The world learned on October 21, 2016 that two more pro wrestlers had been examined and shown to have signs of CTE. The reaction in both the mainstream and wrestling media was muted. When the news was released at the same time of that of a MMA fighter Jordan Parsons, one would have imagined all sorts of comparisons and analysis as to how wrestling was not so fake after all. But nope other than the Boston Globe article which released the story, very little was written about the news. The wrestling media which typically engages and reports every detail of some event in the wrestling world barely registered the fact that of the four publicly identified wrestlers whose brains have been studied by Dr. Omalu all four have shown signs of CTE. The WWE’s reaction? Release a statement to the press critical of the the attorney representing the deceased.
First case of CTE diagnosed in MMA fighter: Brain Disease is also found in two more pro wrestlers.
Bob Hohler Boston Globe Oct. 21, 2016
“Omalu also announced the discovery of CTE in professional wrestler Jon Rechner, whose ring name was Balls Mahoney, as well as signs of early stages of the disease in Rechner’s tag team partner, Brian Knighton, who went by Axl Rotten. Both died this year at age 44. Rechner and Knighton were known on the professional wrestling circuit as “The Hardcore Chair Swingin’ Freaks,” and Rechner is the third professional wrestler who has been publicly identified as having been diagnosed with CTE — and the first since 2009. Their diagnoses come as World Wrestling Entertainment, the industry’s largest promoter, defends itself against lawsuits alleging the company placed its business interests above the health and safety of its performers. WWE spokesman Brian Flinn said by e-mail that the company would decline to comment until it has reviewed the research on the diagnoses. He suggested that Konstantine Kyros, a Hingham lawyer who represents more than 60 professional wrestlers, was “pushing’’ the CTE story to counter negative publicity about the WWE’s court motions to sanction him for improper conduct — an allegation Kyros denied.”