The oldest pro wrestling trope in the book, nailing an opponent with a folding chair, could be no more in the WWE. Why? Politics, as usual.
Maybe wrestling's not a sport, but that doesn't less the risk of injury for the performers. And the rising tide of concussion awareness has lifted even the WWE's boat. In 2008 they adopted a concussion management program, which includes this:
The WWE penalizes through fine and/or suspension the following:
– The intentional use of a folding metal chair to "strike" an opponent in the head.
That's obviously laughable, since it pretends to punish wrestlers as if they grab ringside chairs of their own accord, rather than as part of a script. But no one made a big deal, until Linda McMahon's Senate run.
Rob Simmons, vying for the GOP nomination with McMahon, called her out, asking if she would be testifying at state hearings on a bill to prevent concussions among student athletes. Her wrestling organization, he said, is setting a poor example. It was a bit of showmanship on his part, but an effective one: the WWE changed its policy regarding chairshots.
In January 2010, WWE amended its Talent Wellness Program, specifically regarding the ImPACT™ Concussion Management Program originally instituted in 2008, eliminating the use of folding chairs or props to "strike" an opponent in the head,'' [spokesman Robert] Zimmerman said in an email.
Thankfully, the new regulations do not cover 2x4s, coconuts, shillelaghs, trash cans, ladders, mannequin heads, or Singapore canes.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs [Hartford Courant]