TNA: I'm Done
April 6, 2010
Well folks I’m done. I’m not going to rant, I’m not going to tell you all the things I hated about Impact this week, because none of it matters, I’m just done; I’m done watching Impact for good. I’ve stopped watching before just for my own sanity and peace of mind, but each of those times I intended it to be a temporary break. This time I’m not planning on coming back and checking to see if things have gotten better after a while, I’m washing my hands of the whole thing; I’m done.
The straw that broke the camels back for me was the unprotected chair shot to the head of Rob Terry by Homicide. Yes they have done chair shots to the head before, and they bothered me then too, but this one was different; this unprotected chair shot to the head came just 2 days after Chris Kanyon’s suicide death and I just couldn’t stomach it. I know there will be defenders out there that will want to argue that Chris Kanyon’s depression that led to his suicide has not been determined to as a result of concussions he suffered due to chair shots to the head, but that is just a cop out, in my opinion.
Sure you could argue that one chair shot to the head does not necessarily result in a concussion, and one concussion does not necessarily result in brain damage or depression, and not everyone with depression commits suicide, but let’s be real. Anyone who tries to argue that concussions aren’t really bad, are idiots and they need to go have a talk with Chris Nowinski and the Sports Legacy Institute. I’ve spoke at length with Chris and a couple of the doctors doing research into concussions and there is not a whole lot of doubt that concussions cause brain damage and depression, and instances of suicide increase dramatically as a result of this brain trauma.
The wrestling Industry has suffered an incredible number of deaths due to drug use, steroid use, and suicide over the last several years, and in a post Benoit tragedy world seeing a wrestling company put no effort forth to protect it’s talent roster offends me to no end.
Let’s just look at this one incident, and this is not meant to be a burial of Rob Terry, I don’t even know the guy and I wish him all the success in the world, but I think this really needs to be said. I’m genuinely concerned for the well being of people in this business and after the incredible number of deaths this industry has suffered over the years someone has to say something. I’m not looking to place blame for past events, I’m looking for action now to improve the future.
Rob Terry took a stiff unprotected chair shot to the head last night on Impact. The chair shot to the head was intended to help get him over as a monster. Why is Rob Terry getting this push? Rob Terry is getting this push because of his body; TNA likes his look. Unless you have your head completely buried in the sand you know one of the main contributing components to a body like Rob Terry’s; and we know the heath risks involved with it. Steroid use while likely not lethal on its own does greatly increase one’s chances of a heart attack at a young age. Far too many wrestler deaths are due to a heart attack, and while steroid use is usually only a contributing factor, not the sole cause, it can not be argued that steroids played a significant role in many early heart attack deaths in this business.
We also know that getting off steroids after years of use/abuse can lead to depression. We also know that concussions lead to brain trauma which can result in depression. Depression in athletes often leads to suicide, which it unfortunately did in the case of Chris Kanyon a mere 2 days before last night’s chair shot on Impact.
What a horrific tribute this was to the death of Chris Kanyon. How the people in charge of TNA can be either this insensitive or this oblivious is beyond me. Now I’m not saying that this one instance has sealed the fate of young Rob Terry or that TNA has sentenced him to death, but there are many roads one can travel on in life and we all know where this particular road leads. Rob Terry and TNA together have very willingly chosen a very dangerous road to go down, and it is a journey I refuse to witness or support.
When is this industry and the people in it going to wake up and learn from the death toll this business has experienced? Thankfully WWE is taking steps forward with their wellness policy and the banning of chair shots to the head, but TNA seems content to seek short term, shock value ratings and ignore the horrific long term writing on the wall. This may be a decision the company and the talent made willingly together, but it is one I am not willing to tolerate any longer. I have lost too many friends, and we should all know better by now.
I have been in this industry since 1990 and below is a list of people I have known and lost during my career. I am beyond sympathy and to the point of rage when I have to add a new name to this list, and while steroid use and concussions are not the only causes of these deaths, denying they play a significant role in many of them is ludicrous and we have to start taking every step possible to protect the health and well being of the people in this industry. The people on this list are not without blame, almost all went down their road willingly, so it’s time for the Industry to step up and start protecting its own (like WWE is trying to do with Wellness), and maybe it’s time for the fans to demand it too, with their support or lack there of.
Bam Bam Bigelow
Road Warrior Hawk
Big Boss Man
Big Dick Dudley
Bobby Duncum Jr.
Davey Boy Smith
Andrew Test Martin
Edward “Umaga” Fatu
Rest in peace my friends. Here is to hoping that in addition to mourning your loss, we learn from your mistakes and do everything in our power to help others avoid your fate.