Arn Anderson On The Serious Effects, The ‘Horror Stories’ Athletes Experience Due To CTE
Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard
Arn Anderson certainly is aware of the worries that CTE brings and discussed such a concerning topic with Conrad Thompson on the most recent episode of ARN.
The two colleagues got together to discuss TLC 2010, but a situation that was happening outside of the ring at the time was WWE’s attorney Jerry McDevitt dealing with legal matters involving CTE cases stemming from the Chris Benoit murder-suicide tragedy. Conrad mentioned how McDevitt pushed back against the idea that Benoit had the brain functionality akin to an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient, with McDevitt stating that Benoit was able to remember intricacies of matches and moves so the comparison seemed out of place. Since then, we’ve all learned more about CTE and the problems that come with it, but Arn does remember being very concerned at the time before reiterating his thoughts on the Benoit tragedy.
“The information that came out for a veteran or for a guy who has been banged around for a couple of years is pretty frightening. I’m not a doctor, I couldn’t diagnose Chris or what he had or what his capabilities were but there’s a lot of functioning alcoholics out there that drink vodka instead of bourbon so you don’t smell it on their breath. They’re hammered but nobody in the room knows it, you know? Just another example of what you can pull off if you’re damaged. Chris Benoit, like I said, I’ve never had anything but pleasant conversations with him prior to all this happening and I’ve said on record many times, I cannot wrap my head around it. The guy I knew would not be capable of that, but if it did happen for whatever the reason, there’s no forgiving, there’s no accepting, there’s no being able to explain away what happened the horror of it over that weekend.”
“I know that CTE is a very real thing. I find myself, my short term memory, I walk around this house five times a day trying to find my glasses. They’ll be stuck on top of my head. Guess that’s part of it. It’s funny but it’s sad, your short term memory on a lot of things. I think maybe it’s just part of it, I don’t know, and maybe it hits people at different times. For the most part, I’m great. It doesn’t have any issues. I don’t have the horror stories that Ricky Steamboat told me about leaving his house and going to the grocery store and finding himself just riding around and having to go back home because he forgot why he left the house. That’s a horror story. Nothing that bad for myself, but obviously there’s a lot of guys and probably going to be some ladies suffering from it.”
Conrad followed up about the Benoit situation and how the immediate thought was to blame the use of steroids.
“When something horrifying like that happens people are looking to blame something and blame somebody and there’s somebody and something to blame, but we’re not doctors,” Arn continues. “We’re not the one that can put our finger on it a decade later and say, ‘This is what happened.’ Could have been a combination of a lot of things. All of it, but I think the most important thing is this CTE is, because I look at other athletes, the football players that are committing suicide and things of that nature. Young, good-looking athletes that are 40 years old and still in good shape but they have a headache every single day, most of the day for years and they just can’t bear it anymore and they end up taking their life. It’s serious business.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
Listen to the full episode of ARN below: