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Tuesday turkey talk: More debate about PRIDE sold or not sold

By Zach Arnold | March 20, 2007

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Greg Savage and Josh Gross on the latest with the UFC/PRIDE rumors. The bottom part of the article is the one that I’ve focused on, which is that unless Zuffa buys DSE Inc. itself it’s going to be very difficult to enforce any of those Japanese fight contracts. Plus, a lot of the top guys are free agents.

ESPN covers the online drug probe and allegations of WWE wrestlers as customers.

Update: Both Yahoo’s USA main page and ESPN’s Outside the Lines program have profiled the steroid allegations against WWE wrestlers this afternoon. Also, on the Jim Rome is Burning ESPN program, Rome covered the WWE allegations as his second top story. He basically mocked Bud Selig and MLB for being associated with a steroid probe in which WWE wrestlers are allegedly linked with baseball players. On Sportscenter, Brian Kenny introduced a PTI Big Finish segment about the allegations of WWE wrestlers purchasing drugs online by saying that while wrestling isn’t a sport, many of its competitors have died very young. Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser basically joked about the story, with the theme being “should we care about wrestlers taking steroids?” Kornheiser compared wrestling to bodybuilding and that everyone is on the sauce. He then made a comparison of this story to someone driving 75 mph in a 45 mph zone. Kornheiser then finished off the segment by saying it was a ‘ridiculous cooked up story’ to mention it on the air. The only thing ridiculous are the double standards and hypocrisies from the American sports media about which people take HGH & steroids in sports and how there should be different moral judgments based on who works in what industry.

For those wondering whether or not the Sports Illustrated report about many high-profile WWE wrestlers allegedly ordering HGH & other performance-enhancing drugs from online stores now target of a major US drug probe would gain steam in the TV media, the answer so far is a mild yes. ESPN2’s Cold Pizza program discussed it in their news section at the top of the second hour of that program. I expect that some other media outlets will touch upon it as well. In our media links section today, Royal Burnell has more opinions on this story. Last week, I wrote about my concerns in regards to whether or not some high-profile MMA athletes could be named publicly. I still think it’s a strong possibility.

  1. Gracie Fighter quotes Jerry Millen, saying that PRIDE hasn’t been sold to Zuffa LLC.
  2. MMA Weekly: Has the UFC finally bought PRIDE?
  3. China Combat: Art of War 5 – March 31st, Beijing
  4. Radio: Eddie Goldman interviews former UFC matchmaker John Perretti
  5. Jake Rossen: The 10 Biggest Mistakes in MMA (and me creating Fight Opinion is not on the list)
  6. Royal Burnell: Guys with roids
  7. The Nanaimo Bulletin (Canada): Toughman competition gets tweaked (surprise – Toughman wants to add MMA fights)
  8. UFC Mania: Nathan Marquardt signs fight with Anderson Silva for UFC 72
  9. ADCC News: What really happened to Gilbert Aldana

Topics: All Topics, Media, MMA, PRIDE, Pro-Wrestling, UFC, WWE, Zach Arnold | 25 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

25 Responses to “Tuesday turkey talk: More debate about PRIDE sold or not sold”

  1. Jonny Mudd says:

    I hope Gary Millen has updated his CV to include talentless asshole. He WILL be looking for new employment very soon.

  2. Euthyphro says:

    Whether Pride is or isn’t sold, I really hope Millen is gone A.S.A.P. You don’t suggest Bas is a drug addict and get away with it.

  3. schtoo says:

    I agree that Millen is a lot of smoke from a small fire, but his shot at Bas is founded in fact, it’s common knowledge in the business that Bas is a very heavy drinker and really likes his weed (God bless Amsterdam!). That doesn’t lessen my respect and affection for Bas or my contempt for Millen, but the truth is the truth. A cheap shot but not inaccurate.

  4. Jonny Mudd says:

    Drugs are for gays. Bas is NOT a gay.

  5. Preach says:

    Well, “Heavy Drinker” is relative. What you americans call a heavy drinker would be more or less normal over here in europe. Especially since we’re used to drinking the real stuff, and not the elk piss you call beer 😉

  6. schtoo says:

    Sorry man, I’m a Canadian…we have real beer here

  7. Euthyphro says:

    Saying someone “has his own personal demons” has a very different connotation from saying he’s a joker/smoker/midnight toker.

  8. chis says:

    The states NOW produce some real good ales.

  9. David says:

    When the Fertittas own Pride, I think they are going to do a pro wrestling style gimmick where Gary Millen is Dana White’s butler.

  10. Royal B. says:


    Millen isn’t British.

  11. Jonny Mudd says:

    He’ll be British if Dana wants him to be British. I say just make him Fedor’s new punch bag. If he doesnt like it, he can quit. And then we can call him a big fat QUITTER! HA! …or dont. I dont mind. I could care less actually. In fact, you can just stop asking me about right now! Quit it!! Seriously now!!!! I DONT CARE!!!!!! AGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Royal B. says:

    And people wonder why the pro-wrestling industry is fucked.

  13. Jonny Mudd says:

    Its not fucked. It will all be fine…wrestling has no respect which in this situation is the very best thing. Other sports have a LOT more to worry about. Not until a promotion removes people for good when they dont show up clean, totally drug free, then wrestling will always be associated with roids etc. And no one should expect any different. I do have sympathy with those guys who DONT touch ‘roids or any other drugs as they are getting tarred with the same brush but thats the industry for ya. Im not so sure though that it will be cleaned up or indeed needs to be. Drugs are a part of society at all levels and while a blank cheque for misuse should not be given, it is very unrealistic to expect 100% clean guys. Constant REAL tests and REAL punishments coupled with REAL attempts by promoters to push guys who are totally drug free. This means smaller guys. Vince will never do that. TNA wont because they dont have a clue.

  14. Royal B. says:

    And it’s the total lack of respect from the US Sports Media that will keep this situation going strong until someone actually puts their foot down and says “Stop!”.

  15. Kev says:

    So, will anyone find out the details from the Fishman suit anytime soon? Zach, go sober up Jeff, will ya?

  16. The Gaijin says:

    In the grand scheme of things: Who gives a rat’s ass if “professional wrestlers” are using steroids. If anything it makes all these legitimate sports look so ridiculous that they’re right up there in the marquee of allegedly guilty parties with the “pro wrestlers” that they’ve gleefully thumbed their noses at for decades.

    It was hardly a secret that “pro wrestlers” generally used performance enhancing drugs. They aren’t exactly taking place in a “legitimate” competition wherein the use of the PED’s would allow them to “win” b/c they were using them – the matches are like tv shows or movies not uncontrolled sporting contests. And “pro wrestlers” are hardly the type of role models and athletes that should be causing a concern as being users of steroids…obviously it would be great if nobody was using these drugs but really, wow, really pro wrestlers caught using steroids….

  17. 45 Huddle says:

    IFL Rating was a .7

    Last week it was a .8

    It should be interesting to see if they even got 1 Million on Network TV.

    That entire network is on it’s way out.

  18. Zach Arnold says:

    In the grand scheme of things: Who gives a rat’s ass if “professional wrestlers” are using steroids. If anything it makes all these legitimate sports look so ridiculous that they’re right up there in the marquee of allegedly guilty parties with the “pro wrestlers” that they’ve gleefully thumbed their noses at for decades.

    Let me refer you to Royal Burnell’s new article from this afternoon addressing why you should care.

    Let me take it a step further. It’s important to understand the ramifications of abuse of performance-enhancers, and what better way to do that than to take a look at pro-wrestling right now. For the last two-plus decades, there have been an alarming rate of guys aged 45 or younger who have dropped dead. When you have sports media acting outraged about people like Barry Bonds allegedly using HGH and other growth drugs, why isn’t there that same level of outrage with pro-wrestlers? It’s placing a moral judgment and a value on the life of a human being based on their profession.

    In 5-10 years, you’re going to start seeing athletes in the ‘big sports’ drop dead from abusing HGH and other drugs. And the sports media will act shocked about it. Yet they’ve had the warning signs of these drugs (by the amount of wrestlers who have died) since the 80s. It’s the media’s downplaying, cynicism, and nonchalant attitude about people dropping dead in wrestling that is continuing this unacceptable behavior to happen in the North American wrestling industry.

    I care about the situation. I don’t need more friends in the wrestling business dropping dead on me.

  19. Royal B. says:

    Who gives a rats ass? I give a rat’s ass!

    If this was a real sports media, they’d be on this like stink to shit. But they’re not.

    I can already see the pattern. Vince will do his little “Wellness Plan” act. Some wrestlers will get suspended, others will get fired and it’ll be hunky dory again and the cycle will start again.

    If the US sports media are really outraged about Steroid abuse, they’d be riding MacMahon’s ass till he was in prison or he keels over himself.

    But they’re not.

    Therefore, they’re a bunch of hypocrites who have nothing to say about the issue. And if they did say something, it will have no value whatsoever.

    That’s why people needs to give a rat’s ass.

  20. The Gaijin says:

    I understand your concerns and apologize b/c I think I came of as having the wrong tone towards the wrestlers.

    I don’t hold them to a lesser standard of regard or respect as human beings or think they aren’t worthy of being protected etc. etc.

    I just felt that they shouldnt be getting “shit all over” in the media b/c they’re not “cheating” and their drug use is not effecting the actual integrity of the sporting competition itself in which they are participating.

    I fully agree that it’s terrible that they’re dying at young ages, but thats not wholly to do with steroids…a lot of them are to do with using illegal party drugs and/or painkillers and/or alcohol.

    In the end what I was saying is that I didn’t feel that grown men who are fully aware of the dangers and side effects (etc etc) involved with using these PED’s and consciously choose to use them don’t need to be involved in such a public witch hunt and mudbath.

    I never meant to offend anyone or say someone like Eddie Guererro’s life was worth less than a Gary Matthews Jr., I apologize if my comments led any of you to believe that in any way.

  21. The Gaijin says:

    I think my main point/thought was:

    Why would the sports media that NEVER really ever considered pro wrestling as a sport, suddenly be OUTRAGED and DISGUSTED when something they never considered to be a sport was discovered to have some of its performers using steroids/PED’s?? It’s really outside their coverage…I’m sure if they’d covered wrestling for years they’d do more than a collective shrug when Eddie died.

    To me this situation is a lot like Sly Stallone getting dinged with HGH…why would the sports media get in a huff if Sly used HGH?!? He’s not what they consider an athlete…what if Brad Pitt or some other actor is caught using steroids?? Should US sports media be up in arms?!?

    This all seems like news that would be covered more extensively in other circles of media.

  22. Will says:

    Is anyone really even remotely surprised to find out about how rampant steroid use in Pro Wrestling is? Everything about it is fake, including the bodies of the participants. If you didn’t think it was as bad as it is then you are in severe denial. I rarely watch wrestling and I know a juicer when I see one. At the end of the day, the participants are making a conscious decision to use. They know the health risks but the money and fame is more important. The reason why it isn’t as big a deal as with other sports is that in wrestling there is no advantage competitively in using them since there is no legitimate physical competition to speak of. Barry Bonds using directly puts him in an unfair position over other players who choose not to use. Conversely, Eugene could steal defeat Batista in a match because only the writers determine the outcome, not the abilities of the participants.

  23. Royal B. says:

    Here’s a question for you guys. Two actually.

    1. If a gymnist was found or dies from excessive juicing, do we ignore it or tackle the subject head on?

    2. If another industry had the death rate pro-wrestling has, wouldn’t Labour be all over it with an investgative party?

  24. The Gaijin says:

    Royal to answer your first question I think it returns to the unfair competitive advantage that this is providing them.

    Honestly if you look at any of the outraged involved with almost any article about a pro athlete juicing, its rarely about the health related complications, but about the fact that they are unfairly giving themselves a competitive advantage over the other athletes. And that is a) taking income away from the other athletes who aren’t cheating (i.e. endorsements, contracts etc.); and b) tainting the integrity of the sport.

    Again I agree that its terrible and unfair…but thats not the reality. Plus I’ve actually read articles on Bonds where he’s admonished for being a liar, cheater, asshole and tarnishing the legacy of the game etc. etc. and then almost vindictively the writer concedes that he’ll “get his” when the side effects take place later in his life.

  25. Luke says:

    Gaijin – We’re not just talking about sports reporters. We’re talking mainstream news outlets in general. Maybe you forgot, but the steroid issue in baseball prompted Congressional hearings, that were front page news. And, not just front page of the sports section news, either.

    As others have already pointed out, if sports reporters were too dumb to read the tea leaves of another industry, thats hardly an excuse to plead ignorance on a topic thats about to start plaguing the two biggest sports in America.

    Will – nobody is surprised. Where in this discussion did someone indicate shock that wrestlers use steroids? Nobody is shocked. Certainly nobody who’s a wrestling fan. And whats truly appalling is mainstream journalists acting shocked that these things are happening now, when they’ve been happening for years, and years. And, they just chose to turn a blind eye to it. Its ridiculous.

    If the fact that wrestling isn’t a legit competition, is the reason why people in media are choosing to ignore the problem, then people in media are even more shallow and morally repulsive than I thought. The fact that some people can’t acknowledge this as a HUMAN HEALTH ISSUE, and, stop seeing this through this ridiculous real vs. fake prism, makes me shake my head.

    It shouldn’t matter whether its a real sport where this activity is happening, or a fake sport. The fact is the activity is unacceptable in BOTH. And, regardless of what real or fake sport the athlete competes in, in the end, the fate of that athlete could be the same. DEATH~! People are dying, and will continue to die at very young ages, due to these abuses, and people here are splitting hairs on whether or not it creates an unfair playing field. Unbelievable.

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