A chair shot.
Those words can spark a mixed array of emotions and ultimately describe the dark side of pro wrestling. From the shock of the impact, excitement of nostalgia, and the disgust at the site of blood (blade job), a chair shot has always aided a match/segment by providing the “real” feeling pro wrestling unmistakably lacks.
While fans overwhelmingly favor the usage of chairs in pro wrestling, they fail to realize what it’s doing to the target Superstar. One way to describe a chair shot and its profound effect on a WWE Superstar is the lyrics of the hit song, “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence.
“Bid my blood to run, before I come undone.”
This strange commodity has had its fair share of victims. The numerous injuries, early retirements, and accompanying health issues have gotten to a point where I believe all forms of chair usage should be exiled.
I know what you’re asking yourself. Why?
“Since chair shots of today are less effective and more protective, why should chair shots be banned?”
Before you write this article off, let’s examine the reasons why I believe chair shots should be banned.
The primary reason chair shots should be removed from pro wrestling is the risk of injury to the target.
The usage of chairs has shortened dozens of pro wrestling careers. The majority of these superstars suffered injuries that have eventually led to their retirement. The risk of injury was highlighted by the shocking retirement of former World Heavyweight Champion, Edge.
In 2003, Adam Copeland suffered a severe neck injury. The Rated R Superstar underwent a surgery that placed a metal plate and screws in his neck. Because of this, Edge knew his time as a WWE Superstar would be limited.
The injury sidelined Edge for almost a year.
In case you’ve missed my point, the primary target of a chair shot is the skull. If swung with enough force, a chair shot to the skull could cause a considerable amount of damage to the neck and spinal areas.
With Edge being a victim of multiple chair shots after the injury, it’s highly possible that Edge would be an active member of the WWE roster today.
Edge’s case is a shocking one but he’s just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to injuries sustained by a chair shot. Fellow Canadian, Chris Benoit, was said to have suffered multiple concussions during his time in the WWE. The primary cause of these concussions was chair shots Benoit sustained in multiple matches.
These multiple concussions eventually led to a considerable amount of brain damage. This eventually leads to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE can eventually lead dementia and a number of strange/violent emotions.
Former professional wrestler, Andrew “Test” Martin, unwittingly suffered from the disease.
The number of professional wrestlers that have suffered concussions is a cruel notion to my argument. From Mr. Anderson, Randy Orton, Test, and Chris Benoit, chair or not, concussions aren’t to be taken lightly.
In the end, from the head to other parts of the human anatomy, chair shots have always proven to have a negative effect on their target. As pro wrestling fans, we should invest our interest in the well being of the performers instead of anticipating a cheap pop from a chair shot.
This brings me to my next point.
I’ll be the first to admit, wrestling would have an odd feeling. That being said, as fans, we can adjust to the idea in favor of product quality. Like I stated above, the primary reason for a chair shot is a cheap pop. Hardcore Legend, Mick Foley, also dislikes the usage of chair shots.
“It was overused, it was an easy pop, guaranteed reaction and they have showed that when you use it sparingly as in The Undertaker-Triple H match at WrestleMania that a chair really means something.”
My point is the use of a chair shot is no longer needed as it’s easy to spark a crowd reaction based on moves inside the squared circle. For example, CM Punk vs. John Cena received a five star match rating. The match revolved around pure wrestling skill and refused to incorporate weapons as the crowd was already responsive to the in ring action.
While the Punk/Cena match received a five star rating, the Undertaker/Triple H was panned as forgettable compared to Taker’s bouts with Shawn Michaels.
Simply put, chair shots don’t add much to the match and aren’t essential as they once were.
In closing, I’d like to say chair shots have played their role in pro wrestling history. A number of matches/segments would’ve been less effective had the chair not been used. With that being said, I would rather witness WWE Superstars hang it up on their terms. We’ve lost too many Superstars because of the effects of a chair shot. Injuries are serious.
This is a contact sport and despite the smoke and mirrors associated with professional wrestling, these performers are subject to injury.
As I watch RAW and SmackDown each week, it’s tough realizing I’ll never experience the exhilarating feeling that comes once Metalingus by Alter Bridge explodes through the arena.
You can read the other side of the story here. Who’s side are you on? Let us know in a comment below.