Shannon: Is Wrestling Too Dangerous?

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

Is Wrestling Too Dangerous for it’s Stars?

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, takes a look at the recent streak of injuries that have plagued wrestling. He speculates if the current wrestling product is too intense for it’s own good.

John Cena is on the shelf indefinitely with a neck/spine injury that could have easily crippled him. This isn’t the first time that Cena has been injured in the ring. He joins Randy Orton on the Disabled List of wrestlers that have had an unexpected leave due to a severe injury. In this edition of HeadLocker, I want to look at some of the men and women who have been injured recently and explain why the current state of wrestling is just too dangerous.

Candice Michelle:

She is perhaps the hottest Diva in the WWE, ever. She has posed for Playboy and served as the WWE’s resident beauty. She was also a multiple time Women’s champion. Then she met Beth Phoenix. A bad fall off the top rope cracked her collarbone and put her on the sidelines for several months. With a few days of coming back from the injury, she went out again with a similar injury.

A broken collarbone is painful but it isn’t life-threatening. One of my childhood friends, Mickey, broke his collarbone while jumping a bicycle on ramps set up on haddock blocks. The second injury could have jeopardized her spinal column. Candice hasn’t wrestled in months and may never wrestle again.

The Undertaker:

The Deadman is currently back, but how long he’ll be able to compete is questionable. ‘Taker has spend more time recovering from injuries in the last couple of years than actually wrestling. ‘Taker’s neck, back and legs are shot. Watch his match at Summerslam. He moved far slower than he ever has in the past. Most expect this to be ‘Taker’s final run as an active competitor. Wrestlemania XXV is being held in ‘Taker’s hometown of Houston, Texas. That will likely be his swansong. His body simply can’t hold up much longer.

Rey Mysterio:

Rey’s high-flying style has finally caught up with him He’s had numerous strains, twists and pulls. He’s also had surgery on his legs and arm in recent years. There is simply no way that Rey can continue to fly off the ropes like he did in WCW. Age and injury have slowed him down. A few more of the super-risky moves and Rey might end up in a wheelchair.

Triple H:

The Game is almost over. Trip’s quads have been an on-hoing issue for him for years. Trip has changed his move set quite a bit over the last year or so. Since returning from his last surgery, Trip has employed a more upper-body oriented arsenal. Trip would be best suited to abandon his Pedigree finisher for some kind of Sleeper. It might not be as flashy as the Pedigree but it might extend his active wrestling career by a few years.

Randy Orton

Orton is sitting at home, instead of main eventing Pay-per-views. A botched landing in a match with Triple H led to a fractured collarbone. Orton re-injured the collarbone, thanks to a motorcycle accident. Orton has had his share of bumps and bruises. He is just another star who has shortened his career due to his over-the-top style.

Kurt Angle

The WWE isn’t the only company to have its people suffer injuries. During the Global Impact tour, Kurt took a wicked bump during his match against Yujo Nagata. He could have easily ended up with a broken neck or dead by the impact (no pun intended). Kurt has been injured numerous times during his reasonably short career.

Scott Steiner

Scott nearly lost his life after a surgery to repair an injury a year or so back. Scott is back on the shelf after another injury that required another surgery. Scott is another person who has undergone several surgeries over the years, due to his style of wrestling.

Kevin Nash

Have you seen Nash walk to the ring? It’s painful to watch. His knees are shredded and he limps dramatically. Nash should never go near a wrestling ring, yet he’s scheduled this week to battle for a shot at Samoa Joe’s TNA World title. This is really a foolish move but it’s par for the course, these days.

Batista

Big Dave has found himself under the doctor’s care, several times. His high-impact style has damaged his movements and slowed him down. Batista has begun to switch to using the Kokina Clutch and Figure Four Leglock. If Batista doesn’t continue to move away from his earlier style of wrestling, he will end up with a drastically shortened ring career.

In Conclusion:

While there have been accidents in wrestling like Spyder, Owen Hart, Droz and Brian Ong, most wrestlers stop their in-ring career due to a slew of mounting injuries. Mick Foley, Bret Hart and others have had to change their plans for a career due to an in-ring style that pushed too hard. While fans love the flashier moves of a Shelton Benjamin, Petey Williams, Evan Bourne and others, the price that these men (and women) pay for their fame is high, perhaps a little too high. Compare the wrestling of twenty years ago and the injuries comparisons are staggering. Very few wrestlers had to have the level of surgeries that current wrestlers undergo. Perhaps it’s time to turn back the clock and save our wrestlers.

–Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(08/28/2008)