Former WWE and TNA star Tommy Dreamer recently posted a blog over at The Kingston Whig Standard, and the following are excerpts:
"1. WWE has an open policy to send any former talent to rehab if they have any type of substance abuse problems. I don’t know many companies that do this for former employees, nevermind current ones.
Whenever a wrestler is arrested, or dies tragically, many people are quick to blame the industry. I have a huge problem with this.
Did we, for example, try to shut down rock ‘n’ roll music when Elvis died? Is the music industry to blame when countless musicians overdose?
Is it the fault of Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League when something happens to one of the players in those respective leagues?
Do we condemn Hollywood when an actor passes away tragically?
Drugs are a personal choice and there are only two ways out: death or total sobriety.
I have put several of my friends in WWE-sponsored rehab. The business of professional wrestling doesn’t make someone do drugs; the disease of substance abuse makes you do drugs.
Personally, I have broken my neck and back. Some mornings, I am in so much pain that I can barely walk, but I choose not to take pain medication. My own mother has never had a wrestling match and has similar pains, where she can’t walk. It is called old age.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am no better than anyone else. Nor am I trying to preach.
Rather I am simply stating that I am happy that WWE does that to help people get sober.
2. WWE has a great medical screening process. It helps to ensure that its athletes do not have heart problems or any other medical issues that may have gone undiagnosed.
I hate hearing of a high school player or college athlete collapsing, or passing away, because of a medical issue overlooked during regular physicals. The WWE also has a concussion-screening process. Above and beyond even that, it has its own doctors and trainers on staff at all of its events.
The company also has a “wellness program” that boasts stricter drug testing than you’ll find at the Olympics. These things are done for not only the well-being of the performers, but also make WWE more socially responsible for their signed talent.
3. WWE offers royalty cheques every three months and has implemented programs to give the veterans or non-active performers ways to earn an income. I would love to see a bigger implementation of this, but legally, when your contract ends, WWE doesn’t have to give you anything, yet it offers these programs to all of its former stars.
4. WWE does more Make-A-Wish program-sponsored appearances than any other company, or individual, worldwide. Words cannot describe the feeling you get when you are part of making the life of a sick child just a little bit better. It really does put your world into perspective. I have watched and participated in thousands of wishes being granted. Whatever amount of celebrity you have, that is the way to use it — putting smiles on people’s faces."