Three-time Women of Honor World Champion Kelly Klein made headlines when she went public with the issues she experienced following a concussion at an ROH event. Klein blasted ROH for not having a concussion protocol and those comments have seemingly led the company to not renew her contract which expires at the end of the year.
Klein told Sports Illustrated that despite multiple requests, no one within the promotion has shown her the company’s concussion protocol. ROH contends that they’ve had a concussion protocol since 2016 and ROH COO Joe Koff discussed their protocol also with Sports Illustrated.
“It is not posted, we don’t share documents like that publicly,” said Koff regarding the concussion protocol. “When [Klein suffered her concussion] on October 26, there was a medic there, hired by Ring of Honor, and she got immediate attention once it was known she was feeling anything.”
Klein contends that it’s impossible to follow a protocol that’s never been seen and to this day she still doesn’t know if one exists.
Koff was then asked if making the protocol available to talent or naming the neurologist involved would ease concerns and create a safer work environment going forward.
“The protocol is just this?we recognize the dangers that are inherent in professional wrestling,” said Koff. “More specifically, the possibility exists of a wrestler suffering a concussion during a match, and we take all injuries very, very seriously. When we are alerted or when we feel there is an injury, we immediately defer to the medical professional on staff.
“I wasn’t there, but I was made aware that Kelly did not realize she was concussed until sometime after the match. That hour could very well be a true lapse of time. But as soon as she reported she was concussed, she received immediate attention. Kelly declined the option to go to the hospital at that point.
“Ring of Honor had management present at the event, including the hired operating agent for the tour. I will tell you that as soon I learned about it, I texted her and she told me she appreciated my text and told me she was fine.”
Even with that, Klein still contends it’s impossible to know if protocol was followed when talent doesn’t know the protocol.
“I think it was followed the way we have it designed to be followed,” said Koff. “Once a performer indicates they are concussed or have any kind of injury, it goes immediately to the medical professional on-site.”
Koff wouldn’t weigh in on if any mistakes were made regarding Klein’s specific injury because he was not present for it. ROH is compensating Klein for medical bills related to her concussion and they will continue to do so through the end of her contract.
“I don’t think the precedent has been set, so we’re going to find out,” said Koff. “My intentions are to make sure she’s whole through this.”