AS I SEE IT - 11/24/2003:
More news on Michael Lockwood's death has been made public by Navarre (Florida) Press writer Bill Gamblin, Jr.:
by: Bob Magee Lockwood was found dead by Santa Rosa County Deputies on November 6. Deputies were dispatched to the home of Lockwood's friend current WWE wrestler Mike Manna (Steven Richards) after they received a call from a Connecticut State Trooper who was a friend of Lockwood's; after describing him as depressed on the telephone the night before.
After responding to the residence and finding no one at home, Deputy Robert Arthur was unable to get any response after knocking, ringing the doorbell and checking all of the doors and windows. Deputy Arthur gained access to the home, and then found Lockwood laying face down in the kitchen partially clothed.
Lockwood had a pool of vomit and blood around his face and rigor had set in the body by the time it was discovered. Deputy Arthur found an open fifth of Southern Comfort on the kitchen counter and an empty pill bottle, containing 350 mg capsules of Carisoprodol (generic name for soma). A prescription for the Carisoprodol was issued on November 4 with 90 capsules and Holly was prescribed three pills per day, but was found to be empty when officers arrived. Deputies of the Santa Rosa County Crime Scene Investigations Unit also found a prescription bottle that contained Effexor (anti-depressant) 75 mg tablets.
Dr. Andrea Minyard, with the District 1 Florida Medical Examiners Office in Pensacola, conducted an autopsy on Nov. 7 and found no evidence of bruising or other injuries, according to Santa Rosa Crime Scene Technician Charlie Peters.
Dr. Minyard believed the pending toxicology report would reveal the cause of death. Rresults of a toxicology report are returned in 12 to 14 weeks according to the District 1 Medical Examiners office.
Now...as I suggested, some of you sent letters to your State Athletic Commissions regarding the columns over the last two weeks on drug/alcohol abuse in wrestling and the need for State Athletic Commissions to address it...rather than solely governing content and collecting revenue.
Here's some of what you had to say regarding my columns, and regarding what you sent...
From: "bangbang.mick" (Tony):
Just read your latest column on drugs in wrestling and you are quite right in the greater picture. Everyone is, of course, responsible for their own actions at the end of the day.
However, the end goal for just about every wrestler is WWE. It means more money and even if you don't make it, the fact you have had exposure there will increase your payday on the indies. Vince knows that as well as anyone else and what he demands is BIG!!! Not necessarily good, just BIG!!! They might not last the distance unless they have underlying talent or charisma e.g. Undertaker, Kane, Sid etc. What it does mean is that muscles are needed to even get a chance and that means drugs.
Speed and strength are needed in the NFL for example, as is the need to be free from pain, (I'm from the UK btw so please excuse any mistakes!) but it would be outrageous for anyone to suggest that they ignore any drug problem. Why should the WWE be any different?
Re-reading this I am saying the same thing as you in the end so I don't know why I even started this! If WWE and other groups don't or won't do anything about this problem then someone in authority should. One of my great passions in life isn't worth this sadness.
Anyway, I enjoy your columns a lot. Take care.
From Adam G. Alsop:
Just thought I'd follow up with a quick note to my BCC'ing you to the Athletic Commissions.
I've read your columns regularly for the past 2yrs or so - as I mentioned in the letter to the commission, I have many friends and associates in the business and I've lost far too many of them.
Much as I'd like things to change, I just don't see it happening until someone like McMahon is forced to change (though lawsuits and such). If there ever comes a time when the WWE loses an active roster wrestler to drugs/alcohol abuse, and it can be proved that management knew about the abuse and did not take sufficient steps to do something about it, then I believe (and no, I'm not a lawyer), that they can be held criminally responsible (the exact statutes would depend on the state that the death occurred in).
I really hope it never has to come to that - maybe the light will go off in Vince's head that he could lose talent (and therefore money) because of such abuses - or maybe one of his lawyers will point out the liability issue to him - but somehow, I doubt it.
Feel free to re-print my letter in part or in whole - maybe it will help inspire others to write (I just wish there were more e-mail addresses available to send it to).
Keep up the great work! =)
Adam G. Alsop
From Thelma Warden of Greenbelt, MD
To Whom It May Concern,
Recently there was another death in the wrestling world, one who again was cause by drugs and alcohol. And even though he died in Florida, the ramifications of his death affect us here in Maryland as well as the rest of the country.
The way it affects us here is that it happens too often in a type of entertainment which influences young impressionable minds that idolize their "wrestling heroes." Many of them want to be like them and some realize that because of their body-size, they might not make it. Many of them, because of this, will turn to body-enhancing drugs, figuring that, "Well they all do it and many don't die. I just may try it myself." And then, later on down the line, they turn up dead or so physically ill that they become a burden to friends, family and loved ones.
Now you may wonder why I'm coming to you with this problem or you think that wrestling should "govern their own." But who governs the wrestling industry? Why each and every state athletic commission.
What should be implemented is mandatory random drug testing for every promotion when they hold events in the state. That would cause the promotion to watch their performers more closely and to implement programs for their workers in distress. It would not only save wrestling money in the long run, but it would send a message to wrestlers, present and future, that drugs will not be tolerated in our sport. Little Johnny would strive to get to the "big dance" the right way--by hard work and determination.
The ball is in your court now. You can ignore the problem and have it escalate or you can begin to save lives right now. It's all up to you.
From Vikki Avila:
Good for you, for having the courage to state in matter of fact terms what so many others in the business refuse to address, and would rather turn their heads and a deaf ear too, rather than to hear the cold hard facts.
Drug use and alcohol abuse are killing our wrestlers, and even though it is by their own hands and due to careless use by them, the companies are some what responsible for their lack of testing.
I admire you and your courage, your column is very informative, and right on the money. Keep up the great work, the ones condemning you for your statements are most likely the ones most afraid of the truth. God's blessings to you & yours.
From Shana Nicole:
"...I don't know if you read my article that I wrote a few weeks ago talking about deaths in wrestling on the Get in the Ring site. I wrote a similar piece on how there should be testing for wrestlers. Yet, I was also criticized because of my statements.
A "wrestler" claimed that they had been doing drug testing in wrestling and that many wrestlers "died" of drug overdoses. But should we blame the wrestler or the wrestling business also? It is just amazing of how many people are in denial.
As for the death of Crash Holly, if Crash had died in a car accident, of course he would have gotten the royal treatment. But instead, he died of a drug overdose. They have to wait to see what the results are before they can do a Crash Holly tribute so that won't be one more wrestling death that they are labeled with.
I have to say that is about time that wrestling writers, legitimate or not, to stand up and speak to these athletic commissions to stop looking at wrestling as entertainment and look at as a sport.
Thank you for your time:
Adam Alsop also was kind enough to pass along the following information regarding other/updated ways to contact certain State Commissions:
A final note...for all of you in the United States, please take time to be with the people you love this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. If fans should have learned anything from these recent columns, they should have learned how shirt life is...and how we need to treasure every moment we have with those we love...because, after all, tomorrow is not a promise.
Until next time...
If you have comments/questions, or if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)