Triple H lost in his first match on Raw in three years Monday night, but according to F4Wonline (via Wrestling Inc.), it was the superstar’s post-match actions signaling a possible concussion that will be the main focus of this angle moving forward.
Triple H is reportedly "fine" (per F4Wonline), but addressing the concussion concerns facing the WWE and all major sports through a marquee storyline is the smartest move for the company.
The WWE has already made the commitment to research outside the ring and behind the scenes as well (h/t Gary Mihoces of USA Today), and now will bring the lessons learned to a major character in the company:
World Wrestling Entertainment, known for past stars such as Hulk Hogan and current champ John Cena, says it is making a gift of $1.2 million over three years to further research aimed at developing a treatment for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. The brain disease, associated with repeated concussions, has come under scrutiny amid concussion-related lawsuits by more than 4,000 former NFL players against the league. CTE has been linked to depression and dementia.
The WWE medical staff did not clear the superstar for action Monday after being involved in a violent battle against Brock Lesnar at Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view, but Triple H insisted on fighting reinvented superstar Curtis Axel.
What resulted was one of the toughest men in the company brought to his knees by a neurological injury. With the focus from the sports world at every level shifting to preventing and treating concussions, now was the right time to use this storyline.
Not only are concussions a topic being addressed in the NFL, NHL and every sport across the world, but the WWE is also facing the issue of brain injuries itself with World Heavyweight champion Dolph Ziggler and his recovery.
Ziggler told WWE.com that he suffered his concussion after a kick from Jack Swagger and lost long spans of memory from the following day. As seen on the WWE app after Raw went off the air, Triple H’s character was also suffering from similar symptoms.
Instead of ignoring this hot-button topic, the company is facing it head on.
Not only will this make for an interesting storyline for the WWE, but this will also give the company a chance to lay out exactly how concussions are to be handled in the future.
Instead of just allowing Triple H to go out to the ring again without doctor approval, the WWE has the unique opportunity to educate the fans about how and why it will be thoroughly testing the superstar before he is ever allowed to step foot in the ring again.
Storyline or not, the company has the chance to set a very real precedent for how it handles possible brain injuries and concussions once they are diagnosed.
The WWE used to be viewed as a joke for its lackadaisical approach to the safety of the superstars, but since the inception of the Wellness Policy in 2006, the company has been trending in the right direction in terms of making a safe work environment.
Adding regulations on brain injuries and how they’re handled would be a great addition to that policy.
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