Linda McMahon Talks Steroids, Stephanie on a Cross, Owen Hart, and More

Matthew HesterSenior Writer IAugust 12, 2010

As we all know by now, Linda McMahon will be running for a seat in the Senate. Needless to say, her past with the WWE has been brought into question.

In one of her first appearances on ABC’s Nightline, McMahon tried to clear the air about her wrestling past.

In the interview they covered a lot of scandalous subjects, to say the least. They talked about steroids, tasteless story lines, and the premature deaths of wrestlers, including one of the most notorious: the death of Owen Hart. It was an interesting interview to say the least.

Here are some of the highlights from the interview.

"I certainly think you could look at the business side of how WWE was run, which was as a conservative company with little debt and strong cash balances," McMahon said.

When asked if she was “creeped out” when McMahon’s daughter walked into the ring as the crowd chanted “slut, slut, slut,” the Republican Senate candidate said, “You have to think about...the WWE as soap operas.”

“It was acting, and WWE is the longest-running weekly episodic program in television. Sure, there are story lines that are better than others,” she said, adding that voters in Connecticut “are not concerned about soap opera story lines.”

WWE was financially successful in large part because the company was able to classify its wrestlers as entertainers rather than athletes, exempting the company from scrutiny from numerous state, regional, and national athletic boards that typically sanction such events.

Lack of athletic board scrutiny also ensured that the WWE’s wrestlers would not be subject to drug tests. Reports of rampant steroid abuse among the company’s performers have plagued the WWE for years.

Asked about the reports of steroid use, McMahon said only, “There is a doctor that travels with each group. There is a nurse with each group. And all of those measures are taken to create an environment to protect the health and wellness of those individuals.”

Additionally, the WWE has also come under scrutiny for a series of violent deaths both inside and outside the ring.

In 1999 WWE wrestler Owen Hart fell to his death during a failed stunt, and in 2007 the WWE’s Chris Benoit killed his wife and son before killing himself in the family’s Atlanta home.

McMahon did not specifically address the Benoit incident when asked about the high rate of death associated with WWE wrestlers, but she did speak to the “tragic” accident that took Hart’s life.

“Of those performers who were under contract to WWE, five of those were premature deaths,” McMahon said, alluding to additional wrestlers who have died early from health issues. “One died of an accident, Owen Hart, a tragic accident we had here. And then we’ve had others who have died of natural causes.”

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