As many of you know by now, the wrestling world lost Umaga (Eddie Fatu) yesterday, Dec. 4, 2009. It was quite a shame, too, as Fatu was probably the best wrestler ever at his size.
Over 300 lbs, he could fly around the ring like a guy half his size. He was amazing to watch, in my opinion, and will be missed.
However, as I said when I reported the news on Fatu yesterday, the death is believed to have been caused by prescription drugs. Now, no one is clear on that of course, and until the autopsy comes back in a few weeks, I can't confirm that either.
But we all know Fatu had a drug problem. He was suspended twice by the WWE after failing a wellness test that they instituted around the time Eddie Guerrero passed away. After he failed his second test, he was offered two choices:
- Go to Rehab
- Decide against rehab, and be released
Fatu chose the release, which is sad to see. It is believed that he had a prescription pain pill addiction and was using them a lot more around the time he failed his second test mainly because he just got back from a leg injury, of which he had surgery and missed significant time away from the ring.
Like a lot of people, Fatu had trouble getting off of the pain pills after his surgery. It is not unheard of for a person to be on pain killers given to them by doctors and then have trouble getting off of them afterward.
In fact, I know a few people who had the same issue. It was believed that Fatu was getting away from pain pills as of late and rarely used them according to those close. He probably thought that going to rehab when the WWE asked him to would hurt him more than help him.
He was said to have had more issues than just a pain pill addiction, and that could be why the WWE wanted him to go into rehab.
He thought he could get off of the pills on his own which is why he decided against it, and as I said before, it was believed that he did get clean.
Of course, no one can keep an eye on him 24/7, not even his wife. So, he could have shown people that he was okay, but away from them he was abusing drugs.
People such as Jeff Hardy were offered rehab and decided against it as well. Hardy, like Fatu, was released as a result of that. Hardy has been known to have had a drug issue, this much is documented.
He went to TNA, where they could really care less about their wrestler's health as long as they are making them money, and wrestled there for a while.
He made his way back to the WWE after his run in TNA, and just when we thought Hardy was doing alright, he gets suspended right before Wrestlemania. And because he was going to be a part of the Money in the Bank Ladder match that year, the WWE took him out of it and he missed the show.
Hardy came back in the summer of that year, and vowed that he made a mistake and it wouldn't happen again. It seemed for a while that he lived up to his word. It seemed that, before he left the WWE a few months ago, he was finally clean and people didn't need to worry.
Then, all the sudden we hear of him getting into drug trafficking charges, of which many believe he was not selling, but using the drugs he had.
Another example is Hardcore Holly, who also had a drug issue, but unlike Fatu and Hardy he decided to go into rehab when the WWE offered it to him.
This is why he left the WWE all of a sudden and his partner Cody Rhodes became the new tag champs with Ted DiBiase.
Holly never really returned, as he left rehab early and it was thought he still wasn't clean. The WWE released him, which was sad to see.
The fact is that rehab was needed for all the above, and they needed to stay there until they were clean. Sure, a former drug addict could always go back to using again, but when a person goes to rehab, a lot of the time they manage to stay clean because they learn how to do so.
Rey Mysterio came out recently and said that he was going into rehab for his pain killer addiction. He said that he had has so many surgeries and injuries, and on top of that, he has to wrestle four to five times a week on the same places he hurt before.
Pain killers were needed for him to even move half the time he said. So it is understandable that he used them, but he said that he abused them a lot, too.
He mentioned that he didn't want to end up like his friend Eddie Guerrero, who died as a result of a heart attack that many believed happened because of his past with pain killer abuse.
I say good for Rey Rey; he has a family and wants to be there for them after his career is over and rehab can help him get clean.
Chris Benoit, a man who many in the wrestling world really hate for killing his wife and child then himself, also had a drug problem.
He never failed a drug test in the WWE, and many wondered how it was possible because the autopsy showed both pain killers and steroids in his system.
It was discovered that he had a brain issue, and that caused him to do the things he did. However, it was believed that because he had so many drugs in his system at the time, that the combination of those drugs caused him to do what he did.
The brain issue was caused by drug abuse according to doctors. It may have not been the steroids that caused it alone, because he combined drugs he went nuts one day.
Some think that he could have had thoughts of doing what he did before, but was not around his family at the time to do it when he went through the rage he was in.
Rehab has been wonderful for many people, and it can help wrestlers out a lot, why not go if you get a paid trip by the WWE to do so?
I am so tired of seeing people with such talent go down this road when they really don't have to do so.
We love watching these men and women, and sure, we want to see them do everything they can to entertain us. But if something is too much for them, they need to say so.
Pro-Wrestlers are used to being these big men or women who always do everything themselves, ones who never need help.
They need to get off their high horses and realize that it is not a question of wanting help, it's the fact that they NEED help sometimes.
If all of the other deaths due to drugs didn't get to them before, after Fatu's death wouldn't you think that something has to click?
You can die at any time for drug abuse, or for a past of dealing with it for so long. When you realize things are getting out of control, or notice something is for someone else, ask for help.
It doesn't make you weak to save a life, especially if it's your own.