A guy who signed his email “Chris” sent me this comment on the report here yesterday that World Wrestling Entertainment is again using chair shots to the head, despite public statements and a published “wellness policy” to the contrary:
“to be fair, mr. muchnick, if you saw the wm 28 [sic] ppv, you would have seen that the undertake [sic] put his hands up in front of his face and his hands absorbed that fake chair shot from hhh.”
The best answer to this is the excellent item by David Bixenspan at Cageside Seats: “After Wrestlemania, it looks like WWE has unbanned chairs to the head,” http://www.cagesideseats.com/2011/4/4/2090779/after-wrestlemania-it-looks-like-wwe-had-unbanned-chairs-to-the-head.
“Undertaker may have gotten a hand up at the last second, but as hard as the shot hit, that probably didn’t help matters much at all,” Bixenspan writes.
In an email to me, Bixenspan called the Triple H-Undertaker stunt on Sunday night “stupid, careless, and hypocritical” since these were not two independent garbage wrestlers who might feel they need to resort to dangerous chair shots in order to get a crowd “pop.” When the two most respected veterans in WWE do that, “what kind of message does it send to the other wrestlers?”
But here’s the kicker: Cageside Seats uncovered that this was no isolated Vince McMahon son-in-law exception.
On a March 25 WWE show, in Champaign, Illinois, Sheamus hit Daniel Bryan on the head with a chair in the middle of a move called a tope (a kind of flying head butt). Bixenspan: “The spot was made most famous by Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit in their ladder match at the 2001 Royal Rumble, where Benoit took the full force of the chair while rocketing into it.” Bixenspan says the two incidents, in combination, “lead us to believe that chairshots to the head have been unbanned.”
Also yesterday, I emailed all the leading wrestling fan newsletter journalists, from Wrestling Observer‘s Dave Meltzer on down. I have received no response to this message:
What is your published response to Hunter’s chair shot to Taker’s head?
The following don’t count:
* grading this safety policy on the curve based on how good you thought the match was
* the son-in-law exception
* contorted analysis of whether Taker actually got his hand in there to cushion the blow
* above all, snide and ultimately toothless comments about how these people always lie, so what do you expect?