Dr Unger Monday Night Raw

  • Clear evidence is of this early actual awareness is the Dr. Unger interview aired on Monday Night Raw aired December 4, 1995. The interview is actually part of a WWE storyline, in which a Star named Shawn Michaels is described as having had a serious concussion (after collapsing in the ring as part of the fiction). Dr. Unger not only describes post concussion syndrome in detail he offers that it is a big problem.
  • Unger “ In the United States there’s about 4 million patients who suffer from some type of head trauma. As a result of the head trauma, about half of these patients develop a syndrome which includes problems such as ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, different problems such as numbness of their hands and feet, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate… and this becomes a problem because these patients tend to get frustrated, and they get depressed as well. They have sleep disturbances. And all this persists for between two weeks to several months. However, there’s a group of patients that may go up to three years before they show any improvement, and these patients have a very poor prognosis, and they don’t seem to get better at all.”
  • Unger goes on to warn that the wrestler (Shawn Michaels) has abnormal neurological tests and that “he might be out considerably longer than I expected. Any indication of having Shawn return at this time to WWF are just totally premature.” And “ I’m not sure when Shawn is going to come back. I do know that there are many professional football players and boxers that never fully recover from these types of head injuries. With Shawn, the problem is that he’s such as high impact type of athlete that I would have to be hundred percent certain he would not reinjure himself when he got back into the ring.”
  • Later Vince McMahon himself intones about the fragile nature of WWE athletes: Well, Shawn Michaels has unquestionably always been the very embodiment of what superstardom is really all about. But two weeks ago on Raw, the facade of superstardom was smashed in an instant when Shawn Michaels collapsed to the canvas. In that frightening moment, we realized that a superstar is really just like the rest of us — a human being. They do feel pain. They’re not invincible. Unquestionably, these athletes are driven by their insatiable desire to be the very best they can be. Here in the World Wrestling Federation, we cheer wildly as these superstars risk their bodies time after time constantly taking one step closer to the edge in an effort to thrill the crowd. Well, Shawn Michaels has been living on the edge and thrilling the crowds for quite some time. Shawn Michaels wowed us into believing that he could do just about anything because we’ve seen him do it. But now we find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of hoping he’ll just be all right, all the while knowing we helped push him over the edge in our unquenchable thirst for excitement. However, like anyone who totally loves what they do, Shawn Michaels can’t wait to get back in the ring, and believe me, he’s even more anxious to get back than we are to see him back. But unfortunately, now there’s a question as to when or even if Shawn Michaels should return at all.
  • The irony of this is that Michaels in fact did not have post concussion syndrome, it was merely a storyline to create dramatic impact for the fans. Author James Dixon reviewing the episode in a 2013 book writes: Vince McMahon about Shawn Michaels. If only he had adopted this attitude towards his “independent contractors” in real life rather than just kayfabe world. A lot of lives could have been saved.” (Dixon The Raw Files 1995, Pub, historyofwretsling.info 2013 P. 83)