WWE bans chair shots to the head

Striking an opponent with a metal folding chair is a time-honored tradition in professional wrestling.  The great equalizer, it’s a sure-fire way to get an advantage over an opponent and to get heat from a crowd.  And now, if done carelessly, it can lead to a suspension.

In an age of growing concerns over the lasting effects of concussions, the WWE has updated its wellness policy to include the following:

The WWE penalizes through fine and/or suspension the following:

• The intentional use of a folding metal chair to “strike” an opponent in the head.
• Any blow to the head that is deemed an INTENTIONAL act

Those are not prop chairs that are being used.  Go find a folding chair and check the weight.  Getting hit in the head will do some damage.  Bret Hart had his storied career ended by a concussion (though not from a chair).  Chris Benoit (who was known to take chair shots to the back of the head) was found to have severe brain damage after his murder/suicide of his family.

This is a fantastic move by the WWE, and definitely a far cry from the days of a hardcore division that fought in arena hallways with whatever weapons they could find.  And perhaps this will make chair shots less frequent and therefore a bigger deal when used.  When sold right, a chair shot to the back or jab to the stomach can grab just as much heat, and with time, fans will forget that guys like Mick Foley could shrug off numerous shots to the head.

Follow that one, TNA.  Please.

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