One sentence leaped out of Dave Meltzer's excellent Chris Kanyon obituary in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, as a bit odd. When talking about the attitude to concussions within the wrestling business in the late 1990s, he concluded by saying:
It was a tough guy’s sport and if you weren’t an established star, there was fear of losing your spot if you took time off.
Interesting use of the past tense there Dave, because as we found out later in that issue, even though WWE's inner circle are wisely more vigilent about the dangers of concussions today, if not in October 2008, they still are petty, vindictive, shady and callous when it comes to other perfectly valid reasons for taking time off.
This is the story of Lance Cade being fired again after falling for Michael Hayes's promises last summer that he would push him to the moon as a top heel on Smackdown in a feud with the Undertaker, despite Cade having heat with both Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels due to problems with them in his last stint with the company. The persisting heat apparently wasn't over the drug induced seizure on a plane that caused his previous firing from the company in October 2008, but Vince blowing up backstage a few weeks earlier at Cade for not taking his role seriously enough after a nervy performance in a Raw main event with DX. Shawn got pissed when Cade stormed out of the building forgetting to thank him for the tag match they had together. Like Chris Kanyon, his reward was to be buried and bashed in the head with a steel chair.
So why was he fired this time? When John Laurinaitis told him in mid December that they were finally ready to bring him up to the main roster from FCW, Cade showed stunning honesty by admitting to Laurinaitis that he was struggling through painkiller withdrawal on his own, which led to him being unable to sleep. This subsequently led to Cade becoming addicted to sleeping pills, so he asked to go to rehab, which he successfully completed. Did he still have his main roster spot when he came back? Why, of couse not! Instead he had a shameless earholing from Shawn "Messed up on pills was my middle name in the 1990s" Michaels who claimed he was done as a WWE wrestler and would never be used as a main eventer by the company. Then he was wished well in his future endeavors, funny that. I suppose the saying is true, some leopards never do change their spots after all.