Two Pennsylvania Wrestlers Sue WWE in Federal Court
You’ve probably heard by now about the lawsuit filed against the WWE by two former wrestlers, Evan Singleton and Vito Lograsso, both from Pennsylvania. The complaint they filed (below) is a fascinating, brutal piece of reading that alleges that many of the league’s wrestlers have suffered brain damage and even committed suicide because of the damage they’ve suffered during matches.
Wrestling may be “scripted” — that is, not quite real — but the pain wrestlers suffer, it seems, is authentic. Why? The lawsuit says this is what happens, essentially, when you get large men beating on each other, falling off of steel cages and whacking each other with metal chairs — even when it’s all in fun:
Though he’s not a part of the lawsuit, the plaintiffs’ attorneys rely heavily on the wrestler Mick Foley’s experiences in making their case. Why? Because he might be the closest thing to an intellectual the wrestling circuit has produced. He’s authored several books about his time in the ring — and gets credit for actually writing them instead of, like most jocks, having them ghost-written. He’s written for Slate and is generally known as funny and thoughtful.
Here are the lawsuit’s top references to Mick Foley (who is, incidentally, competing in this year’s Wing Bowl), as a summary of what the plaintiffs’ case is all about.
• Wrestlers take too many headshots, the plaintiffs say — especially from other wrestlers using the most fearsome of weapons: The steel chair.
• The result of all that head-pounding, according to the suit? Concussions, concussions and more concussions.
• Fight several matches a week, every week of the year, without rest, and all those concussions — and numerous sub-concussive hits — can take a toll on a wrestler’s brain and broader health. (The suit alleges that WWE wrestlers suffer from high rates of CTE, the brain-deteriorating condition that is also the center of a suit by former players against the NFL.) But sometimes, one really brutal match is all it takes.
See the video of the match at the top of this page.
• This is the picture of Foley from that match, appended to the lawsuit. The little white thing sticking out of Foley’s nose? His tooth.
The plaintiffs are seeking to have the lawsuit designated a class action suit, which means other injured wrestlers could join. Foley — who, publicly at least, is known for his wit — might not seem like a poster child for brain injuries and it’s unknown if he’ll join the suit. But based on his own description, he endured tremendous pain in his wrestling career.