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CULTURE

WWE-Ashley Massaro Saga Continues as CTE Enters the Picture

Ashley Massaro, October 1, 2011 (Photo by Glenn Francis of www.PacificProDigital.com)
Ashley Massaro, October 1, 2011 (Photo by Glenn Francis of www.PacificProDigital.com)

“Concussion protocol doesn’t cover that because sub-concussion doesn’t show signs. That’s where education comes in. That’s where impact performance control comes in. Impacts to the head shouldn’t be minimized.”

Several weeks ago Citizen Truth reported on the ongoing saga related to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star Ashley Massaro’s death, her daughter’s future and reports that WWE attempted to cover up a sexual assault perpetrated against her.

Shortly after Massaro’s death, her lawyer Konstantine Kyros asked for her brain to be examined prior to an upcoming court appeal on July 8th. Kyros believes Massaro suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a severe form of brain degeneration usually caused by repeated head traumas, but in some cases can be genetic. Kyros told CNN that six other wrestlers he represented were diagnosed with CTE after their deaths by renowned Dr. Bennet Omalu, who receives credit for first diagnosing the condition in professional football players closely associated with the National Football League.

The wrestlers diagnosed with CTE who were represented by Kyros were: Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Mr. Fuji (Harry Fujiwara), Rex King (Timothy Smith), Balls Mahoney (Jon Rechner) and Axl Rotten (Brian Knighton).

On CTE

“A study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that the rates of concussions among college athletes were higher for male amateur wrestlers than for football players,” CNN reported on the subject on June 2nd.

Head and neck injuries are common in professional wrestling which misleadingly receives the label of “fake.” However, while the product is scripted, much like a movie or television program, the injuries professional wrestles endure are far from fake.

Christopher Nowinski, a former WWE wrestler who is the co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, spoke to CNN regarding how CTE extends beyond concussions. “Concussion protocol doesn’t cover that because sub-concussion doesn’t show signs,” he began. That’s where education comes in. That’s where impact performance control comes in. Impacts to the head shouldn’t be minimized.”

A January 2018 article by CNN details current research on CTE and how it develops:

The neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy can start early and without any signs of concussion, according [to] a study released Thursday.

The Alzheimer’s-like disease has been most commonly associated with former professional football players, but has also been detected in military veterans, including many who have been exposed to roadside bombs and other types of military blasts.

Previous studies have shown that repetitive hits to the head — even without concussion — can result in CTE, but scientists said this is the most definitive study to date to find this connection.

Massaro’s First Email to Kyros

Despite claims by the WWE that the Kyros Law Offices (led by Konstantine Kyros) recruited Massaro to sue the WWE, Kyros released the initial email Ashley sent the law offices. The following was made public on May 22nd by Konstantine Kyros.

I am a former WWE Diva/wrestler with multiple long term injuries. I was working for WWE from 2005-2008 and was on the road as a main event wrestler working TV’s AND house shows at least 4 days a week for my entire career.

I was thrown in the ring after winning the 2005 diva search with absolutely no training which ultimately caused many injuries. I’ve had multiple documented concussions during my career. I was treated by WWE doctors and after leaving the company I continued to see my own personal doctors for treatment. I found out about this lawsuit through others who are on it.

I believe I am exactly who you are looking to help. I more than fit the conditions listed on your website. I’ve been plagued by these injuries my entire life after leaving the company. I believe WWE has caused major problems, life altering problems and wish more than anything that I never worked for them.

Aside from the times I was knocked unconscious and out cold for 5 minutes, I also have a fractured spine, a 5 inch metal plate inserted in my ankle for a spiral fracture that happened at a match on PPV where on camera I was rushed out by EMTs to go to the hospital for treatment. I suffered debilitating back injuries while working for them overseas in the UK and have hospital records for that as well. Vince McMahon himself ordered a cast to be sawed off of my right hand/wrist moments before I was thrown back out into the ring to wrestle on tv even though my cast was not scheduled to come off for another 2 or 3 weeks.

I was beat down, broken, and being almost forced to perform. Since then I see pain management doctors on a monthly basis for 10 years because of the pain and problems that came from my time there. Please feel free to call me or if you get a moment to please google my name and you can at least see some of the injuries I sustained that WWE posted on their official website. I hope to hear back from you soon. Thank you for your time and consideration. – Ashley Massaro 8/23/2016 Email to Kyros Law Offices, PC

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Walter Yeates

Walter Yeates is a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter who embedded at Standing Rock with military Veterans and First People in December 2016. He covers a range of topics at Citizen Truth and is open for tips and suggestions. Twitter: www.twitter.com/GentlemansHall or www.twitter.com/SmoothJourno Muckrack: https://muckrack.com/walteryeates

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