We at Cageside Seats would like to wish TNA wrestler Zema Ion, real name Michael Paris, a speedy recovery after he suffered a serious health scare on Wednesday night. He was rushed to the hospital with appendicitis and had to have an emergency appendectomy. More worryingly, a CAT scan also revealed that he had a 5cm tumour located in his colon. Hopefully the growth is found to be benign and not cancerous, but either way he will need another surgery to remove it.
The bad news doesn't stop there, as the poorly paid Ion doesn't have health insurance and can't afford to pay his emergency medical bills. Thus, a fundraising campaign has been started by Jessica Recco in an attempt to raise $30,000 in three months, so that he can afford his treatment. I hope he gets the money he requires in his time of need and support this charitable effort.
However, it's the latest in a series of black eyes for the second largest wrestling organisation in the United States. Their fans should not be expected to step in when one of their performers is struck down with a serious illness, even one that was not picked up in their line of work. Either TNA should pay their wrestlers enough so that they can afford medical coverage or they should be willing to pick up the tab when a personal health crisis happens.
Clearly, TNA President Dixie Carter is a leopard that has not changed her spots. Her company's treatment of talent is still appalling and their working conditions remain hypocritically shameful. Even after having to settle with Shannon "Daffney" Spruill over a workers' compensation lawsuit filed over TNA's failure to pay for her hospital trips from injuries suffered in their ring and the public embarrassment of TNA contracted wrestler Jesse Neal tweeting that he had qualified for food stamps, their constant cost cutting continues to hit their bread and butter acts in the pocketbook, leading to Ion's current predicament.
Hopefully Carter does the right thing and at the very least makes a large company donation to Ion's fundraising attempts. However, that we cannot be certain that she will do this, says it all, Cagesiders.