Chris Nowinski Speaks Out Against WWE

Went to Harvard, you see.

Went to Harvard, you see.

From this article http://blogs.pitch.com/plog/2009/10/retired_kansas_city_chief_kyle_turley_donating_brain_to_research.php:

In professional wrestling, taking fewer bumps and fewer falls from high places would cut the number of concussions.

“The idea of going off the top of the cage into the ring may actually be as stupid as it looks,” Nowinski says. “You cannot slow down the trauma to your brain. Your brain absorbs a ton of trauma. Even if it’s not concust, it’s a high level of trauma that didn’t used to exist in the wrestling industry.”

Nowinski calls today’s WWE “an extremely unsafe workplace.”

“Everybody who got black lung going into the mines and died knew they were going into the mines,” he says, “but they didn’t know the full consequences.The only way to get real change is for the McMahons to get out of the business or for the federal government to come in and declare it an unsafe workplace.”

This is right along the lines of something I’ve been advocating for a long time. For as good as ECW might have been during its peak, it certainly hurt the business with its popularization of having guys taking a zillion chairshots to the head. Everything has to be more, more, more these days. One chairshot isn’t enough. One flip off the ropes isn’t enough. These guys have to try to kill themselves in order to get any reaction from the fans anymore.

If everyone just slows down and realizes that taking less bumps, less unprotected shots to the head, less of everything stupid that is all too commonplace these days, then stuff might be able to get over. Less really is more in wrestling. Work smart, not hard. Like Jim Cornette would say, it used to be that the wrestlers were pretending to beat each other up, but people believed it and it got over. Now, the wrestlers really *are* beating each other up, but since everyone knows everything is fake, no one believes it and it doesn’t get over. I hate wrestling right now. – Dusty

Chris Nowinski to discuss brain damage with Sandman

YOOO! We talked to Axl Rotten? I WAS SO COKED UP THAT FUCKIN DAY!

"YOOO! We talked to Axl Rotten? I WAS SO COKED UP THAT FUCKIN' DAY!"

The jokes practically write themselves. Kidding. But seriously, little did I know Sandman has a podcast on Blog Talk Radio with Baby Doll (yep, “The Perfect 10” from Jim Crockett Promotions) as his co-host. And this week (Thursday at 6 p.m. eastern, to be exact), the two will discuss brain trauma in athletes with the foremost ex-wrestler-and-Harvard-graduate/expert on the topic, Chris Nowinski. Click the link above for more details.

(Oh, and I don’t know who writes the blurbs for this Web site, but this was a good one: “Many Americans have no insurance and it makes it to where they have to pay outragious ammounts of money for Hospitalk and Doctor Visits…” I think the hospitalk is where you go to see the doctorb, actually. The “b” is for “bargain!”) (Note: I know we goof a lot on this site, but I’m honestly intrigued to listen to a few episodes of this show and hear what two of wrestling’s most unique personalities have to say about issues of the day. So, no offense if I poke fun at some spelling mistakes.) -Eric

CNN.com reports Chris Nowinski’s findings, he can kiss WWE HoF goodbye!

This is your brain... this is your brain on TGI FRIDAYS! WOOOOO!

"This is your brain... this is your brain on TGI FRIDAYS! WOOOOO!"

CNN.com today has a feature-length story about the long-term damage to the brains of athletes who have suffered concussions. The findings come from the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTSE), which receives and studies dead athletes’ brains solicited by the Sports Legacy Institute, started by former WWE wrestler and “Tough Enough” contestant Chris Nowinski and Dr. Robert Cantu (their last names sound like an argument). The story quotes Nowinski’s inspiration for starting the foundation:

In one moment, his dreams of a long career wrestling were dashed by a kick to his chin. That kick, which caused Nowinski to black out and effectively ended his career, capped a career riddled with concussions.

“My world changed,” said Nowinski. “I had depression. I had memory problems. My head hurt for five years.”

Nowinski began searching for studies, and what he found startled him.

“I realized when I was visiting a lot of doctors, they weren’t giving me very good answers about what was wrong with my head,” said Nowinski. “I read [every study I could find] and I realized there was a ton of evidence showing concussions lead to depression, and multiple concussion can lead to Alzheimer’s.”

The story also says five out of five brains studied by CTSE show the damaging effects (known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE) of multiple concussions (a two-photo slide show is available on this page and, yuck, that beat-up brain is in bad shape), and that “the [protein] tangles [in the damaged brains] closely resemble what might be found in the brain of an 80-year-old with dementia.” No wonder Chris Benoit killed his wife and kid Sophia on “The Golden Girls” was always angry.

According to the article, the NFL’s official statement (*yawn*) says “Hundreds of thousands of people have played football and other sports without experiencing any problem of this type and there continues to be considerable debate within the medical community on the precise long-term effects of concussions and how they relate to other risk factors.” I’m sure Vince McMahon’s reaction to the findings will be slightly less diplomatic, knocking papers out of everyone’s hands and then shouting, “Now ask me a question! Huh? Huh? Awww, you gonna cry?” -Eric

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