Today’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily featured part two Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman’s conversation with former WWE doctor Dr. Frank Romascavage. Dr. Romascavage noted that he was not there when Owen Hart tragically passed away during Over The Edge 1999, but did open up about his relationship with Hart.
“Everybody asks me, who do I like the best out of all the athletes I had throughout the years, I’ll say unequivocally Owen Hart,” Dr. Romascavage admitted. “Owen Hart gave me great friendship. He was here at my office maybe 75 to 100 different times where he spent the night and great person, him, his wife, his kids, all phenomenal people. Just a tragedy, what can you say?
“He falls 90 feet. He hit his head on one of the turnbuckles at the side, and he lacerated his aorta, which is the big artery away from the heart. So as an ER doctor, you have six minutes to live, from what was told to me. I talked to some pretty good people that verified what I just told you.
“You can do all the CPR you want, but there’s no medicine for it. There’s no injections. You need an emergency opening of the chest to reattach the big aorta, which goes to the left ventricle of your heart. Just unfortunate way to pass. One of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet, Owen Hart, phenomenal guy, unbelievable guy.”
Dr. Romascavage also spoke on the Chris Benoit tragedy. Discussing his reaction to it and clarified one cause that many people throw at as a reason as why it happened.
“Chris Benoit, I knew him very well. Chris Benoit, I already sewed him up, and Chris was a first class guy, very nice fella, very sincere guy,” Dr. Romascavage said. “He was nice to his kids and the whole nine yards, but I’ll tell you something, what really hurt is he was going to come up to our place to bring his family up here to see us a month before everything went sour, down south. It’s awful.
“Now, everybody said, ‘well, he’s on steroids,’ but if you knew anything about Chris Benoit, you knew the fact that he was taking injectable stuff all of his life, medically prescribed for a condition going on. People throw that rock, and I said, ‘no, he wasn’t dirty at all.’ He was one of the cleanest guys out there, first class guy, great to his fans. He was an excellent wrestler, an excellent person. We miss him.”
Hausman pressed Dr. Romascavage about the dangers of chair shots to the head and the brain trauma that comes along with them.
“I don’t like chairs on heads. I don’t like the abrupt trauma to the head and the neck,” Dr. Romascavage stated. “I tell people, if you got to use a chair, hit him on the back, hit them on the butt, but you don’t got to hit them on the head or the neck. I say that at all the independent shows. They all know how am I. I say, ‘you do it once, guess what? We’re all going home. The events canceled.'”
Dr. Romascavage also detailed his personal view of chair shots to the head before Benoit’s passing. Speaking on the efforts that can be made to help with the long-term problems that athletes can have.
“That’s pretty much a common sensical question. We all know that’s no good for us,” Dr. Romascavage pointed out. “It’s like any other sport. You see these guys that are out there hitting their heads, football players, all these guys. What happens to them after the fact? Post-concussion symptoms. There’s so much gray zone. What happens to that person later?
“There’s a lot of gray zone involved here. What do we do then? Well, you send them to all the high tech specialists, you do the MRIs, you do this, you do all the cognitive type things and basically see what goes on. And again, that’s basically in a nutshell, but is anybody for it? I don’t think there’s anybody that really would say, ‘hey, yeah, I’m for people getting hit over the head,’ but it evolves that way with some of these athletes and how it is.”
You can find the full audio and video from part two of Dr. Frank’s interview below:
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