Archive for August, 2010

‘Linda McMahon Picks Up Some More Baggage: Body Bags’ … today at Beyond Chron

“Linda McMahon’s Senate Campaign Picks Up Some More Baggage: Body Bags”

by Irvin Muchnick

Beyond Chron

Story Behind Friend Judy of Linda McMahon’s New Campaign Commercial

Even when Linda McMahon uses a character witness in one of her insipid Senate campaign TV commercials, the choice somehow reflects back on the atrocious occupational health and safety standards at her World Wrestling Entertainment.

Earlier her daughter, Stephanie McMahon Levesque, narrated a commercial with the punch line, “I just call her ‘Mom.’” Stephanie, wife of juicer wrestler Paul “Triple H” Levesque and herself a WWE executive, made seriously misleading statements in 2007 to the staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. See “Did Linda McMahon’s Daughter Commit Perjury in Her Congressional Testimony?”, August 24,

Now along comes Linda’s friend Judy Moorberg to assure the voters of Connecticut that the former CEO of WWE is a wonderful person. “She feels for people,” Judy says in the McMahon commercial, which is embedded in a post on the blog of Hartford Courant columnist Rick Green. See “Linda McMahon, WWE, Judy Moorberg and the U.S. Senate,”

Green reports that Moorberg appears to be the ex-wife of a WWE employee; he links to a 2008 obituary of Robert DeBord, whom she divorced amicably in 1998. The obit notes that DeBord indeed worked for WWE.

Here’s the rest of the story.

On the November 19, 1983, edition of the then-World Wrestling Federation’s syndicated television show, Robert DeBord began a short and undistinguished run as the host of an interview segment called “Victory Corner.” DeBord was the editor of WWF’s Victory magazine, later renamed WWF Magazine.

“Victory Corner” replaced “Buddy Rogers Corner,” which was hosted by the wrestling legend of that name. The reason Buddy Rogers was dropped was that, in a comeback “angle” in a tag match with his protégé Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka (who, incidentally, earlier that year had killed his girlfriend in their Whitehall, Pennsylvania, motel room), the 62-year-old Rogers broke his hip. He was dropped by the McMahons and sued them – perhaps not in that order.

Irv Muchnick

Death Once Again Becomes the Linda McMahon Campaign

There are so many awful things about the way we do elections in this country, but there is at least one good one: the length of campaigns makes it very hard to hide.

On Friday yet another wrestler, “Luna” Vachon, died in Florida at the age of 48.

I have strong and specific suspicions about the relationship of World Wrestling Entertainment occupational health and safety standards with the other untimely deaths of Linda McMahon’s performers during the course of her U.S. Senate campaign in Connecticut. (Gertrude Vachon is No. 3, 4, or 5 – choose your methodology.) I have only very weak ones when it comes to Luna. So I decided to wait 48 hours on reporting the death and see if the quick succession of Lance Cade and Vachon, along with the sheer overall statistics, would promote critical mass in campaign coverage.

The answer to that question is yes. See “Another ex-WWE star found dead; autopsy scheduled,” Neil Vigdor, Connecticut Post,

Though very sorry for Luna Vachon’s family and friends and fans, I do not burn with visceral rage at this one.

I simply observe that for Linda McMahon, it’s a well-earned rough justice.

Moving forward, I don’t think the most important thing to watch is whether McMahon will overcome these black eyes to her image and win the Senate election over Richard Blumenthal.  What I really want to know is whether the next Congress, with or without McMahon, will do its job and resume the investigation of the pro wrestling industry that was started in 2007, but not taken to the finish line.

Irv Muchnick

Great Moments in Email, Part 6

“Burt” at writes: “It’s a shame Vince put your uncle out of business but life goes on.”

My uncle, Sam Muchnick, sold out the St. Louis Arena for his last show on January 1, 1982, and retired, wealthy and happy, at age 76.

Later that year Vincent K. McMahon and his wife Linda bought the wrestling company controlling the Northeast territory from his father, Vincent J. McMahon, and Vince Senior’s partners.

You’re going to have to do better than that, “Burt.”

Irv Muchnick

Strong Piece on Connecticut TV on Linda McMahon vs. Chris Nowinski

On this evening’s WTNH news by chief political correspondent Mark Davis. Video and text at this link:

Linda McMahon’s WWE Talent Contract Death Clause

WRESTLER, on behalf of himself and his heirs, successors, assigns and personal representatives, hereby releases, waives and discharges PROMOTER from all liability to WRESTLER and covenants not to sue PROMOTER for any and all loss or damage on account of injury to any person or property or resulting in serious or permanent injury to WRESTLER or WRESTLER’s death, whether caused by the negligence of the PROMOTER, other wrestlers or otherwise.

– from the contract of former World Wrestling Entertainment performer Chris Klucsarits (“Chris Kanyon”), who committed suicide earlier this year. You can view the whole document at

Here you can view the video of Chris Kanyon taking a frightening steel chair shot to the head from another wrestler, the Undertaker, in the former’s last appearance on WWE television in 2003:

Here you can view the video of Lance Cade, who died earlier this month at 29 from “heart failure,” taking a series of chair shots from Shawn Michaels, beginning with one to the head, on Raw in October 2008:

Irv Muchnick

ABC’s Mike Benoit Interview a Missed Opportunity

The best that can be said about the piece on Chris Benoit on ABC’s Nightline Prime last night was that it added to the general inventory of stories involving occupational health and safety at Senate candidate Linda McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment.

The interview with Mike Benoit, Chris’s father, did not, however, advance the scholarship of research on brain trauma in contact sports and sports entertainment; it was basically a rehash of the things Mike first started saying publicly late in 2007. For example, Nightline reporter Martin Bashir failed to add information about the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy findings on another wrestler, Andrew Martin, who had murdered no one except himself (he OD’d on prescription pharmaceuticals). And never mind the most recent wrestler deaths: Eddie Fatu, Chris Klucsarits, Lance McNaught. Television documentary coverage is just not fast enough on its feet for anything so complex.

Still, the day of accounting for the human toll of WWE’s multinational marketing empire draws nearer, and the McMahon family’s bid for electoral power draws it nearer still.

Irv Muchnick

Author Muchnick’s Interview About Wrestler Lance Cade’s Death and Linda McMahon Campaign Now at YouTube

Irvin Muchnick, author of CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death, was interviewed August 25 on the Colin McEnroe Show on Connecticut Public Radio. The interview, which discusses the recent death of wrestler Lance Cade and its effect on the U.S. Senate candidacy of Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, is now available on YouTube at

Other videos on Muchnick’s YouTube channel,, include:

Irvin Muchnick Confronts Wrestling Legend Bret Hart (CNN’s Nancy Grace, 6/29/07):

Irvin Muchnick Discusses Linda McMahon and Death in Wrestling on WTNH (news report by Mark Davis, 3/23/10):

Irvin Muchnick Discusses Benoit on KRON 4 Evening News 10-4-09 (interview by Gary Radnich):

Irvin Muchnick on French TV’s “L’Effet Papillon” (France’s Canal+ network, 5/25/08; script text translation at ):

Irvin Muchnick on “The O’Reilly Factor” (6/27/07):

Watch Chris Benoit’s Father Tonight on ABC’s ‘Nightline Prime’

A preview at West Virginia Metro News:

Irv Muchnick

Must-Read Blog by Ted Mann of New London Day — Follow-Up to His Story on Lance Cade and Linda McMahon

“More on Lance Cade, McMahon and the fate of wrestlers”

By Ted Mann

Which “Eddie and Chris” was the late Lance Cade referring to in his recent podcast interview? Eddie “Umaga” Fatu and Chris Klutsarits (“Chris Kanyon”). Or Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit?

Mann: “Shocking, isn’t it, that the names ‘Eddie’ and ‘Chris’ can each refer to more than one wrestler who has prematurely died in the last few years?”

Irv Muchnick

Irv’s Tweets

August 2010