Wrestlers Sue WWE Over Brain Damage
Three wrestlers have taken it upon themselves to sue on behalf of all wrestlers ever, stating that the WWE is exploitative and puts its performers in grave danger of intense brain damage. Via TMZ:
Big Russ McCullough, Ryan Sakoda and Luther Reigns (obvious stage names) claim the WWE has known for years … the brutality in the ring has resulted in dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and a lot more.
The lawsuit — obtained by TMZ — claims the WWE, “under the guise of providing ‘entertainment’ …. has for decades subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality.” The suit acknowledges wrestling is scripted but nonetheless unrelentingly brutal, claiming “WWE is in the business of selling violence.”
The legal docs chronicle various matches in which wrestlers were destroyed. It mentions the 2014 Royal Rumble, in which one wrestler “demolished another with a series of brutal steel chair attacks,” and the docs refer to “the carnage created by the match’s victor.”
The lawsuit gives an interesting inside look into wrestling, saying the goal of the WWE is to elicit “heat,” meaning heightened violence with the use of various props, including chairs, ladders and tables. The suit singles out various moves, including the Brain Buster, Bulldog, Cobra Clutch Slam, Facebreaker, Jawbreaker and Powerslam. It singles out the chair shots to the head, which was banned in 2010.
The suit claims, “The WWE coerces its wrestlers to work while they are injured by, among other methods, threatening to strip them of their position within the organization if they refuse.” It says they are “universally encouraged to ‘wrestle through the pain.’”
And the lawsuit mentions Chris Benoit, who was “routinely hit in the head with a chair.” Benoit, who killed his wife and son along with himself, was autopsied after his death. A doctor concluded Benoit’s brain was so damaged from CTE, it “resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient.”
Do you think something like this will bring some real change to the wrestling industry…or do these guys stand a chance at all?