Archive for August 27th, 2010

Strong Piece on Connecticut TV on Linda McMahon vs. Chris Nowinski

On this evening’s WTNH news by chief political correspondent Mark Davis. Video and text at this link:

http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/hartford_cty/hartford-mcmahons-business-practices-questioned

Linda McMahon’s WWE Talent Contract Death Clause

WRESTLER, on behalf of himself and his heirs, successors, assigns and personal representatives, hereby releases, waives and discharges PROMOTER from all liability to WRESTLER and covenants not to sue PROMOTER for any and all loss or damage on account of injury to any person or property or resulting in serious or permanent injury to WRESTLER or WRESTLER’s death, whether caused by the negligence of the PROMOTER, other wrestlers or otherwise.

– from the contract of former World Wrestling Entertainment performer Chris Klucsarits (“Chris Kanyon”), who committed suicide earlier this year. You can view the whole document at http://muchnick.net/kanyoncontract.pdf.

Here you can view the video of Chris Kanyon taking a frightening steel chair shot to the head from another wrestler, the Undertaker, in the former’s last appearance on WWE television in 2003: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzA3MDU0MTI=.html.

Here you can view the video of Lance Cade, who died earlier this month at 29 from “heart failure,” taking a series of chair shots from Shawn Michaels, beginning with one to the head, on Raw in October 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7SxW_Jz0D8.

Irv Muchnick

ABC’s Mike Benoit Interview a Missed Opportunity

The best that can be said about the piece on Chris Benoit on ABC’s Nightline Prime last night was that it added to the general inventory of stories involving occupational health and safety at Senate candidate Linda McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment.

The interview with Mike Benoit, Chris’s father, did not, however, advance the scholarship of research on brain trauma in contact sports and sports entertainment; it was basically a rehash of the things Mike first started saying publicly late in 2007. For example, Nightline reporter Martin Bashir failed to add information about the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy findings on another wrestler, Andrew Martin, who had murdered no one except himself (he OD’d on prescription pharmaceuticals). And never mind the most recent wrestler deaths: Eddie Fatu, Chris Klucsarits, Lance McNaught. Television documentary coverage is just not fast enough on its feet for anything so complex.

Still, the day of accounting for the human toll of WWE’s multinational marketing empire draws nearer, and the McMahon family’s bid for electoral power draws it nearer still.

Irv Muchnick


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