WWE's Fandango: Concussion campaign really beneficial

By Amelia Butterly
Newsbeat reporter

media captionWWE star Fandango on understanding the effects of concussion on athletes

WWE star Fandango says more is being done to help understand the effects of concussion on athletes.

The wrestler suffered a serious concussion last year and says WWE "took great care" of him afterwards.

Last week, Chris Nowinski, a former WWE performer and American footballer, said young people in the UK weren't taught enough about head injuries.

He retired after being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and has made a film highlighting the dangers.

image copyrightWWE

Fandango, whose real name is Curtis Hussey, thinks Nowinski's campaign is "really beneficial" and may prevent people from coming back to sports too soon after a head injury.

"A lot more research is going into them [concussions] now, where they're impact testing," he says.

"Ten years ago people didn't know a lot about concussions.

"Chris [Nowinski]'s organisation is really diving in to that and really figuring out the impacts of these concussions and what they're doing to these athletes and performers."

image copyrightGetty Images

During a taping of WWE SmackDown last June, Fandango suffered a concussion.

Despite passing an impact test, organisers kept him out of his upcoming PPV "in the interests of safety", until he had the all-clear from medical experts.

"Doctors ran me through a lot of tests," he says.

"They're putting a lot more effort into figuring out not only concussions, but other injuries like that."

image copyrightSports Legacy Institute
image captionChris Nowinski (right) performed under the name Chris Harvard in WWE

Nowinski was kicked in the head during a match and said last week he "never really recovered".

In the US there are laws in place that make sure young people and their parents are aware of the risks of suffering concussions before they start playing sports.

Nowinski said more education is needed in the UK.

He said: "I don't think it's fair to put a kid out there in harm's way without telling them.

"I didn't realise I had a brain injury because no-one ever told me. It's only right to tell them what's going on."

media captionChris Nowinski said he never fully recovered from concussion

Fandango agrees that it is important to explain the risks involved with head injuries.

"Knowledge is power and the more power you have, you're going to live a better life," he says.

"With Chris spearheading a big campaign into research on concussions, it's really beneficial, not only to professional wrestlers but hockey players, NFL, rugby [and] football.

"The more we know about concussion and the more we can do to prevent coming back too early from a concussion, it's vital for the future of our performers and athletes."

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