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The Figure Four - ALL Things ECW-WWF-NJPW-TNA-ROH-AEW

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I used to watch Wrestling during the 80's - some of the storylines were entertaining, especially when it was stuff such as "Sgt. Slaughter vs. the Iron Sheik," and I used to like the British Bulldogs, since they seemed so business like. But I was a teen-ager.

Especially after watching MMA, pro-wrestling just seems a little silly. And I don't mean this as a bust on wrestling fans; to each their own.

But it is pretty brutal the amount of work these folks put into their business, and for that, I respect them.

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Chris Benoit mystery editor confesses: claims "terrible coincidence"

"I feel incredibly bad for all the attention this got because of the fact that what I said turned out to be the truth. Like I said it was just a major coincidence, and I will never vandalize anything on wikipedia or post wrongful information. I've learned from this experience. I just can't believe what I wrote was actually the case, I've remained stunned and saddened over it..."

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Chris_Benoit_mystery_editor_confesses:_Claims_%22terrible_coincidence%22

... Hey everyone. I am here to talk about the wikipedia comment that was left by myself. I just want to say that it was an incredible coincidence. Last weekend, I had heard about Chris Benoit no showing Vengeance because of a family emergency, and I had heard rumors about why that was. I was reading rumors and speculation about this matter online, and one of them included that his wife may have passed away, and I did the wrong thing by posting it on wikipedia to spite there being no evidence. I posted my speculation on the situation at the time and I am deeply sorry about this, and I was just as shocked as everyone when I heard that this actually would happen in real life. It is one of those things that just turned into a huge coincidence. That night I found out that what I posted, ended up actually happening, a 1 in 10,000 chance of happening, or so I thought. I was beyond wrong for posting wrongful information, and I am sorry to everyone for this. I just want everyone to know it was stupid of me, and I will never do anything like this again. I just posted something that was at that time a piece of wrong unsourced information that is typical on wikipedia, as it is done all the time.

Nonetheless, I feel incredibly bad for all the attention this got because of the fact that what I said turned out to be the truth. Like I said it was just a major coincidence, and I will never vandalize anything on wikipedia or post wrongful information. I've learned from this experience. I just can't believe what I wrote was actually the case, I've remained stunned and saddened over it.

I wish not to reveal my identity so I can keep me and my family out of this since they have nothing to do with anything. I am not connected to WWE or Benoit at all in anyway. I am from Stamford as the IP address shows, and I am just an everyday individual who posted a wrongful remark at the time that received so much attention because it turned out to actually happen. I will say again I didn't know anything about the Benoit tragedy, it was a terrible coincidence that I never saw coming.

I hope this puts an end to this speculation that someone knew about the tragedy before it was discovered. It was just a rumor that I had heard about from other people online who were speculating what the family emergency Chris was attending to. I made a big mistake by posting this comment on his page, since all we had were what we thought was going on and nothing about what actually was going on yet, and sadly what happened turned out to be my speculation at the time. I assumed wiki would edit out my information, which they did, so thats why I didn't go back to edit it out myself.

I know I keep repeating it but I feel terrible about the mainstream coverage this has received, since it was only a huge coincidence and a terrible event that should of never happened. I am not sure how to react, as hearing about my message becoming a huge part of the Benoit slayings made me feel terrible as everyone believes that it is connected to the tragedy, but it was just an awful coincidence. That is all I have to say, I will never post anything here again unless it is pure fact, no spam nothing like that. Thank you, and let this end this chapter of the Benoit story, and hopefully one day we will find out why this tragedy ever actually happened.

...

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And people say Wikipedia isn't reliable.
It sounds like this is more like a "blind squirrel finds a nut" kind of situation. With people posting unconfirmed rumors on wikipedia all the time, one of them was bound to be right eventually.

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There is plenty of money in the WWE. Much more than just lifting weights and training.

The kid in the wheelchair was about two years ago. I wouldn't even know where to look for it. I think he even had a match against McMahon the following week. I remeber my roomate calling me in so I could "check this out". I shook my head, told him he should be ashamed of himself and going back to play the bass in my room.

My point is, this is what they do. The "povich/springer" style dramatics and the pressure are known when they get into it. I don't care if it has nothing to do with money and they just want to wear little shorts on national TV. Nobody forces you to be a professional wrestler.

The kid was in the make a wish foundation. He always wanted to wrestle for WWE and then lost his leg. Eventually MCMahon found out about this and they signed him on for like a month or two. The kid was a wrestler. He was able to do moonsaults and such. That was this kid's dream.

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My old roomate used to make me watch this crap. They pulled a handicapped kid out of the stands and beat the hell out of him. So disrespectful and shameless, but the crow loves it. The more Springer-ish it ges, the more they eat it up. All of these wrestlers who have died, knew what was going on. They went for the money and accepted the pressure, they didn't make it. I'm sure when one dies, there are 10 more behind them who see it as a job opertunity.

Poor professional wrestlers, boo hoo.

I believe that you are talking about Zach Gowan. Most of the fans in the crowd that night recognized him from his previous ring work and went crazy when he suddenly showed up in the WWE. Not all wrestling fans aren't the barbaric, blood-thristy heathens you make them out to be with your post.

By the way, how's the view from up there?

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Its sad that not only you took the time to post this, but your thought process came up with it.

It's sad that this guy had to butcher his wife and son. An off-color joke at this piece of human garbage's expense is fine with me.

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Are they doing a brain scan to look into possible brain damage?

The coroner said his brain was mush because it sat in 90+ degree heat for almost a whole day, Nowinski pushing for it though he looked at andre Waters brain after his death.

Just reading a bunch of random things on 24wrestling.com and something ironic caught me, Bret Hart is pretty much trying to tow the politically correct line while still trying to feel compasion for his longtime friends situation. His brother Bruce hart called Benoit a "juiced up maniac" don't know what to think except out of all the Harts and their disciples Bruce never made it big because he stayed home in Calgary to keep his dad's Stampede Wrestling running. Chris will be buried in Canada and Nancy and daniel in Florida, Nancy's parents never knew Daniel had fragile X syndrome and they had almost daily contact with him. Lastly a detective said this thing is so freaky that they should still be thinking outside the box hinting at a triple homicide( i doubt this is possible with the revelation that there were 10 empty beer can's and an empty bottle of wine in the weight room next to wear they found Chris. I wonder what his BAC will be when they release his toxicology report.

On a lighter note how about the 1 hour TNA 3-way on Thursday, pretty good match. Although every time I see Angle now he looks like he's a mess, after this Benoit tragedy I'm kinda worried about him.

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TNA's 3 way match was nice, I actually think angle just looks like its all taken his toll on him, did you notice that all three wrestlers, Angle,Christian and Rhyno were close to Benoit in some way.

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TNA's 3 way match was nice, I actually think angle just looks like its all taken his toll on him, did you notice that all three wrestlers, Angle,Christian and Rhyno were close to Benoit in some way.

Another freaky coincidence, I was surprised that the Smackdown taping went so well the guy's except Chavo looked fine, then again they worked after Owen's death and the same night as eddie's, I guess the schedule and the road make these guy's hardened to emotion. Chavo kept playing his heel role throughout though and kept mocking the fan's to get them to cheer for him.

I also have my biggest tool in wrestling since "The Maulky Brothers" Funaki, dudes trunks have a SmackDown logo.

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TNA's 3 way match was nice, I actually think angle just looks like its all taken his toll on him, did you notice that all three wrestlers, Angle,Christian and Rhyno were close to Benoit in some way.

this show was taped last Monday night the week before Benoit died but yes they were connected in some way

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There is plenty of money in the WWE. Much more than just lifting weights and training.

The kid in the wheelchair was about two years ago. I wouldn't even know where to look for it. I think he even had a match against McMahon the following week. I remeber my roomate calling me in so I could "check this out". I shook my head, told him he should be ashamed of himself and going back to play the bass in my room.

My point is, this is what they do. The "povich/springer" style dramatics and the pressure are known when they get into it. I don't care if it has nothing to do with money and they just want to wear little shorts on national TV. Nobody forces you to be a professional wrestler.

Spoken like someone who has zero clue about anything to do with the WWE and/or professional wrestling. Big surprise there's been no response to the people that have corrected this view.
I'll take a different view of this.

Look at the type of people who become pro wrestlers in the first place. These are guys who typically live in a gym and want to bulk up to be as big as possible. Then they join pro-wrestling schools and learn how to basically beat the crap out of each other without getting too hurt. They know going into it they will have to be as big and buff as possible, but that's perfectly fine with them because they are gym rats to begin with.

I think people have the cause and effect backwards on people. The people who become pro wrestlers are a little bit different people to begin with.

Not true at all. A lot of wrestlers have football/wrestling backgrounds, either all throughout high school or even in college. The Rock played at Miami until he got hurt, and Ron Simmons was one of the best defensive linemen of all time at Florida State, which says a lot. Goldberg played in the NFL, and Stone Cold Steve Austin also has college football experience. Most of these guys are athletes at something first, then gym rats second.

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Wonder what's gonna be on RAW tonight...

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Tonight they'll just pretend nothing happened. They are probably still working on new storylines.

More Cena stuff I'm sure.

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http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2003560001-2007300340,00.html

WRESTLER Chris Benoit murdered his seven-year-old son with his WWE finishing move, police have said.

Cops in Georgia are speculating that Benoit, 40, ended Daniel's life with a version of the Crippler Crossface hold the morning after strangling his wife Nancy, 43, to death. Later that day Benoit committed suicide.

The Crippler Crossface was a move Benoit used in almost all his wrestling matches, including when he beat Triple H for the heavyweight title at WrestleMania XX.

Police were originally confused by bruising on the young lad that wouldn't have been there had he been strangled.

Then an officer watched a wrestling tape, quickly realising that the marks on Daniel's body matched the application of a version the Crossface.

The version Chris used in WWE rings involved him placing an arm of a floored opponent between his legs before locking his hands around their face and pulling back to stretch their neck.

:doh:

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Someone on another forum said he heard a rumor that, and I'm not making this up, Benoit killed his wife and son via the Crossface. Man, this is just bizarre.
I would bet all of my money that this is not the case....

And this is why you shouldn't gamble.

WRESTLER Chris Benoit murdered his seven-year-old son with his WWE finishing move, police have said.

Cops in Georgia are speculating that Benoit, 40, ended Daniel's life with a version of the Crippler Crossface hold the morning after strangling his wife Nancy, 43, to death. Later that day Benoit committed suicide.

That is just unreal. I can't even fathom this.

The media is going to go nuts now, Pro Wrestling is going to be in the spotlight for a little bit longer, I think.....

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One thing I never understood, was how the Crossface could actually hurt someone. How exactly did it hurt the neck?

Oh, and as for the above item, :wtf:

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Wrestling can leave lives on the ropes

Lex Luger tumbles from fame and fortune, but still counts his blessings

By BILL TORPY

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 07/01/07

Lex Luger doesn't mince words when asked about pro wrestling's appeal.

"People like to see freaks," said the former Lawrence Pfohl. "It's like live cartoon characters."

animalistic sex appeal. It's what his public wanted and he gave it to them in steroid-fueled, larger-than-life doses as "The Total Package," a man who borrowed his name — sort of — from Superman's arch-enemy.

But the freak show that became Luger's life nearly killed him. The man who made millions, flew in private jets and lived in mansions is now dead broke, sleeps on a used bed and keeps his clothes in neat piles on the floor.

Luger is a pro wrestling casualty, although he considers himself lucky. He recently turned 49, an age many of his friends in the business will never see.

The latest in that growing toll was Chris Benoit, the "Canadian Crippler." The 40-year-old Fayette County resident apparently strangled his wife, choked his 7-year-old son to death and placed Bibles by their bodies before hanging himself by hitching a weight machine's cable to his neck and letting drop 240 pounds.

The Benoit family's tragic end once again exposed the sordid underbelly of professional wrestling.

Luger hadn't seen Benoit in several years but believes his old friend was in a "dark place" due, in part, to the frenetic pressures of the life and many years of drugs he took to build himself up and to keep the pain at bay. Authorities found steroids in Benoit's home and are investigating whether "roid rage," an explosive fit of aggression traced to steroid abuse, had anything to do with the deaths.

Benoit is one of many who have died early.

Keith Pinckard, a medical examiner in Dallas, started logging the deaths of pro wrestlers and ex-wrestlers after his office performed an autopsy on one killed in an accident.

"It seemed bizarre," said Pinckard, "there seemed to be a lot of deaths."

There were. He found nearly 70 who died early going back nearly 20 years. It was a rate at least seven times the rate of the general population, he calculated. The causes of deaths fell in common themes: drug overdoses and heart attacks were most common, followed by suicide and "natural causes."

Vince McMahon, owner of the World Wrestling Entertainment, the federation for which Benoit and Luger wrestled, has said the organization has instituted drug testing in response to such allegations of abuse.

"The last test that Chris Benoit took of a random nature was in April which he was totally negative," McMahon said on NBC's "Today" morning program. "That doesn't mean that he wasn't taking prescription medication and perhaps even steroids when this happened. We don't know."

Wrestling's casualties

"Ravishing Rick Rude" died in 1999 after being found unconscious in his Alpharetta home with empty prescription bottles near his bed. The death of the 40-year-old (his legal name was Rood) was ruled a heart attack. He suffered a neck injury years earlier that virtually ended his career.

In "Rude's" obituary, wrestler Curt Hennig, "Mr. Perfect," memorialized his lifelong friend as a performer who gave fans what they wanted.

Four years later, Hennig, 44, was found dead in a hotel, Authorities ruled it cocaine intoxication.

In an obit for Hennig, Atlanta area wrestler Ray "Big Boss Man" Traylor Jr. noted the mounting loss of his closest friends. "It used to be me, him and Rick Rude together," Traylor said. "And then Rick died."

A year later, "Big Boss Man" died of a heart attack.

The pressures on wrestlers to perform night after night grew as the business got more lucrative as federations such as McMahon's WWE went international.

But as wrestling exploded in reach, smaller regional circuits that gave more wrestlers a living dried up.

Atlanta resident Gary Juster, a former wrestling promoter, said the old circuits needed wrestlers, men who added a shtick to their act, but were athletes first and foremost.

Then, about 25 years ago, the sport changed. "The look of a typical wrestler changed," Juster said. "It changed from wrestler to bodybuilder, that chiseled look. There wasn't as much passion for the craft."

As "The Look" became more important, steroids became more popular. "Guys did whatever they had to do to get ahead," Juster said.

The pressure increased as jobs became fewer and more lucrative, said former wrestler Rick Steiner.

"Now there's pay-per-view every week and TV every night. There's the added pressure to look good and there's 100 guys wanting what you have, so a lot of guys take the easy way out," said Steiner, who is a real estate agent and school board member in Cherokee County. "You got to be ready to go every day — and if not, there's a lot of guys ready to step in for you in a heartbeat.

"Some guys sell their souls to be on TV," said Steiner, who came up in the business with Benoit in the mid-1980s.

Steiner said he took "every supplement I could" coming up. "It wasn't a controlled substance then." But Steiner stopped. "The benefits vs. my long-term goals went different ways."

He retired several years ago when his body started aching and he was asked to go back on the road 20 days a month. It was a scary moment. "There's no pension, it's what you save, " he said. "It's over and that's it. Once you are in the limelight and get a taste of the crowd, [some wrestlers] can't let it go. A lot of guys have trouble making that transition."

As is Lex Luger.

Seeking stability

Luger, a Buffalo native, banged around in the Canadian Football League and the United States Football League as an offensive lineman before trying his hand in a Florida wrestling circuit.

Luger still looks good as he sits behind a desk at Western Hills Baptist Church in Kennesaw. His face is tanned and heavily creased, the body lean and his biceps still resemble bowling balls.

But when he gets up to walk, he hobbles like he's 80. He has put in for hip surgery with Social Security.

Luger was as big as they came in the 1990s and rolled through millions of dollars, he said.

Life on the circuit was exciting and exhausting. Some years he was on the road 300 days a year. There were 5 a.m. flights, daytime gym work, shows at night, parties in some hotel or penthouse.

And then repeat again and again.

He needed help to keep up with the pace.

"Steroids were there as a shortcut to get size," he said. And then there's the pain from the never-ending body slams and pile drivers. "You start with a painkiller for bumps and bruises. And then you need more. It's never enough."

Those on the circuit were a family, "a dysfunctional family" he said. Everyone wants a piece of a superstar. "There's a lot of leeches, losers, cruisers and abusers."

"I found no matter how hard you chase it, it's never quite enough," he said. "Money makes you more comfortable being miserable."

Luger's fall was hard and quick. He got divorced and in 2003 he made an early morning call to Cobb County 911 saying his girlfriend, Elizabeth Hulette, known on the wrestling circuit as Miss Elizabeth, had passed out.

She was taken to Kennestone Hospital, where she died. The autopsy showed a mix of alcohol, painkillers and tranquilizers in her system.

He was arrested for possessing three kinds of steroids found in the home. Later, he got a DUI. "My life had fallen apart and I still didn't get it," he said.

A judge sentenced him to probation and revoked it in late 2005 when he went to Canada for a work appearance without court approval. An arrest and two strip searches later, the former Total Package was back in Cobb County Jail.

Luger credits Steve Baskin, the pastor of Western Hills Baptist, with pulling him from a terminal tailspin. The jail chaplain met Luger in early 2006 and sensed the former wrestler was spiritually wounded.

"Here's a guy who would have died or gone to prison," said Baskin. "He didn't have the skills to negotiate through his probation." Baskin said Luger had never learned to think for himself well enough to handle "regular" life experiences.

After Luger was freed, Baskin's friends — Doc Frady, pastor of Clarkdale First Baptist, and his wife, Jan — invited Luger to their home for a birthday party.

Luger learned the couple had been married 54 years and had lived in the same house for much of that time.

"It brought tears to my eyes," Luger recalls. "I didn't even know people like that existed anymore."

Luger lives in a spare bedroom in Baskin's apartment and is trying to figure out a path in life.

He'd like to help counsel those in trouble. Or maybe be a fitness coach. He even said he'd take clients out to the supermarket and show them what to buy. He's eager. He's uncertain. To him, regular life is a new business.

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Tonight they'll just pretend nothing happened. They are probably still working on new storylines.

More Cena stuff I'm sure.

Oddly enough I plan on doing the same and pass up this week's show. :D

I'll skim the tivo of it tomorrow :)

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One thing I never understood, was how the Crossface could actually hurt someone. How exactly did it hurt the neck?

Oh, and as for the above item, :wtf:

I'm sitting here thinking the exact same thing. It could hurt the neck because of the uncomfortable position you have to remain in but it's mainly a hold that would hurt the back or maybe the shoulder. Eh, I don't know if I buy that. This story just gets worse and worse.

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I'm sitting here thinking the exact same thing. It could hurt the neck because of the uncomfortable position you have to remain in but it's mainly a hold that would hurt the back or maybe the shoulder. Eh, I don't know if I buy that. This story just gets worse and worse.

Believe me when done for real, it hurts your neck. I've applied the crossface to my brothers and dad and they've applied it to me. It hurts like hell just doing it half strength. The way it is normally applied would not choke someone out, but if done with full force could easily break someones neck. It hurts from the neck to the shoulders all the way down the spine, quite an effective move.

The only way I would believe that he could choke him with this is if his hand were place over the throat rather that just under the chin, but I have only seen it applied under the chin, over the mouth, and by the forehead. If done on the neck it really wouldn't technically be a crossface as it wouldn't put pressure on the back of the neck, which is the key of the submission.

Hands under chin(or at least close)

benoit07.jpg

Here it is hand placed over mouth

1545331.jpg

And this one is closer to the forehead

1021041-L.jpg

There is however the modified crossface which would still has the same basic elements only having the move applied more towards the throat, but for a small boy the move would be extremely hard to apply.

modified-crossface.jpg.w300h232.jpg

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Wrestling can leave lives on the ropes

Lex Luger tumbles from fame and fortune, but still counts his blessings

Seeking stability

Luger, a Buffalo native, banged around in the Canadian Football League and the United States Football League as an offensive lineman before trying his hand in a Florida wrestling circuit.

Luger still looks good as he sits behind a desk at Western Hills Baptist Church in Kennesaw. His face is tanned and heavily creased, the body lean and his biceps still resemble bowling balls.

But when he gets up to walk, he hobbles like he's 80. He has put in for hip surgery with Social Security.

Luger was as big as they came in the 1990s and rolled through millions of dollars, he said.

Life on the circuit was exciting and exhausting. Some years he was on the road 300 days a year. There were 5 a.m. flights, daytime gym work, shows at night, parties in some hotel or penthouse.

And then repeat again and again.

He needed help to keep up with the pace.

"Steroids were there as a shortcut to get size," he said. And then there's the pain from the never-ending body slams and pile drivers. "You start with a painkiller for bumps and bruises. And then you need more. It's never enough."

Those on the circuit were a family, "a dysfunctional family" he said. Everyone wants a piece of a superstar. "There's a lot of leeches, losers, cruisers and abusers."

"I found no matter how hard you chase it, it's never quite enough," he said. "Money makes you more comfortable being miserable."

Luger's fall was hard and quick. He got divorced and in 2003 he made an early morning call to Cobb County 911 saying his girlfriend, Elizabeth Hulette, known on the wrestling circuit as Miss Elizabeth, had passed out.

She was taken to Kennestone Hospital, where she died. The autopsy showed a mix of alcohol, painkillers and tranquilizers in her system.

He was arrested for possessing three kinds of steroids found in the home. Later, he got a DUI. "My life had fallen apart and I still didn't get it," he said.

A judge sentenced him to probation and revoked it in late 2005 when he went to Canada for a work appearance without court approval. An arrest and two strip searches later, the former Total Package was back in Cobb County Jail.

Luger credits Steve Baskin, the pastor of Western Hills Baptist, with pulling him from a terminal tailspin. The jail chaplain met Luger in early 2006 and sensed the former wrestler was spiritually wounded.

"Here's a guy who would have died or gone to prison," said Baskin. "He didn't have the skills to negotiate through his probation." Baskin said Luger had never learned to think for himself well enough to handle "regular" life experiences.

After Luger was freed, Baskin's friends — Doc Frady, pastor of Clarkdale First Baptist, and his wife, Jan — invited Luger to their home for a birthday party.

Luger learned the couple had been married 54 years and had lived in the same house for much of that time.

"It brought tears to my eyes," Luger recalls. "I didn't even know people like that existed anymore."

Luger lives in a spare bedroom in Baskin's apartment and is trying to figure out a path in life.

He'd like to help counsel those in trouble. Or maybe be a fitness coach. He even said he'd take clients out to the supermarket and show them what to buy. He's eager. He's uncertain. To him, regular life is a new business.

Good article. Thanks. :)

I was going to post something similar to part of it from another forum.

Ravishing Rick Rude — Died at 40 of an apparent heart attack in 1999, a bottle of prescription pills for his bad back at his side. The autopsy report said he died of "mixed medications." Rude was an admitted user of anabolic steroids.

Louis Mucciolo, a.k.a, Louie Spicolli — Died in 1998 at age 27 when he suffocated on his own vomit after ingesting massive amounts of Soma and alcohol. Investigators also found an empty vial of testosterone, pain pills and an anti-anxiety drug at the scene.

Brian Pillman — An admitted user of steroids, he died of a heart attack at age 35 in 1997 on the morning of WWF's In Your House: Badd Blood pay-per-view event.

Rick "the Renegade" Williams — Died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at age 33 after being released from his World Championship Wrestling contract in 1999.

"Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig — Found dead of a cocaine overdose at age 44 in his motel room on April 10, 2003, the morning of a match. Hennig's father maintained that steroids and painkillers contributed to his death.

Rodney "Yokozuna" Anoa'i — Died of a heart attack in 2002 at 34.

Davey Boy Smith, "The British Bulldog" — Died of a heart attack at age 39 on May 17, 2002. An autopsy report indicated that past steroid use had likely played a part in his death.

Michael "Road Warrior Hawk" Hegstrand — An admitted steroid user, he died of a heart attack at age 46 in 2003.

Michael Lockwood, "Crash Holly" — In 2003, at the age of 32, he choked to death on his own vomit after ingesting 90 painkiller pills.

Jerry Tuite, "The Wall" a.k.a. "Malice" — Died at age 36 in 2003 of an apparent heart attack in his hotel room.

Raymond "Hercules" Hernandez — Dead of heart failure in 2004 at age 47.

Ray "The Big Boss Man" Traylor — Found dead of a heart attack in 2004 at age 42.

Eddie Guerrero — After a long battle with painkillers, he was found dead of a heart attack by his nephew in his hotel room at age 38. The first person his nephew reportedly called was Guerrero's best friend, Chris Benoit.

Chris Candido — Died in 2005 at age 33 from a blood clot after breaking his tibia and fibula and dislocating his ankle in a pay-per-view event.

Owen Hart — Fell to his death at age 34 in 1999 when the rigging that was lowering him into the ring malfunctioned.

And then there's the story of the Von Erich wrestling family.

Wrestling patriarch Fritz Von Erich, nee Jack Adkisson, had five wrestling sons: Kevin, David, Kerry, Mike and Chris.

David died in a hotel room in Tokyo at the age of 25 in 1984 just as he was embarking on a three-week pro wrestling tour of Japan. The official cause of death was acute enteritis, severe inflammation of the intestines.

Three years later, Mike committed suicide by overdosing on the tranquilizer Placidyl at the age of 23. After David's death, Mike had suffered a series of setbacks including a serious shoulder injury that had left him severely depressed.

Devastated by the deaths of his older brothers and frustrated by his own limitations as a wrestler, the youngest and smallest brother, Chris, shot himself to death at the age of 21 in 1991.

Two years later, Kerry, who had battled a long addiction to painkillers, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 33, leaving eldest brother Kevin as the only survivor of the sport that had defined his family.

And now Chris Benoit, his wife and son have been added to the long, unbearably sad list of victims claimed, in part, by the brutal chemical calculus that is professional wrestling.

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So far the only confirmed match for RAW is Santino Marella vs. Umaga. Meh, at least that means we'll likely see Maria :drool:

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