Former WWE champion Big E feeling ‘grateful’ in recovery from neck injury despite recent setback

Former WWE Champion Big E describes himself as “grateful” that doctors have said he will make a full recovery from a broken neck, despite a recent setback that will keep him out of the ring for at least a full year. which he contracted during a match in March.

Big E, real name Ettore Ewen, explained a tweet he sent last week when he wrote that the C1 vertebra he fractured is not ossifying or forming bone. He told ESPN on Wednesday that his throat will be examined at six and nine months, but doctors don’t think they’ll have a clear answer on how long he’ll stay out of the ring until he’s examined a year after the injury , in March 2023.

On March 11, Big E fractured two cervical vertebrae, C1 and C6, during a sequence with fellow wrestler Ridge Holland. Big E landed on his head after a suplex from Holland and it was immediately clear that something had gone wrong.

Big E said doctors told him his type of fall “could have resulted in stroke, paralysis or death.”

“It’s very sobering to hear that,” said the 36-year-old. “… I think being great at something like that [pro wrestling], or at least to be competent, you can’t spend all your time worrying about potentially fatal injuries or broken necks. You have to get out there and be free and in the moment. I think a lot of us as artists don’t spend a lot of time thinking about things like that. I never thought it would be me.”

Big E suffered no dislocation of his spine and had no spinal cord, ligament or nerve damage. He did not require surgery and will continue to do so, he said.

During his recovery, Big E said he was using a bone stimulation device, had stem cell treatment and was taking calcium supplements. Other than that, he basically lives a normal life, waiting to find out how long it will be before he can wrestle again.

While his neck is healing, Big E will be partnering with WWE later this month on a talent test for current and recent collegiate athletes. Big E, who played college football in Iowa, will join WWE leaders like Paul “Triple H” Levesque and James Kimball in evaluating potential future WWE stars.

WWE will host more than 50 athletes from July 27-29 from sports including soccer, basketball, track and field, wrestling, volleyball, gymnastics, cheering and dance in Nashville, Tenn., home of SummerSlam on July 30. Some of the athletes at The Tryout attended NFL rookie minicamps this year. WWE signed more than 20 athletes to development contracts from a similar test during April’s WrestleMania weekend in Dallas.

Big E said that he wished WWE had done something like this when he was playing college football and that he relishes the opportunity to chat with athletes like him who are looking for a path after school.

“I wish there was an exit program for college athletes because you spend so much time on campus learning for your sport or competing for your sport or training for your sport,” Big E said. “You spend that way much of your life with it, and when it’s gone it’s such a noticeable drop. It’s so hard to prepare for. That was something that was also very difficult for me mentally.”

Coming back from injury, Big E said, wasn’t too tough on him mentally. He said he’s been meditating a lot, still exercising and has dropped to 245 pounds with a goal of getting leaner. The 5-foot-11 athlete said he wasn’t as strong as he was but was starting to show abs.

“Honestly, it wasn’t a dark time,” Big E said. “I’m so grateful for all the people who have checked in with me and reached out with concerns. I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m not saying that every day is the best ever for me. But I really don’t struggle with stuff like that.”

Among the people who have reached out are pro wrestling legends like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Kevin Nash. Big E said he had heard from Holland whose move caused the injury and that there were no negative feelings. Big E laughingly said that Holland sent him a large package of red meat that he doesn’t eat to apologize. Big E gave the meat to a friend and “he and his family had many nights of big feasts.”

“I have no problem with Ridge at all,” Big E said. “He reached out and said some very nice things. … What we are doing is dangerous, and there are dangers. And to that extent, we all know what we’re signing up for, and it was unfortunate that it went down that way. But I’m not dead. I’m alive. I’m doing well.” Former WWE champion Big E feeling ‘grateful’ in recovery from neck injury despite recent setback

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