Weekly News in ReviewBy Alfred Branch, Jr.

The Week In Review
Tragedy dominated this past week when the bodies of WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy and their son Daniel were discovered in the family’s suburban Atlanta home following a double murder-suicide at the hands of Benoit.

Shock led to disbelief and even anger as lurid details of the slayings began to surface surrounding the case. A troubled marriage, the specter of steroids and possible “roid rage,” a mentally handicapped son… it seemed as if the bad news would never stop. The WWE suffered an enormous hit after airing a three-hour tribute to Benoit a day before it became apparent that he had perpetrated the heinous act.

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WWE owner Vince McMahon had to cancel a wrestling show storyline about his own faked death, and scrambled in interviews on the Today Show and other media outlets that questioned just serious a problem steroid use might be in the jacked up wrestling biz. The company was quick to disclose that Benoit had tested negative for the drug as recently as this spring, and McMahon tried to reiterate that the company has worked hard to rid the sports entertainment business of steroids. Whether fans bought it, or if it fell on deaf ears, remains to be seen. . .

In other happier news, it seemed like you were nobody this week if you weren’t either announcing a tour or an appearance, or squashing one in the world of ticketing and entertainment.
Those old fogies from Led Zeppelin teased the hard rock faithful with word of a possible reunion tour, but Robert Plant quickly put the kibosh on that because they were, well, old fogies.

The Verve, the subjects of one the oddest legal battles over copyright in recent music history, said they were in the studio working on a new album and planned to tour. The band had one of the biggest, most-recognizable hits of the ‘90s with “Bittersweet Symphony,” which sampled some music from the Rolling Stones, and it nearly crushed them with all the subsequent court battles.

And then there was Britney. What would a week dominated by Paris Hilton be without a little glimpse of her buddy and our favorite mother of two? The Brit tantalized fans when it was leaked that she was going to be a part of this week’s Cyndi Lauper True Colors tour stop in L.A. celebrating gay pride. But a funny thing happened on the way to the party, The Brit pulled out, citing a bad case of the lip-syncs. Apparently, the Brit doesn’t go anywhere without her trusty four-track and declined to perform live.

In other news, we had a couple of sightings out of the “strange bedfellows” department. Tickets.com and RazorGator teamed up to resell premium Dave Matthews Band tickets, and StubHub and Beyonce formed a little pact to resell tickets to her tour, much to the chagrin of Ticketmaster and the various venues along the way.