Renee Dupree backed up CM Punk’s claims about how WWE handles injuries with their talent. Dupree tells a story from the fall of 2005 when he was on the Smackdown roster. He says that he was beaten up and aching from the grueling schedule and had a hematomia on his right temple. A hematomia is a deep bruise that looked worse than it felt. He was supposed to wrestle Big Show on Smackdown but was given the night off.
“They were going to put me in the ring, but then Michael Hayes came around and said, ‘Hey man, can you actually work?’ I said, ‘I don’t know.’ I wasn’t going to go in the ring, regardless. I had this massive thing on my head. I went in and talked to Stephanie [McMahon], and Stephanie said, ‘No, take the night off.'”
After the show he flew to Cincinnati and everything changed with the sudden change in cabin pressure. Dupree said that the hematomia on his temple exploded and there was so much blood that it looked like he was shot in the head. He says Triple H was on the flight and to his credit he stayed with him during the entire flight and made sure he was okay when he got off the plane.
Paramedicas and EMTs told him that he should go to the hospital because he could die. Chris Candido died earlier that year from a blood clot in his leg. Candido was working with TNA at the time. Dupree said that the trainer looked at him and shook his head “no” because it would cost the company too much money so Dupree, being a company man, booked his flight from Cincinnati to Louisville. He got surgery under WWE-approved doctors and the company paid for it. He says that he still has a scar from the incident to this day and feels like he risked his life just to save the company a few bucks.
“But I could see the trainer, when the EMTs were talking, our trainer was looking at me, shaking his head ‘no’ because it would have cost the company too much money. Basically, that’s what I got [from the trainer].”
He also told a story about another former WWE star Johnny Stamboli. He said that Stamboli was berated in front of the locker room because he was icing his shoulder. Dupree noted that the tradition in wrestling has always been that if you are hurt then you don’t let anyone from the office see it.
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