Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Developing: WWE Reinstitutes Chair Shots to the Head

[posted 4/4/11 to http://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com]

Paul Levesque — the wrestler known as “Triple H,” who is slated to take over top management of World Wrestling Entertainment when his in-laws, Vince and Linda McMahon, leave the scene — hit his opponent Mark “Undertaker” Calloway with a chair to the head last night at WrestleMania in Atlanta.

But weren’t chair shots to the head banned in WWE? That’s what Vince McMahon said in 2007 after the double murder/suicide of star wrestler Chris Benoit — even if McMahon didn’t get around to promulgating it as company policy until his wife was running unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate last year.

Once again we see that self-regulation of the pro wrestling industry, in which the deaths of performers under the age of 50 far exceed the body count of even the concussion-soaked National Football League, is an oxymoron.

More on this story as it develops — including a review of the history of WWE’s lies on the subject, some of them to Congress.

And while we’re at it, where is Dr. Joseph Maroon, the “medical director” of WWE who simultaneously bloviates and contracts for the NFL? I’m looking forward to seeing how Senator Richard Blumenthal, who defeated Linda McMahon in the recent election, intends to incorporate wrestling brain injuries into the fight he has joined with Senate colleague Tom Udall to ameliorate concussions in football.

I also expect the auditors of the Connecticut Labor Department, who are probing WWE’s abuse of the independent contractor classification for its wrestlers, to consider the stakes of their investigation.

Irv Muchnick

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