical of the family.”
Bethel added that he met Chris Benoit in the early 2000s when he was rehabbing from neck surgery in Cincinnati. “I was quite taken with his affable demeanor and his way of helping out other wrestlers. Many of the contracted WWE talent ignored the wrestlers who were there paying to go to Les Thatcher’s wrestling school, and had little hopes of stardom. These guys weren’t big, muscled dudes and were only there for their love of the sport. I remember coming into the building one night and spotted Chris working with this group of guys and it struck a chord with me. It was one of my favorite memories of covering the business.”