A pair of recently deceased wrestlers were diagnosed with a form of brain damage. According to the Boston Globe, both Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney had CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), a form of brain damage brought on by multiple concussions. Both Rotten and Mahoney were known for their hardcore matches with unprotected shots to the head. Rotten passed away in February 2016 of an accidental heroin overdose. Mahoney passed away in April 2016 of a heart attack.
CTE is fairly rare in wrestlers as there hasn’t been such a diagnosis since Test passed away in 2009. The most famous case is Chris Benoit, who was diagnosed after his death in 2007. Since his passing, WWE has greatly enhanced its concussion protocol and banned almost all weapon shots to the head.
There’s no good way to spin something like this. It’s pretty clear that the unprotected shots to the head and working through concussions are horrible ideas that can only lead to horrible results. These things have been banned from WWE in recent years and their absence hasn’t brought the company crashing down. There’s nothing wrong with protecting the wrestlers and if it can prevent horrible brain damage, that’s a very good thing.
Has WWE done enough to help deal with chronic concussions and brain injuries? What else should they do? Let us know in the comments below.