WWE Mystery: Chris Benoit Tragedy

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 6, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: This week, People magazine takes a closer look at the life of wrestler Chris Benoit , which offers shocking details into the double murder. And at the same time the U.K. Sun has released a study that shows 107 wrestlers have died in the last 10 years.

The WWE responded to that story today, saying, quote, "We are in the process of reviewing this list and the many others that are circulating around the Internet. We intend to comment on those lists in the near future," end quote.

Joining us now with more details, former WWF wrestler Lenny Rafo (sic) and Jacques Rougeau. We welcome you both.

Lanny, did you know Chris or Nancy?


COLMES: Poffo.

POFFO: Chris or Nancy? I met Chris Benoit three different occasions. I've recently been on the phone with my friend Rick Martel and Nora Greenwald. We discussed Chris Benoit, and they said he was the last guy they'd ever expect something like this to happen.

He was a wonderful man. And they're just totally shocked. And personally, my heart is just broken that a 7-year-old boy named Daniel is gone.


POFFO: And I just — I'm absolutely torn up about it.

COLMES: Jacques, did you know them?

JACQUES ROUGEAU, FORMER PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER: Yes, I knew Chris Benoit in the WCW, and it's incredible what happened. But I'm going to go ahead and put the blame on steroids 100 percent.

You know, it's a rough life out there. You know, you spend — when I was there 10 years ago, I spent 10 years in the WWF. And — and you've gone 25 days a month from your family. You don't see your family, and you're on the road.

And luckily, I had my brother Raymond with me.

COLMES: Right.

ROUGEAU: So we were two brothers together. But the guys were lonely on the road. And I think the problem — we all knew the guys were taking tremendous — tremendous steroids.

And — but after the show, the problem is they'd go in bars and stuff like that and take alcohol and mix alcohol and drugs. And...

COLMES: So it's interesting, Jacques, you say that, because a number of wrestlers have come on the show and said exactly the opposite and defended the idea that steroids, if used properly, are just part of the sport.

Lanny, where are you on this? Do you...

ROUGEAU: That's probably...

POFFO: There is an epidemic out there, and it's called the "it's not my fault syndrome." And to blame the San Francisco Giants for all the world's problems and to blame the WWE.

The blame happens when the man looks in the mirror and blames himself, because it's a cop-out to think that "I can't make it unless I take steroids."

The key to making it in the world is to be unique, to be yourself, to find something that puts the smiles on the faces.

And wrestling has been very, very good for me. I wrestled for 21 years. I'm very proud of my career.

COLMES: Then why would the WWE — why would they come forward right away with a statement saying it had nothing to do with steroids, that's not the cause of death? Do they protest too much? Are they trying to clear themselves by, all of a sudden and immediately saying it had nothing to do with this?

Go ahead.

ROUGEAU: Let me put it to you this way.

COLMES: Go ahead, Jacques.

ROUGEAU: This is Jacques in Montreal. I'm just putting to you this way. I spent 30 years in this business now, 10 years with the guys which I called gorillas and guys that were on steroids everywhere.

We never took steroids, so if you want to talk to somebody who didn't take steroids and was with people who took steroids, I'll give you the truth.

I worked with some guys like the Road Warriors, for example. Hawk of the Road Warriors. Lanny, you remember Hawk. And there was a guy that you'd go in the ring with. And, for a simple reason, out of a match that didn't come out like he wanted to — one time I'm in Philadelphia. I'm in the dressing room.

He comes out of the ring and it's a three against three. There are two other opponents that are with me and come and shake my hand when I come out: "Good match, Jacques. Good match."

And he comes out of nowhere, and he pushes me into the wall saying, "What are you doing? What are you doing? You made me look bad." And I didn't even know what he was talking about.

And then five minutes later he'd come back and see me and say, "Jacques, I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to talk to you like that."

We've seen so many moods change with the guys.

And you know, you could tell a guy that's on steroids right away. If you see the guy that weighs 250 in June, and then you see him and he weighs 265 in July, then there's a good chance that he's on steroids, especially if he doesn't have any fat on him.

LOWRY: Hey, guys.

ROUGEAU: Another way you could...

LOWRY: Hey, Jacques, it's Rich Lowry.

ROUGEAU: But there's another...

LOWRY: Jacques, just one second here. I want to get "Superstar" Billy Graham in, who's just joined us.


LOWRY: Billy, I want to give you a chance to weigh in on this. First of all, can you tell us, did you know Chris? And what are your recollections of him?

"SUPERSTAR" BILLY GRAHAM, FORMER PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER: Yes, I knew Chris very well, as a matter of fact. And before I answer that question, I'd like to speak in defense of Road Warrior Hawk.

When he was having these rages in the locker room, he was also using a huge amount of cocaine along with these rages. So I wanted to clarify that. And along with other various drugs.

LOWRY: That doesn't sound like much of a defense.

GRAHAM: Well, I'm saying along with the steroids.

LOWRY: Go ahead, Billy. But Billy, let's — we've got plenty of time to talk about steroids. Talk a little bit about Chris, if you would.

GRAHAM: Yes, I know that a statement made two Mondays ago on "Raw" by D. Malenko, I think, gave us real insight to Chris's mental stability. He said that years ago, wrestling in Japan with Chris, they nicknamed him Houdini, because he would often disappear during a conversation. And so that's a big clue to some mental illness right there.

And also I know that after the death of Eddie Guerrero, I conducted Eddie Guerrero's funeral service here in Phoenix. And Chris Benoit was absolutely devastated, not only by the death of Eddie Guerrero, his dear friend, but all the deaths in professional wrestling, including the most recent one, Sherri Martel.

So I believe this — this deep depression — he — he didn't like the world he was living in. He — he literally wept on my shoulder and my wife, Valerie's shoulder at the gravesite of Eddie Guerrero and said he just doesn't understand what's wrong with this world.

COLMES: Billy, hold it right there.

GRAHAM: That's an insight to some mental issues.

COLMES: Lanny and Jacques, we're going to come right back. Hold on, guys. We're going to come back. More with you guys in just a moment.

And also still to come, a preview of this weekend's special edition of "Hannity's America". Coming up.


LOWRY: Welcome back to "Hannity & Colmes". I'm Rich Lowry, in for Sean tonight.

We continue now with former WWF wrestlers, Lanny Poffo, author of the book "Tangled Ropes"; former wrestlers "Superstar" Billy Graham and Jacques Rougeau.

Lanny, let me push you on something you were saying in the earlier segment, because I'm a big personal responsibility guy, as well, and I see what you're saying. But professional wrestling seems these days to be an industry that's almost premised on the abuse of steroids.

Can you be a successful star in professional wrestling now without taking the substance?

POFFO: It depends if you want me to speak objectively or subjectively. I'm sure if I were born with an eyeball in the center of my head, I'm sure I'd sell some tickets somewhere to some promoter some place. I believe that to be peculiar or to be unique is critical if you're going to — why would a person pay their money to see somebody that's normal?

LOWRY: Yes, but Lanny — Lanny, let me just — let me ask you this, though. You — you can work out all the time and not be normal, like you can be really big. But why does it mean you have to take steroids and get that much bigger?

POFFO: I don't understand the question.

ROUGEAU: Exactly. If you don't mind...

LOWRY: Sure.

ROUGEAU: Lanny, let me answer the question for you, if you don't mind.

Thirty years ago I started my career. I had — I don't know if you take a look at this. I had a 19-1/2 inch arms. That was 19 — 30 years ago.

Now 30 years later I'm still wrestling with my son, 30 years later, and I've got 19-inch arms. So I have a difference of a half an inch in 30 years. My brothers and I...

LOWRY: I have arms almost that big.

COLMES: Very similar. Very similar.

ROUGEAU: No, but we've done well. The Rougeau family up in Canada, we've done very well without steroids. My brother Raymond was the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers with me.

I became the personality of the Mountie. I became the Quebecers, tag team champions of the world. I beat Hulk Hogan in Montreal at the Molson Centre (ph) and never took steroids.

LOWRY: The point — the point you're making, which I think is a very good one, and I don't mean this to be insulting. You're not normal; you're extraordinary. But it didn't require abusing the substance.

ROUGEAU: Not at all. And I think it was in the night life that really killed a lot of guys.

If you look down — it would be like — the steroids for me, if I could explain it to you really fast, it would be like taking a Volkswagen and putting a motor, a 440 inside a Volkswagen. The motor is going to go ahead, but the body's not going to follow. And that's why the heart attacks will come.

LOWRY: Billy, do you agree with what Jacques is saying? What's your take on that?

GRAHAM: Well, my take on it is it's a simple matter of choice. You know, I chose to use these steroids starting in 1966. And became very dependent upon steroids and loved steroids and continued to use them years before I went into professional wrestling, training with Arnold Schwarzenegger in '69, '70, '71, through the early '70s. We enjoyed taking steroids and the benefits from it.

And there was no — go ahead. I'm sorry.

COLMES: Billy, I want to go on a different tack with you, because you knew Chris and Nancy pretty well. And now it's coming out that family and friends are saying that the child was not undersized and didn't have Fragile X Syndrome, as the WWE said.

You knew them. Did their child have this disease?

GRAHAM: I can't — I'm not a doctor. I wish we had Doctor Baden here.


GRAHAM: But nevertheless, I can't — we'll see when the blood results come back from the child, also, I believe.

And I know the child was a little shy — a shy child. I picked him in my arms and played with him, made him wrestle.

COLMES: Was he undersized? Was he undersized?

GRAHAM: I didn't — I didn't pay that much attention to his size. He could have been undersized. He could have been for his age.

But, you know, the reports of the needle marks on his arms, I talked to my endocrinologist here at Phoenix, Arizona, the Mayo Clinic. And they told me on many occasions they'll prescribe adults to give their children human growth hormone, as prescribed.


GRAHAM: So that's very possible.

COLMES: By the way, I want to talk about Bible placement and where the Bible was, where they found the Bible when they found the bodies. You think that's significant?

GRAHAM: Yes, it really is, Alan. To me — to me that shows a lot of anguish in Chris Benoit.

As everyone will tell you and has told you, he's just a lovable person, a gentle, a kind person, but very, very into himself and never shared his feelings with a lot of people.

And I feel that when he — when he did this massacre of the innocent, of these poor folks that got taken out, I believe he was with a struggle. He placed the Bibles next to the bodies, maybe in his own mind hoping that he would take his child and his wife with him to another place.

I think we should really look hard at the Bible placement next to the bodies, Alan.

COLMES: You've got to wonder if that's a better — you know, the idea that I'm taking them to a better place, but I have to kill them to do it? Lanny, it sounds like a very...

GRAHAM: It's a twisted state of mind, a twisted state of mind, Alan. No doubt about it.

COLMES: Lanny, it's an unusual point of view, huh?

POFFO: He didn't leave a suicide note, so we can only speculate on what was — what was going through his mind at that time.

I'm still very upset about it. It's very hard to speak rationally. I almost did not accept the invitation to come here. I thought I would get emotional. And I still very am. I am — I'm angry.

And I want to say something to the children. If you play, you must pay. But don't blame your Mommy for not buying you the 365 Crayolas. You know the consequences for everything you do.

COLMES: All right.

GRAHAM: You know, Alan — Alan, I can tie in the steroid — I can tie in the steroid situation right here real — real clearly.

LOWRY: We've got about 15 seconds, Billy.

GRAHAM: Chris Benoit did test positive — OK, 15 seconds. He tested negative in April. I'll take this back up after the break.

LOWRY: Sorry. Sorry, guys. Sorry. We do have to leave it there. Thanks so much for being with us.

ROUGEAU: Guys, I've got to...

LOWRY: No, we've got...

ROUGEAU: I'd like — I want to say something.

LOWRY: We've got to go. Sorry.

ROUGEAU: Stay away from steroids.

LOWRY: Thanks for being with us.

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