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[1990-03-08] Entertainment Tonight: Superstar Graham & Bruno Sammartino

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John Tesh narrates a video package talking about all of the health problems Superstar Graham has had as a result of years of steroid abuse. Graham says it's a conservative estimate to say 90% of all pro wrestlers use steroids. Bruno says he never touched steroids, but agreed with Graham about the percentage. Graham gives warnings about the risks he has faced, and yeah, there you go.

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Bruno and Graham independently peg the number of wrestlers using steroids at 90%. Graham says he's the first pro athlete to come clean about using and abusing steroids, which he may actually be correct about--I think Lyle Alzado was a couple of years later. And that's about it--hard-hitting in-depth coverage worthy of the ET name.

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According to Entertainment Tonight, if you use steroids, bad things will happen. What I don't get is, how did Graham hurt his hip from steroid use?

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According to Entertainment Tonight, if you use steroids, bad things will happen. What I don't get is, how did Graham hurt his hip from steroid use?

Steroid abuse can cause avascular necrosis.

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This was a very interesting feature. Both Graham and Sammartino claim that probably 90% of the wrestlers are using steroids at this point. Sammartino also claims to have never been a user.

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Nothing we wouldn't hear again many times in the future, but this was all new to us then, so it really resonated. Hearing Superstar talk about the awe his surgeons felt when they looked inside of his legs and saw the decay there is especially haunting. Bruno was just there to pile on a bit; we'd hear more details from him in years to come.

 

Sadly, the predictions made here are more or less true twenty-five years later, as most of the guys that even we marks could tell were on the gas are either dead or badly broken down. You could make a case that except for one brief blip in 1997-98, the business has never really recovered.

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‘Going to the mat with steroids, the inside story for today’. Some clips air from an NWA house show with a voiceover saying they are American superheroes, larger than life characters from the wrestling ring, role models for countless children and fans who worship them, but there is a darker, hidden side, a side being dragged into the lights by ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham.

 

Graham admits that his physique was created through the help of more than two decades of steroid abuse. He would talk both oral and injectable steroids as that combination worked the best. They talk about his hip replacement in 1986 which the doctors videotaped because they had never before seen a hip decay through steroids. Graham says that this year he had his ankles fused, as steroids had caused them to both swell and disfigure. He then says that at least 90% of pro wrestlers take anabolic steroids and that’s a conservative estimate. Bruno Sammartino says he never took steroids buy would guess that during his time there (the WWF), 90% of wrestlers were on them. Bruno thinks that nothing is worth risking your health for, and what’s the point of being successful at 25 if you end up being an invalid at 45.

 

An interesting watch. Graham especially is compelling, seeing him sat there with his legs in casts, using crutches to get around and talking about the health issues he’s gone through.

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