TNA is the No. 2 wrestling promotion. I don’t dwell on it because unlike World Wrestling Entertainment — or, excuse me, The New WWE — few people have even heard of TNA unless they’re wrestling fans.
But I am reminded by fans, time and again, that TNA’s occupational health and safety standards are worse, far worse, than WWE’s. The website Cageside Seats is way ahead of everyone else in documenting this. The latest at Cageside, by writer S. Bruce, must be read to be believed:
“The Sad Story of Shannon ‘Daffney’ Spruill in TNA,” http://www.cagesideseats.com/2011/4/21/2125160/the-sad-story-of-shannon-daffney-spruill.
It’s all there: concussions … a litany of other grotesque and avoidable injuries imposed by the booking and demands of management … reneging on coverage of talent hospital bills … culminating in legal action by this “Knockout” against this promotion. (At TNA, women wrestlers are in every way, including medically, treated worse than male wrestlers.)
And that is one more important set of exhibits of why pro wrestling needs to be reformed. Such reform will have to come down from the top: a single company, WWE, the only mainstream player on the scene, generates well over 90 percent of the industry’s revenue. There is hope in WWE’s home state, Connecticut, that government will take action to end its independent contractor classification for its wrestlers, which is a scam. Thid would be a huge step toward making all wrestling promoters accountable for the gratuitous damage they inflict on their workers.