Wrestling's Dark Side Dogs McMahon Run

Did McMahons cut too many corners in building WWE?
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2010 6:09 AM CDT
Updated Jul 16, 2010 6:51 AM CDT
Wrestling's Dark Side Dogs McMahon Run
WWE Superstar Triple H celebrates victory at WrestleMania XXVI on Sunday, March 28, 2010, in Glendale, Az.   (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri/ WWE)

Linda McMahon, GOP Senate hopeful in Connecticut, vows to bring the "real world experience" of running the wrestling powerhouse WWE to the political arena. Though politics and stunt fighting may seem an amusingly apt fit, the New York Times reports that McMahon's spectacularly successful empire has a seriously dark side, particularly on labor issues. "Boy, there were a lot of bodies discarded in the building of that company,” says an industry source.

By classifying its wrestlers as independent contractors, WWE avoids provide health insurance or retirement benefits, notes the Times. One of McMahon's breakthrough ideas was to tell state regulators that the matches were scripted, not athletic competitions, making them exempt from rules to protect athletes health. McMahon has also taken heat for allegedly turning a blind eye to rampant steroid use and other drug abuse. But she stands by her life's work. "Companies that hope to be successful in the long term absolutely have to put people first.”

(More professional wrestling stories.)

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