Chair Shots to the Head Are Fine. Just Watch Those ‘Unprotected’ Ones. Got That?

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Sean Radican, who writes for Pro Wrestling Torch, is a nice guy who seems to suffer from an acute, perhaps terminal, case of rationalizing fandom. Radican just gave the world what it doesn’t need in the wake of the WrestleMania chair-shot controversy involving Triple H and the Undertaker: an essay on the crucial difference between choreographing a spot in which a guy gets hit hard with a steel folding chair right on the noggin, and one in which the guy either did or might have had a chance to stick a hand up in there just as the steel folding chair was being swung hard right at his noggin.

And you thought bullfighting was sick.

See “RINGSIDE WITH RADICAN: A response to Muchnick’s reporting on the Undertaker chairshot at WrestleMania,”

I agree with Radican that the incident Sunday was less appalling than “if Undertaker had simply offered up his head to take the entire force of the blow from the chair Triple H swung at him.” Glad we’re setting the bar so high! A poke in the eye with a sharp stick would have been better still, if our goal as a society from pro wrestling spectacles were to shift the epidemiology away from cumulative and massive brain damage and early death, and in the direction of instant blinding.

As for the rest …

“I exchanged messages with Muchnick about the matter and gave up because it seemed to be splitting hairs to me.,” Radican writes. But then he changed his mind and wrote the Torch piece after having “some time to reflect.” Sad to say, but Sean should have stuck with his initial instinct. If there’s one thing worse than splitting hairs, it’s splitting the brain cells under the hairs – which is exactly what this kind of thinking continues to enable.

Irv Muchnick


  1. Scott D says:

    I would like to see the money that WWE collects from HHH and Taker donated to The Sports Legacy Institute to be used on research, and raising awareness on CTE.

  2. Sean Radican says:


    My point is there is a difference between a protected chairshot and an unprotected chairshot. It’s certainly not a case of fandom, as I’m appauled by WWE’s practices when it comes to protecting their talent.

    As I said to you before, facts be damned, you’ll point the finger at me and resort to name calling and petty insults using colorful language before admitting to inaccurate reporting.

    You also ignored the part of my blog where I said no chairshots should be tolerated in WWE. Is that fandom Irv? All of the things I’ve written over the years are consistent about this issue and I’ve also taken it to the next step where I think chairshots should be banned outright protected or unprotected.

    Everyone out there needs to think about how many concussions that Undertaker has suffered over the years that nobody knows about. When taking that into account the “WrestleMania chairshot” wasn’t worth it.

  3. Sean,

    Sorry, friend, no one pointed a finger at you; you pointed a finger at yourself by choosing to devote an entire column to the non-issue embedded within the real issue. Like everyone else, you’re accountable for what you say, not what you say you say (or have said, or will say). I linked to your full text, and others can decide for themselves. From early on in this series of posts, I have dealt with and dismissed Undertaker’s “protective” hand against what Dave Meltzer (among others) described as a “home run” swing by Triple H. Your focus is misplaced here, whether the reason is blind fandom or just leaky thinking.


    • Sean Radican says:


      I think it’s important to seperate personal feelings on the issue from the facts. In the grand scheme of things, one is no better than the other due to the risks involved whether the chairshot is protected or unprotected.

      When reporting the facts of the case, I think it’s important to present the facts surrounding the chairshot as they actually occured.

Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick