In wrestling you get hurt. I know @studbro87 on Twitter says it’s all fake, but after less than 3 seconds of actual research, you’ll find out that it takes years and years to learn to be a pro-wrestler, and even then, you still come out of most matches in pretty bad shape.
Personally, I once ran the ropes and that bruised my back, so I am going to stick to being a keyboard warrior, just like everyone else who consistently moans about wrestling.
However, while we as fans accept that wrestling does actually hurt, even if it’s less than it looks, sometimes you have to realise that perhaps our favourite wrestlers should not be getting as badly hurt as they are.
Now, people get injured in all promotions, but the reason I’m singling AEW out is simply because in the first year of its existence, we have seen a number of occasions where avoidable injuries took place, and some of these injuries were then dealt with very poorly by those on the scene.
Of course we have seen the gruesome chair shots to the head which both Cody and Matt Hardy have taken, leaving both men covered in blood, but there have been two particular incidents which have left a lot of people very angry or upset with how they were dealt with.
The first of these once again involved Matt Hardy, who during his match with Sammy Guevara at AEW All Out on September 5, was very clearly knocked out after he and Guevara missed a gimmicked table by inches, causing Hardy’s head to bounce sickeningly off the concrete floor. It was clear within seconds that Hardy was in a lot of trouble, and while Aubrey Edwards immediately threw up the “X” symbol to signify the match should be stopped, the match continued.
The job of a referee, among many other things, is to keep the wrestlers in the ring safe, and if they tell you the match can’t go on, you should believe them, without question. They know better than anyone what has gone on in the match, and the fact her ruling was overturned, is frankly unforgiveable. Edwards was completely in the right here, and she has consistently been one of the shining lights in AEW’s team of officials.
Hardy was clearly unable to continue, and while wrestlers always want to finish a match, injured or not, he should have been removed from danger immediately and taken to a doctor. Matt’s wife Reby was furious with the decision to let him continue, and she revealed after the match that he had suffered a pretty serious concussion.
The fact that he was diagnosed with a concussion after being cleared to continue by a doctor is once again, very scary. It was obvious to everyone watching that Matt could barely walk for the rest of the match, and the fact that nobody ran in to call things to a halt is reckless and neglectful.
Fast forward to just under two weeks ago, and Alex Reynolds was knocked out during a match on AEW Dynamite. Reynolds was left lying on his back for around a minute before Butcher dragged him to a corner and forced him to tag out, despite Reynolds being clearly semi or even unconscious.
It was a genuinely uncomfortable scene to watch, and the fact that no-one noticed that he was lying there while other people ran around the ring, risking further damage to an unconscious man, once again brings AEW’s safety policies into question.
It doesn’t matter that Reynolds has since come out to say he felt safe in the hands of AEW’s doctors. The fact is that he was knocked out, and then dragged across the ring while completely unconscious. This could have caused even further damage. Like with the Hardy incident, someone should have spotted the issue, and the match should have been stopped. The safety of your wrestlers has to be the number one priority of every single wrestling promotion in the world, and the idea that arguably the second biggest promotion in the world is letting this sort of thing happen is very worrying.
I’m not one to praise WWE particularly frequently, but if an “X” symbol is shown by a referee in WWE, the match will be stopped. You’ll remember just a few weeks ago that Mickie James’ match with Asuka was called to a halt because the referee believed James was hurt. If the referee is concerned enough to end a match, that should be enough to satisfy everyone else. WWE has its faults, but a lack of concern for the safety of its wrestlers during matches cannot be questioned.
I asked resident nugget Louis Dangoor what his thoughts on the matter were.
“AEW referees have come under fire for their lax approach to rules, particularly in tag matches, but their biggest issue was highlighted during the recent Alex Reynolds’ injury. You can literally see wrestlers jumping over Alex Reynolds to continue with their spots, but the referee didn’t even check on him, despite clearly being knocked out. The job of the referee is not only to count the pin, but to protect the wrestlers involved, and while a lot was going on, it was a major failure for them.”
I’m absolutely not calling for AEW’s wrestling to become watered down or less exciting to watch, and while the injuries themselves may be difficult to avoid, the way they are dealt with has to be changed.
The last thing everyone wants to see is a wrestler getting a serious head injury which is completely ignored. Ignoring injuries like these, even accidentally, could leave wrestlers with permanent and life changing injuries, and it has to stop.
What are your thoughts on this? Think we’re being too harsh? Let us know in the comments!