Posts Tagged ‘substance abuse’

There are some moments in life, good or bad, that one will never forget. For former WWE star Paige, one of those moments was when photos and videos of her were leaked, without her consent, in 2017. In an appearance on The Sessions with Renee Paquette, Paige took Paquette through the day, and how she found out while in San Antonio, Texas.

“It was just the most awful moment of my life,” Paige said. “The person that I was with at the time showed me a picture on Twitter. And I was just like, ‘Oh my God. Is that real?’ I couldn’t believe it was real at first, because I was 19 [at the time]. I was completely fucking mortified. I ran out of the house, and I just kept running. I remember I was inside a fucking bush, and I’ll always remember this, just sitting in this bush because I was like ‘If people recognize me, they’re going to know.’

“I felt so stupid to have trusted this person at the time. I never done it since, that was a lesson I learned, and I’ll never be caught dead doing anything like that again. But I felt so fucking stupid and I felt so embarrassed, and I was already a cokehead at this time and loved to drink. That really got me to the point where I didn’t want to be alive anymore. It was fing awful. I was just so fucking sad, and I remember being like ‘If my dad is a disappointed with me, I don’t think I could be here anymore. It got to that point.”

It was then that Paige decided to call her father, pro wrestler turned promoter Ricky Knight, who offered his unique support.

“I was just crying my eyes out, and I was like, ‘I’m so sorry,'” Paige said. “My dad was like, ‘What are you sorry for?’ And I was just like, ‘I don’t know. I just don’t want to disappoint you.’ He was like, ‘Are you kidding me? That shit made Kim Kardashian famous.’ He was trying to make a joke. He said, ‘Who cares? You had sex. Everyone’s done it. Unfortunately, you’re just in the public eye, right?’

“He was like, ‘It is what it is. You’ve got to suck it up. It’s going to hurt for a little bit and people are going to make fun of you for forever. But I just want you to know that I’m still proud of you and I’m not disappointed.’ He instantly changed the way I was feeling because I was very down. It was bad. I was ready to fucking end it all. It was just the most morifying experience.”

“I spoke on the phone with Mark Carrano, and I was like, ‘I’m going to lose my job. This is it too,'” Paige said. “But they were like, ‘Listen, it’s not your fault.’ That’s why I will never talk shit about them, at least publicly. They were so supportive and they were like, ‘We’ll get through it. We’ll try to get as much off the internet as possible.'”

These days Paige doesn’t let the incident bother her, save for one thing that involves her family and friends.

“The only thing I don’t like about it and it’s annoying that I’m even going to bring it up, but I hate that they send it to my family all the time to get at them,” Paige said. “That’s what they’ll do at this point. Even to my boyfriend. He’ll get it sent to him because it’s just fans that don’t want to see me or him happy.

“They’ll send it to anyone that’s close to me like, ‘This is your girlfriend. This is your daughter.’ I’m just like, ‘Who cares dude? What, are you a fucking virgin? It happens.’ So yeah. I got bullied relentlessly, it was fuckng awful. The bullying was starting to get me crazy to the point that I was cutting myself. I never thought I’d be a cutter, but I did, and it was fucking awful and I wish I hadn’t done it.”

The Hardy Boyz were initially set to become AEW World Tag Team Champions before Jeff Hardy’s recent suspension.

This is according to Bryan Alvarez, who noted that this was very much the intention of All Elite Wrestling management before plans changed upon news of Hardy’s need for a brain scan. Speaking about it on the Brian & Vinny Show, he said;

“The idea was the Hardys were going to win the tag titles in this ladder match, that was the plan for awhile. Apparently, at the pay-per-view when the Hardys and the Bucks had their match, Jeff was not looking good. Apparently, they examined him afterwards and he was all beat up and he didn’t remember the match. Remember when Jeff got pulled over and said he was on his way to a brain scan? He was on his way to a brain scan. So, his idea was to drink whatever he drank and then drive to his brain scan. They had advertised the ladder match. He was never actually going to be in the ladder match. They were going to do the angle where he and Matt were going to be coming out for the ladder match, they were going to be jumped on the ramp and they were going to be carted off and they weren’t actually going to do the match. So, whether he had his DUI or not, Jeff was never going to do that ladder match. It was always going to be Jurassic Express vs. the Young Bucks for the tag team titles with the Young Bucks winning.”

Obviously none of the above eventually went ahead following Hardy’s latest DUI, other than the revised plot to have The Young Bucks win the belts. Jeff has no set return date yet, with AEW confirming that his comeback could only occur following the completion of treatment and maintenance of sobriety.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price released a statement Tuesday after rejoining the team following his voluntary participation in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.

“Over the last few years I have let myself get to a very dark place and I didn’t have the tools to cope with that struggle. Last month I made the decision to enter a residential treatment facility for substance use,” he said in an Instagram post. “Things had reached a point that I realized I needed to prioritize my health for both myself and for my family. Asking for help when you need it is what we encourage our kids to do, and it was what I needed to do.

“I am working through years of neglecting my own mental health which will take some time to repair; all I can do is take it day by day. With that comes some uncertainty with when I will return to play.

“I appreciate all of the overwhelming support and well wishes. I please ask that the media and our hockey community continue to respect our privacy at this time. Your support and respect of this so far has been a critical piece to my recovery.”

Price missed all of training camp while recovering from offseason knee surgery and entered the player assistance program on Oct. 7.

Head coach Dominique Ducharme laid out the conditioning steps for Price’s potential return earlier on Tuesday, according to TSN’s John Lu.

After the Canadiens’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night, Ducharme emphasized the importance of patience when it comes to Price’s recovery.

“We cannot rush anything on the personal side,” he said. “We will monitor the mental side and the physical side so when (Price) comes back, he’s 100%.”

Some of Price’s teammates also addressed the 34-year-old’s statement after the game.

“We talked to (Price) this morning,” Montreal winger Tyler Toffoli said. “It’s extremely powerful and there’s a reason why he attracts people around him. He’s a quality human being.”

Habs defenseman Ben Chiarot added that Price’s family is most important.

“To be honest, the hockey part you don’t even care,” he said. “(He’s) a brave man to come out and face his fears. It’s not easy for guys to do that. I’m proud to call him a friend.”

Dallas Cowboys right tackle La’el Collins received a five-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the Cowboys told NFL Network’s Jane Slater.

Collins reportedly missed drug tests, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The 28-year-old Collins, who played in Thursday’s season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will be eligible to return for Dallas’ Week 8 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys have a bye in Week 7.

Collins, a former undrafted free agent, missed all of the 2020 season with a hip injury.

Terence Steele or Ty Nsekhe could step into the right tackle spot during Collins’ suspension.

The Cowboys will reportedly also be missing wide receiver Michael Gallup for three-to-five weeks due to a calf strain sustained against the Bucs.

On the latest episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff spoke about the creation of the nWo and how that took the Monday Night Wars to another level. Bischoff mentioned how he took a lot of top stars from WWE, but also spoke about two big names that he never got to sign.

In 1995, Owen Hart and Yokozuna formed a tag team and won the WWF Tag Team Championships. The two superstars had historic singles careers, both having marquee matches at WrestleMania, including Yokozuna main eventing two. Bischoff spoke to WCW’s interest in both Owen Hart and Yokozuna.

“Not on Owen Hart,” Bischoff said. “Primarily because he wasn’t available. He hadn’t reached out to us, he was under contract, especially at this point we weren’t very anxious to get ourselves in any kind of tortious interference situation with regard to approaching WWE contracted talent. Not out of any lack of desire to have someone of Owen’s caliber on our roster, but it just wasn’t possible therefore there was no consideration for it or reason to talk about it.

“With Yoko, I’m sure there were at some level conversations about hey, what if? I wonder if this is possible, I think he might be interested. There were those conversations I’m sure, I would not have been a part of them. I don’t remember anybody in a serious way coming to me and saying ‘Hey, we have an opportunity to get this guy, if we can, would you be interested?’ That level of conversation never occurred but I’m sure that there was some dialogue in WCW offices about at least inquiring about the opportunity.”

There had often been rumors that Shawn Michaels was signing WCW after his WrestleMania 14 match with Stone Cold Steve Austin. On numerous occasions, both Michaels and his former “Kliq” buddies Kevin Nash and Scott Hall would acknowledge each other on opposing wrestling shows. Jim Ross, who was the former Head of Talent Relations for WWE during that time, shared that Vince McMahon overpaid Shawn Michaels to stay at home during his four year hiatus from the company to avoid him jumping ship to WCW.

On a previous podcast, Bischoff spoke about having no interest in Michaels and reiterated his point again on this episode. The former WCW President said having Michaels, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in WCW at the same time would have been a bad idea.

“He was a basket case,” Bischoff said. “Nobody in their right mind would want to bring that, especially to WCW. I have all the respect in the world for Shawn Michaels today, but I wouldn’t want him anywhere near me or my roster back at this point. He had issues man, he’s talked about them, he’s written books about it, he’s very transparent about it.

“Yeah, he was great but especially because we brought Scott [Hall] and Kevin [Nash] in [to WCW]. I was even more convinced that I didn’t want Shawn anywhere near WCW once Scott and Kevin came in. I mean it was hard enough as it was, could you imagine bringing in Shawn Michaels before he cleared himself up and got his head straight and he found god, found his religion and really cleaned his act up. But prior to that point? Nah, I don’t care how good he was.”

Continuing to speak about Michaels in WCW, Bischoff said he never had the idea to take him over Scott Hall or Kevin Nash in the creation of the nWo. The former WCW President said the nWo never would have worked with Michaels because the origins of his idea for the group were of former members of WCW coming back to spite the company.

“It would not have occurred to me because Shawn had never been in WCW,” Bischoff said. “The idea wouldn’t have come together in my own mind initially, before I even talked to Scott or Kevin seriously when I knew I was going to be having conversations with Scott or Kevin, that was the premise, that was the idea, that was the catalyst that became nWo for me. I don’t think the idea would have popped into my head if it was Shawn.

“If Scott and Kevin weren’t there and Shawn would’ve been available, I don’t think the risk of bringing Shawn in would’ve been quite as high because Scott and Kevin wouldn’t have been [in WCW]. I may have considered that, but I can tell you that I don’t think the idea would’ve percolated in my skull for anybody other than Scott and Kevin.”

Green Bay Packers tight end Jace Sternberger has been suspended without pay for the first two games of the 2021 season for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse, the league announced Thursday.

The 24-year-old will be eligible to return to the Packers’ active roster Sept. 21 following the team’s Week 2 matchup against the Detroit Lions.

Sternberger revealed he consumed alcohol while on antidepressants and fell asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle in February 2020. He apologized to the organization and has been attending therapy since the incident.

Sternberger is preparing for his third campaign in Green Bay. He tallied 12 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown through 12 contests in 2020.

The Texas A&M product started one game for the Packers in 2019 and recorded three receptions for 15 yards and a score in the postseason.

He will be eligible to participate in all offseason activities, including preseason practices and games.

Former WWE superstar and current AEW wrestler Dustin Rhodes took to Twitter today to reveal he was celebrating the anniversary of his sobriety. Today marks Rhodes’ 13 year of sobriety from both drugs and alcohol, and that he is currently living his best life.

“Very proud of me today!! Today marks my 13th anniversary for being clean and sober from drugs and alcohol,” Rhodes tweeted. “Absolutely living my best life now!”

Rhodes spoke with Wrestling Inc. back in 2013 to discuss his how bad his addiction to drugs and alcohol had gotten. Rhodes also revealed how he was able to break out of his downward spiral, and what motivated him to do so.

“It got so bad back then with drugs and alcohol, with so many pills, cocaine and booze,” recalled Rhodes. “There was still, when I’d get home, it just started getting worse and worse. I fell into that trap and drugs and alcohols. I’ve almost been 5 years clean and sober from any drugs and alcohol and I’m very, very proud of myself for that. But, I’m also — those last three days when I was on a pretty serious bender and almost died. Divine intervention, I guess, God said, ‘Hey, you need help.’ And I knew I needed help but I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t ready to accept that, hey, this is it. I was very scared about the whole situation.

“Then, I would just drown myself in more and more to avoid it. Finally, I just threw my hands up and said I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I made that call to my dad at four in the morning, stumbling drunk outside in the rain and not even being able to stand up straight and s–t like that. The next day, WWE and their Wellness Policy, they reached out back to me and got me straight into rehab and I haven’t looked back.”

Rhodes also discussed how he was nervous about whether he would be able to wrestle while sober, due to his past reliance on various substances. But Rhodes later realized he did not have to rely on drugs or alcohol to get him through a match.

“At the beginning of me getting out of rehab and thinking about going back to work, I was scared because I didn’t know if I could do this clean and sober,” admitted Rhodes. “I had worked with some kind of something in my system — not necessarily alcohol, because I was always taught not to [do] that and then go to work — but I had plenty of pills in me and s–t like that to get through something. I was scared, can I do this clean and sober? And, man, yes I can.”

This past Monday night, Rhodes beat Aaron Solow on AEW Dark: Elevation. So Rhodes’ 13 years of sobriety has clearly not hampered his abilities in the ring.

Other wrestlers and workers have tweeted their admiration and respect to Rhodes for his accomplishment. Sonny Kiss, Glenn Jacobs (Kane), Jerry Lynn, Lance Storm, Joseph Rudd (f.k.a. Erick Rowan), Nyla Rose, Ricky Morton, Rebel, Leyla Hirsch, and Mikey Whipwreck have all reached out to show their support and congratulate Rhodes on his sobriety.

We here at Smirfitt’s Speech would also like to congratulate Dustin Rhodes on his 13 years of sobriety, and wish him the very best in the future.

TNA held a pay-per-view event titled Victory Road in 2011 that featured one of the more memorable mishaps in wrestling history. In the main event of the show, Sting was scheduled to face Jeff Hardy for the TNA World Championship, however the match ended in under 2 minutes because Jeff Hardy was in no condition to perform. The main event finish left TNA looking very bad, having its major champion under the influence in a prime time spot on pay-per-view, while putting Sting in a very bad position when he ultimately won the title.

Eric Bischoff, who was the Executive Producer of the TNA television product at the time, talked about this memorable night on the latest episode of his podcast, 83 Weeks. He went in detail on how the night went and what Jeff would do every time he showed up to the arena for a TNA event prior to this night. Bischoff revealed when he realized that Jeff was in no condition to wrestle.

“About three minutes before he walked out through Gorilla,” Bischoff said. “Jeff’s MO at the time was to get to Universal Studios, check-in and go hide until he was absolutely necessary [to come out] and it was either interview or match time. To this day, I don’t know where he hid. He’d show up, wave and hide until 6 o’clock. I think on this night it’s safe to assume he was hiding wherever he was hiding and doing whatever drugs he brought with him.”

Bischoff said Jeff was late to arrive to the Gorilla Position to prepare for the match that day. He also said he could tell Jeff clearly was on something when he first arrived to Gorilla and described why Jeff was allowed to go out to the ring in the condition he was in.

“I’m not an expert on drugs, but I’ve seen enough of it from a distance and up close to recognize it,” Bischoff said. “The agent looked at me like what the fuck are we going to do. It took forever to find Jeff, he was really late getting to Gorilla. Knowing and hearing that they were having a difficult time finding Jeff, I made my way over to Gorilla. When I saw Jeff approaching I didn’t notice Jeff being twisted up as much as I did the agents face.

“Once I got close to Jeff it was obvious he was fucked up, whoever the agent was essentially said ‘He’s too fucked up to work,’ then it became who’s calling this? It wasn’t my job, I was the Executive Producer of the television show, I technically had no authority whatsoever and no official role in the pay per view unless I was a talent or asked to input on creative. I was just kind of standing there waiting for someone to make a decision, no decisions are being made and now Jeff’s making his way down to the ring.”

After both Sting and Jeff Hardy made their entrances for the match, Bischoff made a surprise appearance to make the match a No Disqualification match. Bischoff made the decision to go out on his own without anyone telling him what to say or do.

“There was no captain of the ship in Gorilla,” Bischoff said. “It was my exchange with Dixie that was the catalyst for me to say ‘Fuck it, nobody else is going to do anything. The bell is going to ring and it can’t go down like this.’ I don’t want to make this sound like I’m putting myself over or I cared so much about Sting, it was the show. I was concerned about the show, I didn’t want Sting to go out there and try and have a match with a guy who was completely fucking wasted. I wasn’t worried about Sting getting hurt but the match would’ve been the shits and I didn’t want Sting to be in that position. Sting had no idea that Jeff was going to show up fucked up.

“I’m looking for a decision, looking for somebody to come up with an idea. We don’t have a lot of time folks, can’t call a meeting. Somebody has to call the ball, who’s going to call it? Fuck it. I literally walked through the curtain not knowing what I was going to do.”

Bischoff said as he walked through the curtain, he had no idea what he was going to say. He said that one idea he considered was to knock Hardy out and have the referee call for a disqualification. After realizing that would not work,  he described the conversation he had in the ring with Jeff and Sting and was able to come up with the solution on the fly.

“There were two things that crossed my mind and they happened simultaneously,” Bischoff said. “My first thought because it seemed like the most easiest, direct line between A and B, was for me and my heel character to go out and knock him out, just drop him and then have the referee call the match and disqualification. By the time I walked through the curtain, got half way down the aisle, I realized that wouldn’t work because the No DQ thing. So I started improving a story and laying out a promo. What I was trying to do was buy time to figure out how to communicate to Jeff, the referee and Sting. Now I got to rewrite the show while I’m in the ring and the show is happening and one of the people in the match is completely disabled and unable to continue. So, I did what I did.

“I basically told Jeff, ‘Take his finish. We’re going to shorten this up. Take his fucking finish.’ I went to Sting, now that’s where I had to get more creative because I was trying to talk to Sting while at the same time I was trying to cut a promo and hide it all and make it look like it was a part of the show. I basically told Sting ‘Hit him with your finish, get him the fuck out of here. Let’s go home.’ Sting was able to communicate with the referee, so that was it.”

Bischoff also denied any idea that there was any way TNA could have done the ending differently, and talked about the reaction backstage afterwards. The former WCW President said that nobody backstage came up to him and said they would have stepped in for Hardy because they all knew given the main event spot and time restraints, there was no way it was possible.

“I’m glad nobody came up to me and said ‘Hey, I could’ve jumped in,’ great, if we could’ve had 45 minutes to plan that and communicate it to everybody involved including the guys in the truck, including the guys that timed the show,” Bischoff mentioned. “Oh by the way, we’d have to bring Sting into the equation so he could participate. Yeah, fantasy booking that could’ve worked but not when you have 45 seconds to figure shit out.”

“The overwhelming fog that settled in backstage was disappointment for Sting, it was a horrible position for Sting to have been in at that stage in his career. At his level of stardom to subject someone like Sting to a situation like that was embarrassing and undeserved. I think it reflected a tremendous amount of lack of professionalism within the entire TNA organization from top to bottom and I think people were genuinely sad for Jeff. It was disappointment for Sting and sadness for Jeff. That was the overwhelming sense, nobody was second guessing anything or blaming anybody or pointing fingers. It was just really sad more than anything.”

On the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff covered the infamous TNA Victory Road 2011 pay-per-view which involved Jeff Hardy appearing under the influence in his main event match against Sting. Bischoff detailed the experience of dealing with Jeff that day and what the reaction was once it was all over. He recalled Jeff leaving the company for a little while, but he was welcomed back by Dixie Carter.

“Dixie loved Jeff,” Bischoff said. “She really does try to help people, she has a very kind heart. She just wanted to help Jeff. I was adamant about not bringing him back, it wasn’t my call and I’m not even sure if anybody asked my opinion, but I expressed it anyway because I felt that strongly about it. Dixie was determined.

“My advice to her was if you’re going to bring him back, you at least need to hold him accountable by making him apologize to every single guy on the roster. That was my idea. Not because I needed to hear it, I didn’t give a fuck, I was done with Jeff Hardy at the time. I wouldn’t have given him the time of day at that point because I was so angry with him for being as unprofessional as he was.”

Bischoff noted it was hard for him personally to welcome Jeff back to the TNA locker room. He said his opinion of Jeff changed after he returned and apologized to everyone.

“I’ve made choices and decisions I regret, we all have,” Bischoff said. “But man, when you’re the main event of a pay-per-view and you spend 5 or 6 hours in a cubby hole somewhere behind a sound stage getting as narked up as you possibly can, that’s way too selfish. That’s beyond bad judgement.

“Jeff did come in and he manned up. My opinion of Jeff actually changed after that, but that day it was like why even spend five minutes getting talent together in a room to listen to his bullshit. I wouldn’t have taken somebody away from bad catering to listen to Jeff Hardy apologize if it was my choice, but it wasn’t.”

Bischoff noted the mood around the locker room after the show closed and went off the air. He said at the time he had a very narrow minded view of Jeff, but learned over the years the seriousness of addiction.

“It was a pretty dark evening,” Bischoff said. “It was over, we knew it was a disaster, I had my own feelings about Jeff. I changed my opinion of Jeff because of the responsibility he took afterwards, and I actually developed more respect for Jeff Hardy than what I had going into it. Back then in 2011, I had a very ignorant view of [addiction].

“I never really liked being around Scott [Hall]. Not only did I not like working around Scott, I would work to avoid being around Scott when I worked with him. I look at what Scotts gone through in his life much like what Jeff has gone through with his addiction challenges and to get up every morning and fight your way out of that, because its the fight of a life time. It’s not as easy as people like me used to think. I have more respect for Jeff Hardy than I ever had.”

The former President of WCW also noted that he never heard of TNA having a drug testing policy.

“No and no,” Bischoff said. “I never got drug tested and never heard about drug testing. So if there was drug testing, it’s news to me.”

Bischoff admitted that he would have fired Hardy at the time and not welcomed him back to TNA again. He said it was tough to change his mind on Hardy after the incident and he would have been okay sending him to jail.

“Unfortunately yes, I would have because of my view of the world at the time,” Bischoff answered when asked if he would have fired Hardy. “Lack of knowledge and ignorance about the challenge [of addiction], yes. At that point, I would’ve put him in jail for 20 years, he would not see the light of day. I wouldn’t have considered an apology or rehab.

“He could’ve sprouted angel wings and flown to the set on his own and I still wouldn’t let him near television again. I was so adamant, I mean god almighty; you’re in the main event against Sting on a pay per view and to fuck it up like that? How selfish could one be? That was my perspective at that time.”

Kurt Angle is about to become the latest wrestling legend to sit down weekly with podcast guru Conrad Thompson.

The Olympian proudly announced his new venture during an interview with Sports Illustrated – he’ll join Bruce Prichard, Jim Ross, Eric Bischoff, Tony Schiavone and Arn Anderson on Conrad’s lineup of shows. Previously, Thompson had also done a show with Ric Flair.

Angle is promising that he “won’t be holding back” when it comes to deep-diving on stories from his WWE run either. That’s the big lure here, after all, and he knows it. Kurt also claims that even his biggest fans will be surprised by some of the tales he has to tell.

The Kurt Angle Show will debut on 7 February “on all major podcasting platforms”, but it’s unclear exactly which topic Angle and Conrad will tackle first. Kurt did tell SI that he’d like to explore his long history of substance abuse issues on the podcast too.

Those personal stories could be a valuable tool for someone else’s recovery, he says, and it’d mean a great deal to Angle if he was able to help someone get through.