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Publication: Wrestling News Today
Hart Calls Benoit A "Delusional Juice Freak"

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                WNT - Wrestling News Today 
                   Monday, July 2, 2007
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Bruce Hart Calls Benoit A "Delusional Juice Freak" 
Story By: Tim Brown
The following is from The Toronto Sun

Chris Benoit was a "delusional juice freak" who chased 
the dark side and had trouble distinguishing between his 
fictional character and reality, says the man who started 
him out in professional wrestling.

"The last time I saw him he was in pretty rough shape 
mentally," said Bruce Hart, son of the legendary Stu Hart. 
"I didn't know all the details but I knew it wasn't good. 
I was not at all shocked (by what happened). 

"If I could see and determine that in a few visits, how the 
hell could they (World Wrestling Entertainment) not have 
known something was wrong? (In my opinion) I think the WWE 
needs to re-evaluate what it is doing here." 

Hart will not simplify the shocking murder of Benoit's wife 
and 7-year-old son or the eventual suicide of the wrestler 
by attributing it only to steroid usage. But he truly 
believes that steroid abuse, in combination with delusional 
behaviour, painkillers and failing health -- "almost all 
the people we started out with (who did steroids) began 
breaking down around 40," Hart said -- is a deadly cocktail 
that needs to be further examined. 

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"I've known too many wrestlers who couldn't separate the 
character they play on television from their real life," 
said Hart, who has wrestled professionally, promoted 
wrestling and trained wrestlers all his life. 

"Wrestlers start believing their press clippings and what 
is said on television. It's like an actor leaving the set 
but still playing the part. There's a delusional element to 
this. I've seen it over and over again. Some people can't 
separate the character from real life, and Chris was one of 
those people. 

"From my experience, that has been quite prevalent with 
wrestlers and that becomes exacerbated by steroids, drugs, 
painkillers and failing health." 

They hadn't seen each other much over the past few years, 
with Hart still in Calgary and Benoit working the circuit. 
"We saw each other mostly at funerals," Hart said. "At my 
brother's (Owen), my dad's, my brother-in-law's (Davey Boy 
Smith). Not that long ago I was talking to Hillbilly Jim 
and we were reminiscing a little. I told him I was worried 
about Chris." 

While the WWE has a drug-testing policy, Hart believes they 
should bring in psychologists and physicians to evaluate 
not only their drug-testing procedures but how they treat 
their athletes, deal with them, and the toll their gimmicks 
take on the lives of their performers. 

"Imagine if Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Mark Messier 
were all dead in their 40s. Imagine what the reaction would 
be?" Hart asked. "There would be investigations and more 
investigations. Wouldn't people want to know what happened 
and why?" 

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Hart was also deeply angered that the WWE aired a three-
hour tribute to Benoit on Monday night. 

"I kept hearing 'He was a nice guy, a great guy' and I 
knew him when he was a kid. But all I know now is he's a 
murderer," Hart said. In my opinion, "for them to do a 
tribute show was disgraceful." 

Officials at WWE Canada refused to comment yesterday.

WWE owner Vince McMahon told NBC Today Show viewers 
yesterday that "steroids may or may not have had anything 
to do with this. It's all speculation until the toxicology 
reports come back." 

Hart did wonder if Benoit had been given an unfavourable 
medical report, which may been another factor in his 
violent behaviour. "A lot of the steroid users start 
getting liver and kidney problems around the age of 40," 
Hart said. "There are a lot of wrestlers out there who are 
dead that you never heard about whose bodies broke down. 
I've known others who had looming health issues and went 
a little crazy. Maybe this caused him to go off." 

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                    Reader's Forum

Listen, I like Benoit, I thought he was a great wrestler, 
BUT HE MURDERED HIS FAMILY!!! I've heard that his kid had 
a disease, and I feel bad because of that, BUT YOU DON'T 
GO AND KILL YOUR FAMILY! I also think it was WRONG that 
they gave a tribute to a murderer. So I refused to watch 
the tribute. These are MY OPINIONS. You all can obviously 
think what you want. 
 
- Staten

I am truly saddened by the murder/suicide of Beniot and 
his family.  I can hardly grasp the reality of Beniot's 
actions. How can you smother your own child, that to me 
is truly sick.  What also sucks is that Beniot will by 
majority not be remembered for all of the incredible 
contributions and dedication to wrestling but for the 
terrible tragedy that has just occured.  I hope that if 
steriods are found in Beniot's system that WWE will try 
to take action to stop this practice, before another 
family is destroyed.  It really hits you that these 
wrestlers who we all look up to as heroes and superstars 
are all to human. 
 
- Doe

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Chris B.  
But I do have to say, if Chris did take his 7 yr olds life, 
as well as his wife, but the son, 7 yr old son, rot in hell 
Chris.  All you have given through the years, you wasted.  
If the drugs is a reason, then wrestling needs to be 
investigated and regulated.  Years ago wrestling was pure - 
Sheik (The ultimate bad boy to EVER enter the squared 
circle), Dusty Rhodes, Rick Flair, Bobo Brazil, Ernie "The 
King Lad", Vern Gagne, Victor Rivero.  Wrestling has come a 
long way, or has it?  Has it become more of a business than 
a sport?  I guess, we have the WWE, to thank for that.  
After all, they, WWE,  do have the most deaths within there 
company, than any other, in the history of the sport. 
 
- Charlie Mugsy  Wrestling fan for 35 years.


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