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August 5, 2002 Observer Newsletter: Major media outlets working on industry death exposes

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At a time when the business overall may be at its most fragile state in modern memory, a series of major media outlets are working on stories about the preponderance of pro wrestling deaths.

While such stories have been printed recently in a few newspapers, particularly after the death of Davey Boy Smith coming the same week as the Sports Illustrated story about steroid use in baseball, it may become a bigger issue with outlets including HBO's Real Sports, Sports Illustrated and the Los Angeles Times all working on features.

The idea going in no doubt would be to point to pro wrestling, with its high death rate, as a harbinger of the future of baseball, a sport the media does care about. Steroids would make a convenient culprit, but the story is far more complex than that. While most of the drug deaths of wrestlers involve wrestlers who were steroid users, and some who were heavy users, they combined that usage with many other drugs.

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