Johnathan “Balls Mahoney” Rechner and Brian “Axl Rotten” Knighton suffered from CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) when they were alive. CTE is the new name for dementia pugilistica, which is brain damage caused by concussions and shots to the head.
This is the first time since 2009 that wrestlers who passed away have been diagnosed with the condition. The details were found in a postmortem examination. The condition was in the “early stages” in Axl Rotten’s brain.
Chris Benoit had also been diagnosed with it many months after the “incident”. Andrew “Test” Martin was diagnosed back in 2009 after he passed away, though no other wrestler has been diagnosed with it since then. Balls and Axl Rotten were well known for taking chair shots to the head.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian neuropathologist, Dr. Julia K. Kofler, has discovered the condition in both of them prior to Dr. Bennet Omalu confirming the news to the Globe.
WWE has refused to acknowledge these results, due to a missing chain of custody records which would prove Benoit’s samples had actually come from his brain. They have not commented on this report yet, since they want to review the results themselves first.
A link to the article can be found here. Another person who has been publicly diagnosed with CTE in recent times is Dave Mirra who was a former X Games BMX biker.