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   Sat, October 18, 2003



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Injury concerns may lead to kinder, gentler WWE
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


It was great to see footage from the previous weekend's house shows being aired during Raw on Monday. Under different circumstances, the publicity might have convinced casual fans untelevised events are actually worth attending.

Sadly, the clips didn't contain big plot twists but instead showed Shane McMahon landing incorrectly after a Van Terminator and breaking Test's foot. Test, who was working an upper mid-card angle with Stacy Keibler, will be out of action for about a month.

Ironically, WWE officials had just started a new initiative to reduce injuries.

Agents met with wrestlers to reiterate the shift to a lower-impact ring style, focusing on telling a physical story instead of taking a string of crazy bumps. Several moves that impact the neck and spine, including the belly-to-belly suplex, were reportedly added to the banned list.

Unfortunately, injuries happen no matter how many precautions you take and Test was just the first in a string of grapplers to take a real-life beating last weekend.

In the same match, Chris Jericho got hit in the face with a trash can, causing lacerations to his forehead that required stitches.

The following night, Lance Storm took a bad shoulder bump and was taken off the booking sheet as a precautionary measure.

Later in the show, Rodney Mack suffered a knee injury and has since been told he'll be on the shelf for at least four months.

Over on Smackdown, Brock Lesnar was said to be having trouble with his knee again but is working through the pain and hoping the aggravation will go away.

Ironically enough, Kane -- the only wrestler who was kept off the shows due to 'injuries' -- wasn't really hurt. The Big Red Machine no-showed his bookings to sell the storyline he was in critical condition after the limo crash segment on Raw.

He should be back on the road this weekend and at TV tapings on Monday.

- - -

'BYE, STU: There's not a lot I can add to what has been said about Stu Hart over the past couple of days.

Growing up in Ireland, I remember reading about Stu in the imported wrestling magazines and being in awe of his achievements in and out of the ring.

The respect and admiration he earned stretched far beyond the limits of the wrestling world and crossed geographic boundaries the industry itself may never reach. Stu Hart was a legend and a fine ambassador for Calgary around the world.

He will be sorely missed.

- - -

THREE COUNT: Kevin Nash will be returning to WWE television as a heel, chasing the $100,000 bounty on the head of Bill Goldberg. He has been off TV while filming a movie role and recovering from a bulging disc in his neck.

* No Mercy goes down from Baltimore tomorrow at 6 p.m., headlined by Stephanie McMahon setting up her hiatus in a match against her father. Catch the action on pay-per-view at Famous Players theatres and at Bottoms Up Sports Pub.

* WWE is looking to convince New York shock jock Howard Stern to appear at Wrestlemania XX. Stern has received offers from the WWE in the past but, with the wrestling's biggest show taking place in his neck of the woods, a deal is expected to be hammered out.

  • More on Stu Hart
  • Buy Stu Hart's biography in the SLAM! Wrestling store
  • Stu Hart Photo Gallery
  • You are invited to sign Stu Hart's Book of Condolence at www.ObituariesToday.com