lause ] s "nightline." >> tonight, smackdown. >> the fairy tale is coming true. >> a stunning retirement in the world of pro ryan speaking out about his decision to walk away from the sport because of a problem usually associated with football. >> when you get slammed, you really get concussions are a shared worry and what bryan has to say about his pro wrestling wife fighting in the ring. plus, suicide cluster. why does this the heart of silicon valley have a teen suicide rate five times the national average? >> we were losing a child about
>> what this community is doinger tragedy. a story every parent should see tonight. and best in show. behind the scenes with the more than 3,000 canines competing in the westminster kennel club dognight. we'll show you who emerged as top dog. but first, here are the "nightline" 5. number 1 in just 60 seconds. our next item is a genuine "name your price" tool.er device from progressive can be yours for... twenty grand? -no! we are giving it away for just 3 easy payments
good evening. we start here with the issue of professional sports. not football this time but pro wrestling. while many people may think the sport is fake, the hits are often very real, and tonight we have the story of daniela wwe champ whose life is now taking an unexpected and painful turn. here's abc's kayna he's the now former professional wrestler best known for dishing out moves like the missile drop kick. >> the fairy tale has come true! >> this is my firsttrees. it's really good. >> reporter: daniel bryan is speaking out for the first time with his wife brie bella, a professional wrestleryan announced 4iz retirement last week. >> i took a test that said maybe my brain isn't as okay as i thought it was. >> head butts on top of the ter: the 34-year-old wwe
after years of suffering blows to the head and many concussions. >> within the first five my wrestling career i'd already had three concussions. and then it gets to the point when you've been wrestling for 16 years, that adds up to a lot of concussions. >> reporter: the decision wasn't easy for the yes man. >> yes! yes! who had wrestled and kicked his way to the world's biggest stage before understanding the effects the high-impact sport might be having on his brain. >> the more concussions more susceptible you are to them. >> reporter: he is just the latest athlete to take a stance in what has become a gathering storm surrounding the repercussions of repeated trauma to the t can lead to cte, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the brain disease linked to years of repeated hard hits to the head. it's death and has been found in numerous nfl players like hall of famers frank gifford and junior seau.
was retiring from football after just one season because of concerns about his brain. he spoke with espn's "outside the all is an elective. it's a game. it's make believe. and to think that people have brain damage from some made-up game is, yeah, i think thes of it, you draw the line at brain damage. >> reporter: bryan says some of the concussions he suffered led to seizures, which at the time he tried to keep private.ling brie. >> i was with him with one of his seizures after a concussion. and i mean, it scared me so bad i just -- i lostplored her, please don't say anything to anybody. >> yeah. >> if i tell them if i have a concussion they're not going to let me do what i do anymore. >> i think a lot of people think fake. is what you're doing in the ring real? >> it's not real, and it's not fake. so the -- when you get slammed, you really get slammed.lam me. >> but you're getting injured.
>> reporter: last year he was sidelined with injury. the wwe took him off their roster. >> wwe's doctor said i conscience allow to you risk yourself like that. >> athletes are like thoroughbreds. someone has to pull the reins because they will run themselves into the ground if given that eporter: but some former pro wrestlers say the wwe hasn't always been as protective. in 2015 veto lagrasso and evan it, acougs the wwe of failing to diagnose concussions and sending people into the ring injured. even citing a case of wrestling superstar chris benoit,is head butts, who after his death was found to have suffered from severe cte. the wwe told us, "wwe has never medical information related to concussions or otherwise from our performers, and in fact wwe has been well ahead of the nfl and other sports in implementinganagement procedures and policies." the wwe implemented a talent
includes impact concussion testing, a protocol instituted>> when i first started working for wwe, which was 2000, there wasn't a whole lot of concussion testing or anything like that. but there wasn't in any sports. >> >> reporter: that change in conversation coming about partly through the determination of the doctor recently played by will "concussion." >> tell the truth. >> dr. bennett omalu. >> we're look at a microscopic slide, a microscopic picture of the brain of a individual. the same region of the brain in a football player about 40 years old. and what you can see, the brownish spots. >> reporter: a forensic omalu first discovered cte while performing an autopsy on nfl great mike webster. a four-time super bowl champ who died from a heart attack while
a heart attack took his life at the age of 50. >> reporter: believing that behavioral changes were caused by trauma to his brain, dr. omalu performed nsive autopsy. >> what struck me, what everybody was talking about how he did not do so well after football. i had to for that. >> reporter: he analyzed webster's brain and uncovered a new medical condition. that's when he called it cte ly recently told my colleague brian pitts about his findings. >> the most significant contributory factor to ct sechlt trauma of the head. >> are we talking like gentle slaps to the head? >> violent slaps that would make your brain move forward and backward, sideways inull, causing shearing injuries. >> you have to think about hits to the head like we think about smoking and lung cancer. you start young enough, you're going to open up the door to lung if you
times every year while your brain is still developing you're opening up the door to cte.e professional athletes are not as afraid to speak out about the toll contact sports is taking on them. >> manning. ben eporter: a former tight end for the indianapolis colts and cincinnati bengals. >> for me it has revolved more around memories and, you know,gnitive -- my cognitive >> reporter: the nfl released this report in the days leading up to super bowl 50, saying "diagnosed concussions in the league increased , with a staggering 271 players sidelined since preseason." compare that to the 206 2014. the nfl told abc news the reason for an increase in concussions are unclear but it will look at any significant trends. >> i think there's no cte discussion and
going to lead to better outcome for people. we need to embrace this opportunity to prevent this disease next generation of athletes. >> reporter: for bryan he hopes that being proactive will make but still worries about his wife, brie, who's in the ring. >> there's a specific incident, it was a couple months ago, she got announce table and she got swiped off and she just took a big fall to the floor. a little bit ago she'd gotten a concussion in the ring. so she had to take a week or two off. she's strong, but you sometimes she's my wife, you know, and you want to protect her. right? >> reporter: both are hoping to start a family. so for wwe fans that might mean another retirement announcement andng and seeing everything he went through with his retirement, i just feel that it's time for me to hang up the boots. it's going to be hard on me as well.
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tree-lined, palo alto, california. >> silicon valley is the most innovative place in the world. >> reporter: where one idea today can change the world et's do this. >> reporter: houses here sell for millions, and the high schools are top notch. but the limitless potential thatprojects has another side. >> a so-called hot spot for suicides p. >> because of the sheer number it was just massive. >> reporter: just last year four palo alto teens took their own lives, enough to be considered a rock this community in six years. >> we were losing a child about every six weeks. >> obviously there's like aorter: now with the teen suicide rate five times the national average, prompting the cdc to announce today an investigation as to why so many kids here have chosen to end it all. >> aook his own life. >> reporter: on the night one of her classmates died, student martha cabot took to youtube placing blame, what she called
>> the amount of stress on a student is ridiculous. >> reporter: for christian leong and andrew baird, at the time juniors at the other public high school in town, word stunned them. >> it was really sad for me because i didn't ever think that that kind of thing is even possible for someone our age.s it, do you think? for your peers and people suddenly realize it is an option, when someone they know takes that option. >> nature of suicide clusters, we see that when one person does it other people who considered it as an option may consider it morey. which is really frightening. >> i can't even figure myself out? how on earth am i to expect anyone else to? >> reporter: so last summer they made this documentary called "unmasked." their classmates revealing their own struggles with anxiety and depression. >> through my struggles with depression i self-medicated a lot with alcohol and drugs.
>> they're trying to take off the happy everything is okay mask that our community has and really just talk about the deep problems that we're going through. >> reporter: wheree from? does it come from classmates? does it come from teachers? does it come from parents? >> i think if we knew the answer then it would be a lot easier to solve the dr. madeline gould, an epidemiologist at columbia university, was invited to palo alto to study what could be causing the alarming number of teen suicides. >> there are manyes that have high stress levels and are economically advantaged and they haven't experienced a suicide cluster.ons that one teen suicide can have the frightening and unintended consequence of signat it's a real option. >> they practically don't occur in any other age group. so between the social influences and the biological influences it makes them much more vulnerable
>> reporter: and what they can't see at that time is that there are other ways out of the pain, something taylor chu is alive to feel grateful ll to this day i struggle with the terminology attempted suicide. >> reporter: the now graduate of palo alto high school says the pressure during her freshman year to achieve was too much. >> it was just insane. if the a.p. classes i could take. >> reporter: taylor says sleep was the one thing she didn't make time for. >> for a long time i'd been feeling like i i didn't know how to say that i needed a break. >> reporter: it led her to one impulsive moment of desperation. >> what i was trying to achieve wasm my reality that i couldn't face. >> reporter: her parents got her into treatment. and with the help of her teachers she made changes to lessen her load. but julianna er ben didn't get the help he needed. he was a sophomore when he took his own life.
have overcome enormous pain want to spread --living. >> if you have people around you that kind of keep reminding you that it is going to get better. >> things are really look up. >> reporter: mark er english teacher at gunn high school who mourned the loss of some of his own students, sees a need for change in the classroom. >> there is a lot that classrooms can do to make teenagerable and more survivable. that the school environment is crucial. >> reporter: he believes smaller class sizes and, yes, less homework. like they can say enough could make a difference. >> what's so challenging about going to high school in this part of the country? >> the things that are challenging about going to high school here ifecting high schools across the country because we see now a national discussion about overstressed, burned-out teernlgds.h school has taken action, implementing the yes program to teach students positive coping techniques to deal with stress.
of is that we're not doing just one or two eally looking at holistic plans to sort of build a web of support for our students. >> reporter: in suicide clu not just a palo alto problem. >> what we found is that it crosses every socioeconomic communities have been impoverished, and we've seen them have a suicide cluster. very driven, wealthy communities have suicide r: and it turns out some 15% to 20% of all teens have considered suicide. but reducing stigma around depression and creating dialogue about mental healtheps toward preventing these deaths. >> it really is a community effort. it's really everyone has a role, everyone has a part. it could just beone's sad and going over to them and saying hey, are you okay? do you want to talk? and those little instances of reaching out i think go a long or "nightline" i'm
>> our thanks to byron for that important report. and if you want to find resources about mental health and suicide g diane sawyer's recent interview with sue klebold about her book "a mother's reckoning" you can abc.com. and ahead something very different. we'll take you to the super bowl of dog shows. the beauty the dog who just took home best in show at the westminster dog show tonight. ns when lobster gets grilled, baked, and paired with even more lobster? you get hungry. and you count the seconds until red lobster's lobsterfest is back with the largest variety of lobster dishes of the year. dueling lobster tails with one tail stuffed with crab, and the other with langostino lobster mac-and-cheese, it's a party on a plate!very bite of 'lobster lover's dream' lives up to its name.
finally tonight, we have a new top dog. c.j., the german shorthaired won best in show tonight in the westminster kennel club dog show. it all looks so seamless and so cute out there on the stage, but wait until you seees into these dogs behind the scenes. for that here's abc's jesse palmer. >> reporter: the contestants may be cute. >> what a beautiful mover.he competition is always fierce. >> this is like the super bowl. it's like the world series for us. if you get here and y else in the world. >> reporter: i'm at the 140th westminster dog show. there are over 3,000 dogs here. and they're all competing for one thing and one thing only. best in show.pageant, the competitors' beauty routines are complex. >> they have as many products as you would. >> shampoo for an hour.
to force-dry every cord to get it dry. >> reporter: there are plenty of divas on hand. >> this dog can look beautiful in the ring but he can take down a gazelle. >> he looks so nice and docile and sweet and gentle. >> she likes mcdonald's. that's her favorite. >> what's the order in cheeseburgers and chicken mcnuggets. >> me too. >> reporter: and there are also some newcomers in the crowd. seven in total. briget picard. >> they jump out of their skin to just being here. >> reporter: and the spanish water dog. >> this is wirefox hen there are the tried and true favorites. the wirefox terrier is often top dog. the breed has won best in show 14 times.around classic german shepherd rumor -- >> beautiful. >> reporter: -- is a crowd favorite. in the end only one dog could be best in show. >> best in show dog tonighthe german shorthaired pointer. >> the german shorthaired
>> reporter: but i can safely say all the contestants are pretty makes my day. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm jesse palmer in new york. even as a cat guy i'd have toe jesse, thank you for that report. and thank you for watching "nightline" tonight. tune in to "gma" in the morning and you'll be able to see the winnerennel club dog show c.j. live on the air. in the meantime we're online 24/7 on our "nightline" facebook page and at for watching and good night. life as spokesbox is great. people love me for saving them over half a grand when they switch to progressive. so i'm dabbling in new ventures. it whe dalai lama. great guy. terrible player. go paperless don't stress, girl