WWE News WWE airs Luger 911 call, McMahon speaks on Liz's death
May 11, 2003 - 4:12:00 AM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
WWE Confidential last night featured the heavily hyped story on the death of Elizabeth Hulette, including audio of Larry Pfohl's (a/k/a Lex Luger's) 911 call the night she died.
After recapping Elizabeth's wrestling career in a brief story at the start of the show (including Stephanie McMahon saying as a young girl "to a degree I somewhat idolized her"), Michael Cole narrated the news-like story to close out the program. The story included an interview with a Cobb County police officer saying they hadn't ruled out suicide or homicide.
Hulk Hogan spoke about Elizabeth in general. "I really don't know what made Miss Elizabeth happy," he said. "I don't know if she ever really found it because she was always the passenger when I was around, she was never the driver."
The feature chronicled Elizabeth's wrestling career and how her on-air marriage to Randy Savage mirrored their real life off camera. "In the marriage she was in both professionally as well as personally, she was smothered to a certain extent," he said. "He was overprotective as both a character and in real life." Hogan added: "It was overprotection to an obsession in some certain cases... She was searching. I don't know if she was happy, if she ever found the grove where she wanted to be."
The story shifted to her WCW career four years after leaving WWE. Vince McMahon portrayed it as if her life took a turn for the worse because she left WWE and because WCW wasn't as supportive of an environment.
"When Elizabeth left here, I dare say life changed for her," he said. "I don't know any of the particulars other than when she was here, there was a very caring environment. We all look out for each other and it's one big family. And when she went to WCW as it was known then, there wasn't the same family, there wasn't the same caring. She was probably looked different upon than when she was here. She was probably looked upon as a commodity like anything else. I'm not saying that's horrible, but it's a different environment altogether and I guess life didn't turn out too well."
Cole said that the on-screen relationship between Liz and Luger "grew to be something more." The story then showed Luger's townhouse in Georgia. It showed the police report from a domestic disturbance report less than two weeks before she died. The report said when police arrived at Luger's townhome, Elizabeth's right eye was beginning to well, there was a bruise forming above her left eye, and she had a contusion on her lower left. Originally Elizabeth denied the bruises were from Luger, but eventually conceded that Luger hit her. She requested no charges be filed, but authorities arrested and charged Luger with battery.
The 911 tapes were then played of a despondent Luger begging the 911 operator to send someone because he didn't think Liz was breathing. "Oh my god. Please send somebody... I've been trying to help her... I'm scared to death," he said.
Cole cited that USA Today reported the death as an apparent drug overdose. He cited the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that authorities found over 1,000 illegal pills. Luger was charged with 14 drug possession counts, 13 of which are felonies. A news report from WSB then aired detailing the drug bust.
McMahon then talked about how unfortunate it was for two people who had such wonderful careers end up in such a tragic situation. "The thing I want to say, and I don't know exactly how to say it without - I'm not angry, although part of me is, I guess disappointed, for how someone could let themselves down as much as obviously Elizabeth and Lex let each other and themselves down and the irony of the innocence of Miss Elizabeth juxtaposed to the way that she died, there's a message there somewhere. I don't know what exactly it is other than falling from grace and not dealing with it - if that's what it was. Not having a purpose in life beyond this business, if that's what it was. It's something performers in our business have to learn from so they don't repeat the same mistakes that were made by others before them."
Confidential host Gene Okerlund concluded by citing the Journal-Constitution story that reported Luger told authorities that Elizabeth drank two glasses of vodka and proceeded to take medication for her back pain, and while sitting on a couch to eat, she choked.
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