Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Did brain damage cause Chris Benoit to unhinge?
Repeated concussions could have caused former pro wrestling star Chris Benoit to kill his wife, son and then himself last June, according to analysis by doctors affiliated with the Sports Legacy Institute.
Analysis of Benoit's brain showed that he suffered damage from multiple concussions, likely from his many years in the wrestling ring.
While there's no conclusive evidence brain damage caused him to snap, Benoit's level of scrambled eggs brain can cause depression and irrational behavior.
Pro wrestlers are expected to be tough and "suck up" the injuries they suffer in the ring. They're burly characters who can take chair shots and slams to the mat. Wrestling is fake, yes, but the body is not designed to be slammed for over 300 nights a year. Plus, one of his patented moves was the flying headbutt off the top rope. Fake or not, when you go headfirst into a guy almost every match, you're bound for a concussion.
Furthermore, pro wrestlers don't make squat money when they're injured and have no choice to remain in the ring and on tour - concussions included. That means their heads get rattled even worse.
Another theory behind Benoit's murder-suicide is steroids, of which he had 10 times the level of testosterone in his body.
While the latter theory looks worse for the WWE and sports in general, Vince McMahon is in trouble. Congress is coming after him. Remember, 10 wrestlers were just 'suspended' for violation the WWE's 'Wellness Policy.'
How things will shake out for Vince McMahon and the WWE is uncertain at this point.