Notes from the second day of CM Punk & Colt Cabana's defamation trial

Originally published at

The defamation trial against CM Punk (Phil Brooks) and Colt Cabana (Scott Colton) continued Wednesday at the Cook County Courtroom in Chicago.

Nick Hausman of WrestleZone covered the second day’s proceedings, featuring Dr. Christopher Amann’s testimony regarding his treatment of Punk in 2013 and 2014. All of the notes are from Hausman’s extensive reporting on Wednesday’s proceedings that have been broken up on their site between the morning session and the afternoon session.

At first, they focused on the Royal Rumble match from January 26th in Phoenix, where Punk worked over 49 minutes of the match after entering the match first.

During the match, Punk took a hard clothesline from Kofi Kingston, which he described on the “Art of Wrestling” podcast in 2014, which led to the suit being filed.


Dr. Amann consulted with Punk after learning he had been rocked and claimed to have instructed Punk to eliminate himself from the match, which Punk refused. Amann added that producer Michael Hayes later instructed Punk to eliminate himself before Kane was sent out to eliminate him. Punk was said to be agitated towards Amann backstage after the match.

They went through a detailed history of interactions between Punk and Amann for a series of ailments, that included issues in Nov. 2013 involving headaches, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting that began on November 5th and was still causing problems for Punk one month later, when he was bedridden for three days at the end of November.

They described an elbow injury from Dec. 2013, and a shoulder injury in Jan. 2014.

Amann acknowledged prescribing antibiotics, including Z Paks to performers, including Punk, which he later said was for sinusitis.

In the afternoon portion, Amann was asked about the emotional damage the podcast caused him, stating that there have been negative tweets directed at him and derogatory chants aimed at him. Amann stated that he hasn’t suffered any damages from the WWE over the interview and that the opinion of the wrestlers has not been altered.

When Amann stated he couldn’t denounce the claims Punk made was due to HIPAA, the defense cited a text message exchange between Amann and Chris Jericho where Amann stated that Punk’s health was nothing like had described in the interview.

They aired an interview that was conducted in April 2018 with former WWE timekeeper Mark Yeaton to recall the actions by Amann with Punk during the Royal Rumble match in 2014. Yeaton’s memory of the match was very foggy when it came to specifics. Yeaton guessed it was Vince McMahon that made the call for Punk to be eliminated, although earlier it was said that Michael Hayes made the initial call for the elimination. Yeaton added that Amann did bring up Punk being concussed on one occasion and assumed it was during the Rumble match in question.

Not sure how Punk can be guilty of anything and I’m more curious about what can be held against the Podcast as that has more meaningful implications for an industry than this suit with the Amann. He has had no damages against him outside of hurt reputation wrestlers still trust him by his own admission.

My understanding is that proving defamation is extremely difficult, as the threshold is very much in favor of the defendant. I expect Brooks to win this case, and to recieve a large settlement ad a result. This was likely fraudulent/predatory punative litigation by the WWE and Amann.

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It’s unfortunate that an actual unbiased journalist isn’t filing reports from this trial - given Nick’s clear bias and ignorance of the legal system his reports should not be viewed as gospel.


Not much evidence here to be honest…All this just sounds like “He said, she said” but no actual documentation or solid undeniable evidence.

Also i’m no legal expert but if he wanted to make a case about this podcast being damaging to his reputation, wouldn’t he have to show proof or explain that his reputation outside of just the public was actually damaged? Because outside of mean tweets and chants, his job and his reputation within the company seems completely fine. So where’s the damages?

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It’s really more about if Punk’s claims were made maliciously and to what extent was the doctor harmed. The truth is that if he made these comments during a radio interview 15 years ago, there would be no case. However, because of the ease of widely disseminating this content and the search algorithms that exist today, it’s a completely different story. Now, should the doctor choose to seek other employment, he has to contend with these [possibly] false claims which will undoubtedly impede his chances with other companies or attaining new patients.

That being said, given that this case is being ajudicated in Cook County and does not have any far reaching implications, in all likelihood the most that the plaintiff or defendants will get is their legal expenses covered (if the plaintiff prevails, he might be awarded minimal damages – like extremely minimal.

But it doesn’t change the fact that there’s still not much of any case or legitimate evidence being put forward. Once again I don’t claim to be a legal expert but seeing as his job is still in good standing as well as his reputation within the company, he’s clearly not going through any struggles of finding a new employer and because he still has a job there, it’s not possible to prove that he would struggle with finding anything new. It’s entirely possible but that’s not what’s happening.

The only case I can see being made is CM Punk refusing to leave the ring when he was hurt. And even then, it was then followed up with getting attacked by Kane. Everything else just feels like a big “nuh-uh”. Not saying he’s going to lose outright but this and some other things that seems kind of suspect isn’t making this look very good and I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t go anywhere other than what you said about their legal expenses being covered and other minimal damages. Can’t see him getting millions out of this unless something damning against CM Punk is revealed.

If Brooks had a case he would’ve sued for negligence.

And Google libel…Amman has this in the bag.

And laughing in court…never helps you.

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Being called “Dr Z-Pak” for how many years on social media is now libel…welcome to the 21st century.

I don’t disagree with you and apologize if my initial reply inferred that I did; that was not my intention.

As I said, 15 years ago this case would not have made it to trial. However, the fact that the case is being adjudicated in Cook County (I’m a resident of Chicago) and being argued before a jury (instead of a bench trial) tends to favor the plaintiff in circumstantial cases like this. Why? Because an effective attorney can manipulate the emotions of the jurors to portray the doctor as the victim whose professional life suffered and opportunities limited as the result of the wide dissemination of these [false?] allegations.

From the reports I’ve read from the courtroom, if they are marginally accurate, then Punk is f*cked because he is acting like a fool. Jurors already do not want to be there and when the defendant is acting like a jackass in the courtroom, that is going to piss off the jurors and they undoubtedly WILL hold it against him. That is a bigger problem than I think anyone realizes right now – often jurors place more weight on such intangibles in circumstantial cases like this.

There is zero chance this jury is awarding anyone millions – this case is not a change agent [examples of change agent cases: Lawsuits against big tobacco in the 1990s, the McDonald’s coffee case] as this jury is not being asked to “send a message.” The jurors judgement will not result in any sort of far reaching changes. If the jury rules in favor of the plaintiff he will likely be awarded his legal fees and less than $20K. If the jury finds for the defendants, they might be awarded legal fees but not anything more.

This is far more important in a trial by jury than I think anyone understands at the moment.


Especially when they’re already being forced to listen to you dick around on a three-hour podcast…


And yet he can’t prove him wrong and has little to no evidence. But he laughed in court so i’m sure that’s enough to prove that he’s lying. Maybe it’s because i’m apparently new to the 21st century but i’m pretty certain you need actual evidence to prove someone is wrong in the 21 century.

(Oh no I posted a gif of an anime character laughing. Guess that means my entire point is nullified by your logic.)

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No…you nullified it by acting like a hearsay case of libel isn’t about “who said who”…and since it’s Phil Brooks word against how many corroborating Ammans story…who thinks wins the pony?

Got it in the bag…Brooks will settle if he’s smart.

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I’m confused what you mean by everyone backing Amman. The PA testimony indicates a lump did exist. And unless the reporting is shaky - he prescribed medication? That’d be a huge issue as he’s not a Dr

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I thought the same until I read this:

Now I’m like ‘Holy Fuck! In 44 States physician assistants can prescribe anything’ That’s insane.

Considering that the regulations on who can write prescriptions are so lax in the US, no wonder why so many in the US are addicted to prescription medications.