Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WWE Bans Chair Shots for Safety … Except When They’re Absolutely Essential to the Plot

While I was busy cutting and pasting into the last post the email tirade of Congressman Bobby Rush’s frazzled communications director, the Hartford Courant’s Daniela Altimari was busy pressing her examination of World Wrestling Entertainment concussion practices.

In her Capitol Watch blog post “Tables, ladders and chairs,”, Altimari questions how WWE’s December pay-per-view show, based almost entirely on the gimmick of wrestlers beating up on each other with weapons, could possibly square with language on the corporate “wellness policy” page stating that “the intentional use of a folding metal chair to ’strike’ an opponent in the head” is prohibited.

Ever at the ready with a propaganda filibuster, WWE PR guy Robert Zimmerman explained that the formal chair-shot ban was introduced a month after the “TLC” event. Zimmerman also maintained that “no performer suffered a concussion” at TLC.

However, James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch told Altimari that WWE’s Sheamus did sustain a concussion at the most recent, and equally dangerous, “Elimination Chamber” pay-per-view in February. “Instead of wrestlers hitting each other with chairs,” Caldwell said, “wrestlers’ heads were bouncing off chain wiring and ‘bullet proof’ glass-paneled pods.”

As I have reported on this blog, another wrestler at “Elimination Chamber,” The Undertaker, sustained first- and second-degree burns in a pyrotechnic accident — an injury that happy-face Zimmerman equated at the time to a “sunburn.”

Irv Muchnick

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