|Photo Made by Chris Harrington of WrestlingInc.com|
In a time where WWE is taking care better of their performers then they ever had I find the timing of this interesting. WWE has a strict drug policy, strict tests you have pass if for you to be able to return to the ring. This is much like the NFL-CTE lawsuit where former players accused the league of not informing them of the side effects of concussions and neglecting their health. There is one difference between the NFL and WWE. When an NFL player stops playing football the money stops coming in. A WWE star still receives royalty checks whenever they are featured in a DVD, or WWE comes out with a piece of merchandise for them. A lot of them also make plenty of appearances on the independent wrestling scene. So is this really about their overall health or is their legitimate concern for the performers past, present and future?
For example, the fact that Sabu, Shane Douglas Tracy Smothers and Axl Rotten’s estate is on there is absolutely absurd. All of these men spent the majority of their careers in ECW. For those of you unfamiliar with ECW it is Extreme Championship Wrestling. This is a promotion where there weapons were consistently used, there were no rules and there was not a lot of of professional medical help. These men spent very little time in WWE and they should be dismissed from the lawsuit. I also would like to know where Chavo Guerrero Jr. gets off trying to be in this lawsuit when every week when I turn on Lucha Underground I see Chavo Jr. featured on their TV show. If WWE neglected your health how is it your still performing at a high level and still taking risks with your body? I’ve seen Lucha Underground and I see how physical and violent some of their matches are. I think this is just as absurd as the ECW stars trying to be apart of this lawsuit.
I can see where the guys from the 80’s and prior to that have a case. They were always on the road over 300 days a year. They never had time to rest and heal their bodies. I also know of a few guys on this list who took steroids, drugs and other substances during their careers to help them cope with the injuries. These steroids and drugs also have just as much of a role in their health as their injuries do.
I love professional wrestling and I respect all the men and women who perform on a nightly basis for my entertainment. However this is no different then the NFL. They know the risks involved when they enter this profession.
The WWE has a program that allows all past and present stars to enter into rehab programs if they need it and they fund the entire thing. I do think WWE owes it to their past and present stars to donate more to research then already have. I think WWE needs to fund a medical facility where these guys can get past injuries treated and try to help them as best as possible. Do I think they should be dragged into a lawsuit over the risks that these guys were willing to take to make a living? Absolutely not. It would be one thing if WWE neglected a persons health today with all the technology and medical information that we have in this day in age. Back then there was no education on concussions or what could happen to a person if you get to many.
One name I did not see on this lawsuit is the family of Chris Benoit. If anyone should be suing the WWE it his and Nancy’s family. They were the most effected by concussions and not knowing the damage it could cause. Three lives were lost as a result of brain injuries and steroids with a lot of people stating the brain damage is what caused Benoit to snap. I will be very curious to see how this lawsuit plays out and how WWE responds to it. I am certain you’re going to see a lot of discussion about this for a long time. I have to keep asking myself. Are they doing this to protect the business or are they doing this to hurt it? Are they really concerned about their health or is this a last attempt to make some money off of WWE? As a fan and someone who has studied this business for a long time these are the questions I am struggling with. What side of the fence are you on?
To read the lawsuit in it’s entritey here is the full document https://www.scribd.com/document/318679718/20160718-Wwe-Cte-Lawsuit