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Tegan Nox's Injury Shows the Fragility of the Career of a Professional Wrestler

ANALYST
Feature
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 19:20 IST

The moment Hiromu Takahashi injured his neck, putting him on the shelf for the forseeable future
The moment Hiromu Takahashi injured his neck, putting him on the shelf for the forseeable future

We all take for granted just how dangerous pro wrestling is. Every move, every punch, every kick could be their last. It’s not even a matter of if the move they’re performing is especially dangerous. Sycho Sid one broke his leg simply by executing a big boot off the top rope.

Any freaky thing can happen, no matter if it’s something as spectacular as a 630 senton or as simple as a dropkick.

There are some instances that could cause a wrestler's timeline to be shortened drastically. WWE Hall of Famer Edge suffered a broken neck that required him to have spinal fusion surgery. From that moment on, his career was on borrowed time.

Similarly, Darren Drozdov suffered a broken neck that not only forced him to retire at just 30 years of age, but paralyzed him from the neck down. The deciding factor? A t-shirt.

Drozdov mentioned in an interview that the night of his match vs. D-Lo Brown, he was wearing a loose-fitting shirt that kept D-Lo from attaining a proper grip on Drozdov when it came time for his signature running powerbomb. Because of this, Drozdov landed awkwardly on his head and would fracture two disks in his neck.

Funny to think that something as seemingly mundane as a t-shirt contributed to the end of a young man's career and life as he knew it.

The piledriver which broke Austin
The piledriver which broke Austin's neck

Then there is the case of Stone Cold Steve Austin, whose neck injury at the hands of Owen Hart in 1997 almost derailed the career of one of the most revolutionary wrestlers of our time. One could only imagine what the landscape of wrestling would be like if the Rattlesnake was forced to retire early. Wrestlers walk a very fine line, and we were reminded of this fact recently via Mae Young Classic competitor Tegan Nox.

Wednesday evening during her match against Rhea Ripley, she hit a suicide dive to the outside early on. While it didn’t look too gruesome upon first viewing, it was very obvious she was in incredible pain after crashing to the floor. She tried to work through it and was able to for a while, but it ultimately proved too much to handle and the match was stopped.

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Afterwards, Nox would find out the extent of her injuries, and what I find most shocking was just how many there were, which included:


  • A dislocated kneecap
  • Torn MCL and LCL
  • Torn ACL
  • Both meniscuses torn
  • Bone contusions 
  • Fracture on left tibia

On Twitter, she came out and talked about how she felt after it all happened. She noted that, although the pain was substantial, the look on the faces of her peers was even worse

.

"Being greeted backstage by the distraught faces of my friends and coaches was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever experienced and it hurt more than the injury itself.” Nox would say. "Knowing how excited they were for me to compete this year and how hard they helped me work, then having it taken away so quickly, it was devastating!"

Her last statement, mentioning how it was "taken away so quickly", highlights the dangers of any combat sport like professional wrestling. Those who are in the prime of their careers, considered some of the best in the business, could have it all one moment and then lose it the very next.

When wrestlers mention that they are putting their careers on the line every single night, they aren't just saying so to be dramatic or to make a promo sound better. It is reality, that of which can be grim at times.

Let this be a reminder to all of you to appreciate your favorite wrestlers while you can. Show them all your love and support and push for their success, because their careers could end in an instant.

Published 19 Oct 2018, 05:00 IST
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