Big E broke his neck on SmackDown and may never be able to wrestle again.
Big E suffered a pretty scary injury on Friday night’s episode of SmackDown, breaking his neck as the result of a botched belly-to-belly Suplex from Ridge Holland.
The former WWE Champion had to be stretchered out and was taken to hospital. He has since updated fans, revealing he won’t need surgery, which is obviously good news. However, he did confirm his C1 and C6 vertebrae were fractured.
David Chao, who spent 17 years as the team doctor of the San Diego Chargers and is currently part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego, has published an article on Outkick.com suggesting E’s wrestling career might be over, though he points out recovery typically only takes three months in such a case.
“The C1 fracture is most dangerous as the top cervical vertebrae is a ring and is commonly associated with immediate death or complete paralysis. Thankfully the fracture was not displaced and he will not need surgery. However, this type of fracture often heals incompletely and it may mean the end of his wrestling career,” Chao wrote.
“The C6 fracture is likely a compression injury to the vertebral body. This likely requires immobilization but not surgery. One would anticipate a minimum of three-month recovery with return to full function and activities for this lower cervical injury.
“Previously, I had worked regularly with WWE as a consulting physician for events and performing surgery. I can assure you the stunts that are executed are real and come with risk, even though some consider the sport to be “fake.”
“We continue to send our best wishes to Big E and wish him a full and complete recovery from this horrible injury. Also, please do not send any hate towards Ridge Holland for the incident, as accidents happen in wrestling.”
Big E’s injury came as a terrible development for the industry and, based on the above, the 36-year-old is lucky to even be alive.
As it pertains to a return to the ring, Kurt Angle was able to have a great wrestling career after breaking his neck, there’s a lot of encouragement that could be drawn from that.