Perry Saturn was, during his wrestling heyday in the 1990s and 2000s, one of the sport’s more reliable midcarders, having competed in WWE, WCW, and ECW. He is also one of several wrestlers who have since suffered severe brain injuries from their time in the ring, as he had recently confirmed on social media. And now, he’s asking for help from friends, family, and fans, having launched this week a GoFundMe page for people to donate money toward his medical expenses.
Wrestling Inc was one of the first to report on Perry Saturn’s traumatic brain injury, which came as a result of multiple concussions he suffered in his long career. The GoFundMe page adds that Saturn, 49, is dealing with a “serious” case of traumatic brain injury, and suffers from symptoms such as constant headaches, light sensitivity, “brain fog,” inability to drive vehicles or go to work, and dementia. The page also notes that Saturn is in need of financial aid, considering that an MRI costs $2,500 per session, and brain tests cost $1,000 each.
“Perry is in a position to get good medical care, but he’s strapped financially. He can’t work and his wife Lisa is a full time caregiver, essentially. They live within driving distance of his care but they need money to pay living expenses, medical bills, and to arrange reliable transportation that can make it through the winter.”
In addition to allowing people to help shoulder Saturn’s medical bills, the wrestler’s GoFundMe page also offers incentives depending on the amount donated. Those who donate $100 get a chance to have their voicemail messages recorded, while a $50 donation gets donors a customized Perry Saturn T-shirt autographed by the wrestler himself. There’s also a limited supply of a five-disc Saturn DVD collection that features his matches in ECW as one-half of the tag team The Eliminators, where he had teamed up with the late George Caiazzo, a.k.a. John Kronus. The DVD sets — currently, three out of four are remaining — are available to anyone who donates $500 through the page.
Perry Satullo adopted the ring name Perry Saturn early in his wrestling career, where he was first trained by the legendary Killer Kowalski. After competing in smaller independent promotions in New England and in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Saturn moved on to Jerry Lawler’s USWA promotion in 1993, and had gotten his first major taste of exposure in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in the mid-’90s. He then joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1997, and was a mainstay of the company’s programming as it dominated WWE, then known as WWF, in the ratings.
With WCW’s questionable booking and storylines causing it to falter behind WWF in 1999, Saturn began talks with the latter company, and eventually debuted alongside Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Dean Malenko as “The Radicalz,” a faction of touted WCW free agents who joined WWF in January 2000. Unlike Benoit and Guerrero, Perry Saturn never made it to main event stardom, but had nonetheless reprised his WCW role as a fairly visible midcard talent.
Injuries, drugs, and heavy partying ultimately contributed to Saturn’s WWF/WWE run being a bit of a disappointment, and he spent a good part of his post-WWF career dealing with drug problems and homelessness. In a 2012 interview with Live Audio Wrestling, Perry Saturn opened up about the challenges he faced when his wrestling career had ended, and how he had eventually recovered.
“I was homeless two and a half years, high on drugs. I’m very lucky that I was able to get out of it. I just one day thought that I needed to try to make a change, and I gradually did. I stumbled a couple of times, relapsed twice, but I was able to eventually get out of it. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life the way that I was.”
Unfortunately, Saturn now faces a different kind of challenge, and it’s one that could continue to alter the quality of his life if not treated properly. As of this writing, the Perry Saturn GoFundMe page has raised $5,465 out of its $100,000 goal in its first day of posting, with the bulk coming from current WWE Superstar Chris Jericho, who donated $5,000 under his real name, Chris Irvine.