On the March 11th episode of Friday Night SmackDown, Big E sustained a broken neck while taking an Overhead Belly-to-Belly Seuplex at ringside from Ridge Holland.
While the injury is obviously very serious, the star avoided any damage to his spinal chord, while he also didn’t require surgery. Despite this, the former World Champion has previously stated he won’t know whether he can wrestle again until 2023.
“I’m Very Blessed, I Feel Great” – Big E
Speaking to the media, via These Urban Times, Big E has now offered fans an update on his progress and how he’s feeling.
“I have to get some more scans at the one-year mark in March and we’ll see how everything is looking. We’ll see from there. My C1 is broken in two spots, so we obviously have to be very smart about that. I was very fortunate. I want to make sure I’m making the best decision for myself. We’ll see in March. I feel great, I’m really thankful for that. I don’t have any nerve issues, no strength issues, no impairment whatsoever. Obviously, to get back in the ring to do what we do, I want to make sure my C1 is rock solid. Other than that, I’m very blessed. I feel great,”
While out of action the former WWE Champion has been working as part of WWE’s NIL program which aims to entice college athletes to join the company. The tag team star said that being able to speak to the athletes takes him back to where he was 13 years ago.
“It’s been fun for me because I resonate with it because I was a football player at Iowa with a bunch of injuries, my career was over, and I’m thinking now, ‘what do I do with my life?’ I was going to grad school, but I didn’t really feel fulfilled. For me, I love being able to…I feel I can go back in time to 13 years ago and look at young men and women in a very similar position as me who are seeing the end of their college career. You spend so much of your time invested in your sport.
So many of us, we play our sport since four, five, six years old. It’s all we know. You’re in school and working hard at that, but it’s something you love, and then it’s gone. For me, being in the ring wasn’t the same as playing football and having my hand in the dirt, but it still filled that athletic void. The ability to go out there and hit people and run and jump, I felt like a kid again, I felt free.
For me, I love doing it because it’s an opportunity to reach out to college athletes and let them know, ‘WWE might not have been something on your radar or you might not have considered it, but I’m telling you, it changed my life dramatically.’ I’ve been able to travel the world, entertain people all across the globe, it’s an incredible experience. I love it because I love college sports and I resonate with college athletes. Being able to present this to them is something that connects with me.”
With Big E out of action his New Day brothers Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods have continued to find success, recently becoming NXT Tag Team Champions.
H/t to Fightful