Vince McMahon’s Steroid Trial Getting Televised Retelling

Vince McMahon

Fictionalized portrayals of the World Wrestling Entertainment universe are few and far between. In 2020, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson launched his autobiographical sitcom “Young Rock”, a whimsical take on his childhood, with actors portraying WWE Golden Age notables like Andre the Giant.  The 2019 biopic “Fighting With My Family” covers the upbringing and rise of WWE Diva, and first NXT women’s champion Paige. Both are lighthearted family entertainment fare. However, WWE and Blumhouse television are about to dive into more controversial waters with their upcoming television series about WWE, then WWF’s steroid controversy, and the infamous Vince McMahon steroid abuse trial.

It marks the first time that the WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon will be portrayed in a dramatization. McMahon will be serving as a producer on the project, which dramatizes the events surrounding his 1994 trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. In 1991, a doctor who had served as a ringside doctor for WWF, George Zahorian, was indicted for illegally supplying wrestlers with steroids. Information that Zahorian gave to prosecutors led to McMahon’s indictment.

The scrutiny around alleged steroid abuse led to stricter steroid and substance abuse monitoring at the WWE, the closure of McMahon’s bodybuilding promotion the World Bodybuilding Federation, and a shift in optics at the WWE. McMahon steered away from musclebound mesomorph champions such as Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior, towards pushing forward athletes with smaller and more natural builds such as Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Hogan testified that though he had used steroids, McMahon did not supply them or pressure athletes to use them.  The trial concluded with McMahon’s acquittal by a jury of his peers.

In the press release for the project, Blumhouse Television President Chris McCumber stated, “We have a dramatic, riveting saga – one that’s crazier than fiction – that will appeal to the cross-section of Blumhouse and WWE fans. To say I’m thrilled about collaborating again with WWE is an understatement”.

With the steroid saga, a more sober and provocative cinematic offering than WWE has delved into before, on its way, the door is open for similarly complex eras and figures in its history to get a cinematic treatment. The success of WWE’s recent series of A&E biographies, and the Vice series “Dark Side of the Ring” has proven that there is ample interest in the good, bad, and ugly of pro wrestling history.

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