Earlier this year, Canadian wrestler “Hannibal” sued WWE Hall of Famer Abdullah The Butcher for a 2007 match in which The Butcher allegedly bled on him against his will and gave him Hepatitis C. A judge ruled in his favor to the tune of $2.3 million. There’s money to be made in the “wrestlers aren’t properly protected” game, and now a former star is going after a much, much bigger target.
According to a report from TMZ, former WWF wrestler Billy Jack Haynes is suing World Wrestling Entertainment for over $5 million on claims that he contracted Hep-C during a bloody match. He says WWE “went out of its way to put wrestlers in danger by encouraging steroid and cocaine use and hiding important medical information from the wrestlers.”
Haynes — who wrestled for McMahon between 1986 and 1988 — says the organization never warned wrestlers about the longterm health risks of the concussions they suffered in the ring.
In the suit, filed in federal court in Oregon, Haynes also blames the WWE for his Hep C diagnosis — saying he contracted the illness during blood-soaked matches with infected wrestlers.
Haynes says the WWE is at fault for not doing a better job to protect the wrestlers from exposure.
Haynes has brought the suit on behalf of himself and others — he’s demanding more than $5 million.
You might remember Haynes from “The Battle of the Full Nelsons” at WrestleMania III. His firing caused a bit of a controversy and was basically the prequel to the “Montreal Screwjob.” Haynes says WWE wanted him to lose a tag team match in his hometown of Portland, and when he refused, he was fired. So … not a long history of getting along with WWE.
WWE’s toned down the blood and violence in recent years, and avoiding stuff like this has to be one of the spoils. We’ll keep you updated on the story, which we assume ends in a chain match.
WWE released the following statement.
“Billy Jack Haynes’ lawsuit against WWE is an example of ‘throwing everything against the wall to see if anything could possibly stick.’
Billy Jack Haynes spent only two years of his 14-year wrestling career with WWE. It would be impossible to know if he contracted Hepatitis C as a result of his wrestling career or from something else.
Since 2008, WWE has conducted physicals and blood work, including tests for Hepatitis C, as part of our Talent Wellness Program. These tests take place before a performer signs a contract and twice per year thereafter, and results are shared with the State licensing authorities that require it.”