One of the best parts of Monday to a lot of wrestling fans is Monday Night Raw. But for some people who prefer their wrestling a little bit old school and “southern fried” they can’t wait for the newest episode of Tony Schiavone’s “What Happened When” podcast.
The former voice of WCW recently opened up about Fall Brawl 1997 and he had a rather surprising revelation during the show. Schiavone says the reason he was so primed, focused, and enthused was because he was being prescribed medication at the time. It helped him zone in on the action and call it with pristine sharpness. But like any other medication or drug, his prescription had its drawbacks.
“I really did not like my commentary on [Fall Brawl ’97]” Schiavone said. “Well, around that time in my life… I’m going to say this honestly, and I’m going to say this slowly so it doesn’t get misinterpreted. Around that time in my life I was on speed. And it was because — this is true […] because I had been diagnosed, you can check with (his wife) Lois on this. I had been diagnosed with ADD, Adult ADD.”
“So I went to the doctor, I got diagnosed with Adult ADD, and he put me on the drug called Cylert […] which is a drug like Ritalin only you had to get every month or every three months you had to get liver tests because it would damage the liver.”
The Cylert Schiavone took during that time was so effective it was almost a performance enhancing drug as Tony went on to explain how well it helped him commentate. “I would be so, so focused on these shows. And you can ask Mike Tenay this, Mike and I would talk about this. How focused I’ve been on these shows because the Cylert was working. But later on, I don’t know when that was I said ‘ah f— it.’ It’s not worth all these liver tests and damaging my liver down the road, I’m gonna stop taking it. And I really haven’t taken it since then. But I could tell I was I was on speed [during Fall Brawl ’97] because I was hyped up buddy.”
“I wasn’t abusing drugs,” Tony continued “I’ve never abused drugs. I don’t even drink that much […] I was taking a controlled substance, Cylert. If I had to pee in a bottle that night I would show the guys ‘here’s my prescription it’s got my name on it and it’s prescribed.’ It worked, but it wasn’t worth it later on down the road.” Tony later joked about the subject saying, “listen if you’re in Lois Schiavone’s family you’ve got to drug up […] but the announcing sucked.”
We would like to stress the importance and reality of what Tony Schiavone revealed. Tony was prescribed a medication he actually needed and didn’t take it in a recreational sense at all.
Tony Schiavone merely experienced the benefits of the medicine because that’s what Clyert is supposed to do. But he made the decision it was best not to over-complicate his life with the testing required in taking the drug so he got off of it. But nevertheless, there was a short time when the voice of WCW had a little kick in his step due to medication for Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.
If you use any portion of quotes in this article please credit What Happened When with a H/T to Still Real To Us for the transcription.