What’s With all the Injuries in WWE?

Published On May 19, 2016 | Wrestling News
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Bleacher Report – Pro wrestling has long been a meat grinder of an industry, but the size of WWE‘s ballooning disabled list has left everyone grasping for answers.

Torn ligaments ended Seth Rollins’ WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign. The echoing effects of concussions forced Daniel Bryan from the ring for good. Surgeries forced Nikki Bella to don a neck brace and Randy Orton to miss WrestleMania.

It’s enough to wonder if Papa Shango didn’t curse the roster at some point.

The real reasons for the WWE medical staff being busy, though, are far more mundane. While a string of bad luck is partly to blame for the roster being so beset with injuries, sizable workloads and a higher level of danger than in the past are two causes for this injury situation that the company can’t ignore.

There will always be injury in a business where athletes leap out of rings and slam each other to the canvas. WWE can’t avoid that.

It can, however, adjust what it asks of its wrestlers. The number suggest that WWE is putting too much strain on its performers, justasking for wear and tear to take effect at any moment.

After a flood of injuries ahead of WrestleMania 32, Bray Wyatt joined an already packed list of hobbled Superstars. Wyatt went down with acalf injury, per WWE.com, in the early stages of WWE‘s latest European tour.

After that, Naomi revealed on Twitter that she was recovering from a torn tendon, and at the Payback pay-per-view in early May, EnzoAmore suffered a concussion during a tag team match. WWE.com then announced that Emma hurt her back during a live event.

That only continued a recent disturbing trend. The list of significant injuries over the past year is staggering:

  • Alex Riley (degenerative arthrosis)
  • Cesaro (torn rotator cuff)
  • Daniel Bryan (concussions)
  • John Cena (shoulder injury)
  • Luke Harper (torn ACL)
  • Hideo Itami (shoulder injury)
  • Neville (fractured ankle)
  • Nikki Bella (neck surgery)
  • Randy Orton (shoulder surgery)
  • Sami Zayn (torn rotator cuff)
  • Seth Rollins (torn MCL, ACL)
  • Sting (neck injury)
  • Tamina (knee surgery)
  • Tyson Kidd (neck injury)

That leaves WWE poised to play poker with far from a full deck at its next major show, May 22’s Extreme Rules. The PPV will not featureCena or Orton, Rollins or Wyatt.

WWE is wisely trying to turn this into a positive, ushering what it has referred to as a New Era. A flood of new talent from its developmental brand is now a part of the main roster. Cena‘s, Rollins’ and others’ absences created free space on the WWE stage.

That’s good news for emerging stars like Aiden English and Zayn, who are getting shots they may not have otherwise, but it’s clearly not good for WWE as a whole. A business built on star power has often been short of many of its stars.

The answer to just why all these wrestlers are going down in such a short span is multilayered. ESPN’s David Shoemaker laid out two plausible possibilities ahead of WrestleMania:

Part of the answer is that WWE is more responsive to injuries than they may have been in the past. Part of it is that we, as fans, are much more aware of wrestlers’ injuries. It wasn’t long ago when a wrestler with a torn rotator cuff would be written off television and we’d be none the wiser, but now we have the Internet rumor mill as our unofficial Injury Report.

There is certainly truth to that.

In years past, an injured grappler might just slip out of the spotlight and heal until he was ready to head to a new territory and wreak havoc. Fans weren’t nearly as well-informed about what was happening behind the scenes.

The show-must-go-on mentality has to increase injury rates, too.

Cena famously tore his pec early in a match against Mr. Kennedy and fought through the pain to finish the bout. Cesaro told WWE.com’s Ryan Pappolla that he wrestled with a torn rotator cuff for two months, saying he didn’t realize how bad the injury was.

In, Yes! My Improbable Journey to WrestleMania, Bryan detailed a moment in 2013 where, during a match with Orton, he lost feeling in both arms and had trouble standing up yet wanted to continue to wrestle.

“I saw this as my big opportunity, and I wasn’t about to let it pass me by,” Bryan wrote.

This is definitely an article worth the read, it continues on the link. What a crazy time it’s been for injuries in WWE. The amount of top guys that have been on the shelf with serious, long-term and in some cases career-ending injuries is staggering. The schedule has always been a grind in WWE, but many of the top talents have buses now and during the 80s and parts of the 90s the schedule was much more grinding.

To me the top issue is the style. Today’s pro wrestling style is much more high risk and physically demanding. Even guys like John Cena and Randy Orton take risks that they maybe wouldn’t have in their younger days. The fans of pro wrestling have been conditioned recently to like a more intense and physical style, sorry to say it but this is going to be the result of high risk. Another thing to not completely discount is the Wellness Policy. Yes, I said the Wellness Policy. Think about what anabolic steroids do. They help you heal faster, even from minor bumps and bruise. Like it or not, this is also a factor.

 

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