Archive for August 19th, 2010

Pro Wrestling Torch With Excellent Follow-Up to My Story on Charlie Haas and Linda McMahon

“Charlie Haas tells his story on WWE release, describes WWE’s handling of a serious neck injury”

by James Caldwell

New Haven Independent Editorial: ‘Voters Should Question Linda McMahon About Wrestlers’ Deaths’

“Voters Should Question Linda McMahon About Steroids And The Deaths Of Wrestlers”

by John Stoehr

[N]o Connecticut media has reported on Lance McNaught’s death (his stage name was Lance Cade). Only the national media has so far questioned how McNaught, who may have died from steroid use, is the latest in a growing list of fatalities linked to McMahon.

Death seems to be a recurring theme in the “soap opera” that is WWE, according to McMahon…. [P]eople come back to life in soap operas. In real life, they don’t. Voters deserve to know how she treated employees and Connecticut’s media, working for those most invested in her campaign, should be asking the toughest questions. So far, they haven’t. Fortuntely, there’s time.

Deadspin Covers Lance Cade Death And Linda McMahon’s Campaign

“Masked Man,” the anonymous pro wrestling contributor to the offbeat sports news site, has taken on the story of Lance Cade’s death and its significance for the Linda McMahon campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Too gentle on the McMahons but there’s some good stuff there:

Irv Muchnick

A Little Side Question For That Devout Christian, Shawn Michaels

Shawn Michaels destroyed the late Lance Cade with repeated scripted (or perhaps a little more than scripted) chair shots on a World Wrestling Entertainment Raw show. As detailed in the prior posts, this was “punishment” for Cade, who at an earlier wrestling show had left the building without thanking Michaels for the generous “job” he had done for a young  wrestler who was lower in the pecking order.

All part of the game, apparently.

Michaels has been public about his devout faith. I wonder where Chrisitianity teaches people that the scene described above squares with the principles of Jesus.

Just curious.

Irv Muchnick

Keith Harris of Cageside Seats With More on Lance Cade

The ever-valuable Keith Harris of Cageside Seats put up a comment on the previous post about the late Lance Cade’s scripted destruction with chair shots on a 2008 edition of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Monday Night Raw. Especially important is Keith’s link to the primary-source video of the incident.

Not for the first time, I reproduce Keith’s comment as its own post:

I wrote about this incident over four months ago at Cageside Seats in a post entitled “Speaking of WWE’s shady callous nature, Lance Cade has been fired after successfully completing rehab”:

Within that post is a link to a YouTube video of the match where Shawn quickly destroyed Cade with a chair.  It should be noted that only one of the chair shots was to the head, which I suppose was progress compared to the similar punishment angle Chris Kanyon had to endure over five years earlier where he was scripted to take multiple chair shots to the head.  The concussion angle to this incident obviously still applies nonetheless.  But there’s another angle worth exploring.  Namely, scripting someone to take a large number of unnecessary, painful chair shots all over his body as punishment may have contributed to Cade shortly thereafter having a pain pill induced seizure on a plane.

On a side note, I’m bit peeved at the notion pushed by some in the wrestling media that WWE did everything they could to help Cade, which ignores WWE booking him in that punishment angle, WWE firing him instead of sending him straight to rehab after the incident where he had a drug induced seizure on a plane, and firing him again as soon as he successfully completed rehab in his second stint in the company.  Clearly Cade needed rehab in October 2008, but by all accounts he wasn’t offered it then and had to wait over a year to get it.  Personally that doesn’t strike me as WWE doing everything they could to help him, as quickly as they could.

Late Lance Cade: ‘Addict’ (Linda McMahon’s Dismissal) Or Untreated Brain Trauma Victim (Plenty of Circumstantial Evidence)?

The new issue of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter has a full and very revealing biography of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Lance Cade, who died last week at age 29 from the usual euphemistic “heart failure.”

Brazenly and outrageously, Senate candidate Linda McMahon, has kicked dirt on Cade’s grave – to repeat the words of another former WWE performer and current sports brain-injury activist, Chris Nowinski. While calling scrutiny of her wrestlers’ deaths “fair game,” McMahon lumped Cade together with all the other presumably subhuman “addicts” whose untimely demises foul her ill-gotten fortune.

But as Meltzer’s story shows, the circumstantial evidence shows that Cade (real name Lance McNaught), addict or not, was certainly a prima facie candidate for the brain trauma disease now being called Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy.

The Meltzer piece can be viewed (subscribers only) at It tells of how Cade, who had been trained and pushed by WWE great Shawn Michaels, “was beaten down with one brutal chair shot after another and … left for dead, in what looked like and it turns out was punishment,” in a “no disqualification match” with Michaells on the October 6, 2008, edition of Raw.

The “punishment” was for having violated etiquette in not having shown enough gratitude to Michaels, who had more seniority and status, and had gifted Cade with a “clean pinfall” win over him in a prior match.

Not so incidentally, this took place nearly a year after Vince McMahon told CNN, in a fall 2007 documentary, that WWE was banning chair shots to the head. In fact, cranial chair shots continued all the way to January 2010 – by which time Linda’s Senate campaign was well under way.

Irv Muchnick

Concussion Activist Chris Nowinski Speaks Out on Linda McMahon

Chris Nowinski — the Harvard grad and  World Wrestling Entertainment performer who had to retire due to multiple concussions and then founded the Sports Legacy Institute, which promotes reforms of head-trauma policies in sports — maintained a dignified silence on the Senate candidacy of former WWE chief executive Linda McMahon.

But when another WWE alum, Lance Cade, died at 29, and McMahon denigrated him as another one of those addicts whom she’d only met one time, Nowinski had had enough. This interview with the New England Cable Network, in which Nowinski says McMahon “kicked dirt on [Lance Cade’s] grave,” is a must-view:

Irv Muchnick

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