wrestling / News

Eric Bischoff Addresses Awareness Around CTE in Wrestling and Other Sports, How Chris Nowinski Got Him More Interested in CTE Research

July 17, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

– During this week’s After 83 Weeks show, new Smackdown Executive Director Eric Bischoff was asked about the issue of post-concussion syndrome in wrestling and the issue of CTE. You can check out a video of that segment and some highlights below.

Eric Bischoff on his interest in the CTE topic through Chris Nowinski: “You know, I worked with Chris Nowinski for a brief period of time in WWE. He was there when I was there. I don’t want to say we became friends because that suggests we were tighter than we were, but we were very, very friendly. When we were on the road together, we would often sit and talk and hang out together. When we were on the road together, we would often sit and talk and hang out together, you know, at the hotel bar after the show or whatever in the arena. And I was so impressed that he was such a smart guy. And he’s smart in a way that you don’t usually run into in professional wrestling — and when it comes to science and medicine and things like that. So, I spent a lot of time talking to him and was so impressed with him. And later on when he got involved with CTE, I became very interested in following him and what he was involved in, simply because I had that remote connection to him.”

“So my interest in CTE, to answer your question Chris, it was really — the catalyst was my relationship with Chris. And at this time, yes, I follow it a lot because the brain and the neurology of the brain, the nutrition of the brain is something that I’m personally really, really interested in because we’re all so concerned about our nutrition in your body, but your brain is a unique kind of nutrition as well. And to my wife, who’s very much involved with things like this, I’ve started becoming very interested in that. So, yes, I am interested, but only because of my relationship Chris Nowinski.”

Eric Bischoff on if today’s professional wrestler should be concerned about CTE: “I think that’s obvious. I think anybody that’s involved — my biggest concern — not my concern. It’s the wrong way to say it. You know, one of my very, very early podcasts that I did before I got hooked up with Conrad, I interviewed a friend of mine who was a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers. And he’s about my age, maybe a little older. And he had won a Super Bowl. He had played for the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, very well known guy. And he said one of his causes now is to go to high schools and groups and families and speak out against kids playing football because the coaching and the awareness and the injuries that are sustained in that sport, even at a very young age, nobody really understands it yet. We’re just beginning to understand it. And he speaks out pretty aggressively about kids playing sports, particularly hockey. Hockey is newer; football for sure. They are just beginning to realize how much of that injury is caused in hockey. So, I’m not for it. I’m not against it. I’m for a lot of awareness. And I think the game should be modified to take into consideration what we’re learning as we’re going.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit After 83 Weeks, with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.