Family Files Lawsuit Over Wrestling Move That Killed Oklahoma Man
An Oklahoma family is suing after a wrestling move left a man with a fatal head injury. The tragedy happened two years ago at an event that was not sanctioned by the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission.
The suit, filed on his mother's behalf, accuses the venue and promoters of failing to protect it participants. However, William Ogletree's best friend said he was just doing what he loved.
At just 25, Ogletree was an accomplished musician and comedian.
“He was a huge inspiration to pretty everyone who came in contact with him,” said best friend Alex Sanchez.
According to his Sanchez, Ogletree was called to perform, whether on stage or in a wrestling ring.
“Wrestling had been all that was watched in our house for a year and a half, we loved it,” said Sanchez.
After training for months, Ogletree took to the ring in the "Battle of Legends", a wrestling event at the Blue Note Lounge in 2017.
“It was just a wrestling show. He came out, waived to the crowd, was real charismatic out there,” said Sanchez.
Just minutes in, court documents allege something went terribly wrong during a wrestling move called the "spine buster."
“After he took that hit, he stumbled around and laid back down, and that's when we all knew it was real, he wasn’t playing it up,” said Sanchez.
Ogletree died days later.
And while the suit claims the defendants used "a wrestling ring that failed to comply with industry norms," in addition to promoting an unsanctioned event, Sanchez said Ogletree never felt unsafe.
“None of what they were doing seemed particularly dangerous,” said Sanchez.
He said while his beloved friend was taken too early, had he survived his injuries, he would have got back in the ring again.
“I could tell if he had lived, he probably would have done it a lot longer, he loved it,” said Sanchez.
In the suit, Ogletree’s mother is seeking $75,000.