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Brain Injury Lawsuit

Is Nothing But a Cash Grab

4/10/2015 10:28 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0410-russ-ryan-reigns-wwe-wrestlers-flickr-tmz-02The guys suing the WWE over alleged brain injuries are a bunch of "nobodies" brainwashed by lawyers to believe they can score a quick buck ... at least according to a WWE lawyer. 

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Big Russ McCulloughRyan Sakoda and Luther Reigns claim the WWE has known for years its athletes are suffering brutal and debilitating injuries, but it's only interested in making big money.

We spoke to Jerry McDevitt, WWE’s outside counsel from K&L Gates. He tells us the guys -- who only wrestled for a short time -- are "being targeted by attorneys who tell them there's hundreds of thousands of dollars they can make by joining a class action suit like this."

McDevitt adds, "We know these claims are fraudulent, and will fight them."

He claims other wrestlers who've been approached to join the suit think it's a scam. McDevitt believes the suit spends more time talking about Chris Benoit and other wrestlers than it does the actual plaintiffs. 

"It's sensational, but if you really look at ... what was done specifically to them?" McDevitt says. "There are almost no details as to what they actually suffered as a result of working with WWE."

Among the details included in the suit -- the plaintiffs say they were forced to wrestle, even when they'd suffered injuries like torn ligaments and concussions.

McDevitt says no WWE wrestlers were complaining they'd suffered brain damage or dementia. before the lawyers started contacting them. He says the WWE will ultimately prevail.


Wrestlers Sue

We're Badgered, Brutalized and Brain Damaged

4/10/2015 3:58 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0409-wwe-wrestlers-flickr-tmzThree wrestlers have sued the WWE on behalf of all current and former wrestlers who have suffered serious brain and other damage as a result of "egregious mistreatment" by the organization. 

Big Russ McCullough, Ryan Sakoda and Luther Reigns (obvious stage names) claim the WWE has known for years ... the brutality in the ring has resulted in dementia, Alzheimer's disease and a lot more.

The lawsuit -- obtained by TMZ -- claims the WWE, "under the guise of providing 'entertainment' .... has for decades subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality." 

The suit acknowledges wrestling is scripted but nonetheless unrelentingly brutal, claiming "WWE is in the business of selling violence." 

The legal docs chronicle various matches in which wrestlers were destroyed. It mentions the 2014 Royal Rumble, in which one wrestler "demolished another with a series of brutal steel chair attacks," and the docs refer to "the carnage created by the match's victor."

The lawsuit gives an interesting inside look into wrestling, saying the goal of the WWE is to elicit "heat," meaning heightened violence with the use of various props, including chairs, ladders and tables. The suit singles out various moves, including the Brain Buster, Bulldog, Cobra Clutch Slam, Facebreaker, Jawbreaker and Powerslam. It singles out the chair shots to the head, which was banned in 2010.

The suit claims, "The WWE coerces its wrestlers to work while they are injured by, among other methods, threatening to strip them of their position within the organization if they refuse."  It says they are "universally encouraged to 'wrestle through the pain.'"

And the lawsuit mentions Chris Benoit, who was "routinely hit in the head with a chair."  Benoit, who killed his wife and son along with himself, was autopsied after his death. A doctor concluded Benoit's brain was so damaged from CTE, it "resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient."

The suit asks for an injunction, prohibiting the WWE from subjecting its wrestlers to such brutality, along with damages.

John Cena

Black Eye For The WWE Guy ...

Sporting Epic Shiner

4/8/2015 9:28 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

John Cena Black Eye

Score another black eye for the WWE ... John Cena proved again how real the sport is with his fresh new panda eye.

Cena was snapped in Glasgow Wednesday showing off an Irish makeover ... but we're not exactly sure how he got it. It's a safe bet to assume he picked it up while grappling with a dude in a cod-piece.

It's apparently a great week for shiners ... supermodel Christie Brinkley got banged up Monday when she did a Fabio and took a bird to the face while vacationing down in Turks and Caicos.

Together they make a matching set.


Scott Steiner

I Didn't Threaten Hulk Hogan

... But I Still Hate Him

4/8/2015 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0407-scott-steiner-wiki-01Scott Steiner is calling BS on Hulk Hogan -- claiming he never threatened to kill the guy before WrestleMania ... and says Hulk's just acting like a scared little bitch. 

We broke the story ... Steiner is under investigation over a March 26th encounter with Hulk's wife Jennifer -- when she claims Steiner grabbed her at the San Jose airport and told her he was going to kill Hogan. Jennifer and Hulk filed a report with police the next day. 

"I'm not going to dignify [Hogan's] lies," Steiner said ... "I didn't put my hands on her."

Steiner says he did approach Jennifer that day -- but only to talk some serious smack about Hulk introducing "Macho Man" Randy Savage at his WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.

"I told her Hulk introducing 'Macho Man' into the Hall of Fame is bullsh*t ... He hated him. Everyone knew that."

Steiner says there were cops nearby during the airport incident -- "So if she felt her life was threatened, why didn't she talk to the cops?" 

As far as the investigation goes, Steiner says he has NOT yet been contacted by police. 

He did have one final thought -- "It's not my fault Hulk Hogan is afraid of me."


Scott Steiner

Allegedly Threatened to Kill Hulk Hogan

... Cops Investigating

4/7/2015 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Scott Steiner Threatened To Kill Hulk HoganWhatcha gonna do brother, when a former wrestling star (allegedly) threatens to KILL YOU!?

Well, if you're Hulk Hogan -- you call the cops ... because that's exactly what happened during an alleged incident in San Jose involving Hulk's former wrestling ally Scott Steiner

Here's what we know ... Hulk's wife Jennifer flew into San Jose for WrestleMania on March 26th -- and claims Steiner grabbed her at baggage claim and said he plans to "kill Terry" [Hulk's real name] as soon as he lands. 

Sources close to the Hogans tell us ... Jennifer didn't recognize Steiner and called Hulk immediately -- who took the next flight into S.J. and went with her to file a police report early the next morning. 

We're told cops are now investigating Steiner for "felony terrorist threats" -- and so far, officials have already gathered airport surveillance video which we're told shows Steiner confronting Jennifer.   

As for Steiner, he's been very public about his dislike of Hogan for years -- and blames him for the demise of WCW wrestling ... where Scott and Hulk were allies in the NWO.

We reached out to Steiner for comment -- who told us, "Typical Hogan. He's just a punk."





... Asks For 2nd Chance!

4/1/2015 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Rap superstar Wale believes he's been "blackballed" by the WWE over an incident last year -- but he's begging the organization for a 2nd chance ... and tells TMZ Sports he's willing to do anything to bury the hatchet. 

Wale believes he's been on Vince McMahon's bad side ever since he got into a fight with another fan at "Monday Night Raw" back in March 2014 ... a fight first reported by TMZ Sports

But Wale -- who's a HUUUUUGE wrestling fanatic -- says the friction between himself and the WWE is killing him ... and he wants to make things right. 

Wale says he has nothing but respect for Vince, Triple H and the rest of the gang -- and says he wants an internship with WWE to learn from the best in the business. 

"I think me and Triple H should talk ... I think we could help each other." 

Stay tuned ... 


UFC's Dana White

Brock Lesnar Has My Blessing

WWE Was the Right Move

3/26/2015 12:32 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

There's no bad blood between Dana White and Brock Lesnar after Brock turned down a UFC contract to sign with the WWE this week ... with Dana telling TMZ Sports he thinks Brock made the right move. 

White says Lesnar handled the situation perfectly -- and even called up the UFC to give them a heads-up about his decision before he announced his deal with Vince McMahon.

"I think it's the right decision and I'm happy for him," White says ... "Vince gave him a deal he couldn't refuse at the right time in his life."

"I'm happy for Vince. I'm happy for Brock and I'm happy for his family. It's a great deal for everybody."

Bill Goldberg

My Son Will Never Join WWE

... I Forbid It!

3/25/2015 8:28 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The blood is still VERY BAD between Bill Goldberg and Vince McMahon ... with the wrestling legend telling TMZ Sports there's NO WAY IN HELL he'd ever let his kid work for the WWE. 

Goldberg was out in L.A. promoting Glory kickboxing ... when we asked if his 8-year-old son, Gage -- an aspiring Muay Thai fighter -- would ever follow his bone-crushing footsteps into the WWE. 

0325_Goldbergs-Son_instagram"One thing's for sure ... I'll buy a company and have him work for ME before he went into the WWE."

Of course, Goldberg left the WWE on bad terms in 2004 -- and trashed Vince on his way out. 

In fact, he gave an interview in 2011 saying, "I can't really say anything positive about the man. I'ts like working for a carny who's driven only by his ego."

So, what does Goldberg want his son to be when he grows up? Check out the clip. 

Bill Goldberg

Wrestling Death Was A Freak Accident

... The Sport Is Totally Safe

3/24/2015 4:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Former pro wrestling star Bill Goldberg says the accident that took the life of a Mexican wrestling star this past weekend was a freak occurrence ... telling TMZ Sports pro wrestling is as safe ever.

Goldberg was out in L.A. when we asked him about the tragic death of 35-year-old Mexican wrestling star El Hijo Del Perro Aguayo who passed away after his spine was snapped during a match last weekend.

Aquayo lay motionless on the ropes for nearly two minutes after the injury, with the other wrestlers apparently thinking it was all part of the show.

Goldberg, a former WCW champion, says despite the horrific nature of the injury wrestling is totally safe, noting that it's VERY rare that these types of accidents happen.

"Name the amount of people who've died in the ring over the past 50 years."

We also asked Bill if he thought the WWE should do any sort of tribute to the fallen star at this weekend's Wrestlemania, and Goldberg thought it was definitely the way to go.

"There's no doubt, there needs to be a silent bell or a moment of silence for him ... there's no doubt."

Ex-WWE Star Victoria

Husband Body Slams

Gun-Toting Intruder

3/11/2015 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

WWE Victoria Husband Intruder Fight

Scary moment for ex-WWE superstar Victoria ... when her husband confronted a gun-toting intruder at her Chicago restaurant ... AND BODY SLAMMED THE GUY. 

We spoke with Victoria -- real name Lisa Marie Varon -- who tells us a suspicious man entered "The Squared Circle" restaurant this weekend and started making trouble inside the women's bathroom. 

That's when Victoria's husband, Lee (who manages the joint) approached the man to find out what the hell he was up to. 

According to Victoria, the man tried to push his way into the kitchen ... so Lee sprung into action and attempted to physically restrain him. 

Lee says he saw the man reaching for his waistband and believed he had a gun -- so he slammed the guy down to the ground. 

Turns out, Lee's instincts were right ... the guy did have a gun -- which was quickly recovered by one of the cooks. 

Cops were called to the scene and arrested 18-year-old Arnez Harper on a count of felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. 

"He (my husband) used to be a bouncer when he was a young lad," Victoria says of her hubby ... "I think that guy crossed the wrong person."


Wrestling Legend Kevin Nash

Athletes Need Medical Weed

3/10/2015 9:56 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Wrestling icon Kevin Nash says pro athletes should be all about the green ... telling us tokin' up to treat pain is a much better option than pills.

Nash -- who was a badass in both the WWE and the WCW back in the '90s -- explained why he thinks herbal therapy is the way to go ... and he sounds like he's done his homework on the issue.

Check out the clip -- Nash also talks pot politics in his home state of Florida.

Somehow we think he'll find a lot of support in pro sports ... for this particular campaign.

Jon Stewart

Kicks Seth Rollins In the Balls!

3/3/2015 7:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

160 pounds of dynamite exploded right in Seth Rollins' bean bag Monday night ... when Jon Stewart delivered an effective low blow right in the middle of "Monday Night Raw."

Stewart had just finished berating Rollins in front of a live crowd in Newark, NJ -- the latest round of trash talk in their public spat

But when Rollins decided enough was enough and started roughing up "The Daily Show" host in the ring -- Stewart took advantage of a distraction ... and kicked Seth's balls up into his throat.   

Someone get that man some ice. 

WWE Stars Lana and Rusev

In Russia We Buy House Together

... BEFORE Marriage

3/1/2015 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

WWE Lana Rusev Buy Home TogetherWWE stars Rusev and Lana like to live dangerously -- the NOT married or engaged couple just signed on the dotted line to buy a house together after dating for less than 2 years. 

Wrestling fans know Lana is Rusev's manager in the ring -- but now they're finally confirming rumors they're dating ... and it must be serious since they purchased a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home in Nashville.

It's a pretty sweet deal -- 11.56 acres with a pond, hot tub, basketball court and more in Music City ... all for $644K. We're told they chose Nashville because it's easier for them to travel from the middle of the country. 

Now, the reality check ... we're told Rusev and Lana have been living together for over a year, but putting their names on the title of a house -- BEFORE getting married -- is definitely next level.

So, we gotta ask ...

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