As per PWInsider, AEW President Tony Khan has announced that upgraded medical protocols will be implemented for All Elite Wrestling as of the company’s Full Gear pay-per-view this Saturday.
Speaking on the most recent edition of PWInsider Elite, Khan was questioned about the recent negativity the promotion has received towards their stance on injuries after Matt Hardy suffered a severe concussion at AEW All Out and the same happened to Alex Reynolds on the October 21 AEW Dynamite.
Speaking on the injury protocol AEW currently have in place, Tony Khan had this to say about what he’s changing with immediate effect:
“We’ve been recently doing everything we can to work around protocols and make this the safest working environment. So I’ve added another independent neurologist to staff and we’ve added an independent doctor to all the shows in addition to our staff medical team and adding extra support.”
It has been confirmed that both new additions to AEW’s medical staff will now be present at every show going forward. So should an injury occur, the company have the best possible chance of treating it swiftly rather than it being left until after a match.
Khan went on to confirm that he’s also upgraded communication with the referees so the officials can relay injuries to management faster:
“I’ve added the two way feature where referees can talk back to us if there are injuries so the communication is not all going one way, and I’ve encouraged the referees to let us know what’s going on.”
These are welcome changes indeed. However, the implementation of these measures isn’t the only thing Tony Khan has done to help with serious head injuries. Though he can’t stop them occurring fully, the owner has taken steps to ensure his roster know the dangers of concussions and therefore think twice about spots which may cause lasting damage.
Hiring former WWE Superstar, Christopher Nowinski, Khan has employed the talent to give talks to the roster in order that they fully understand.
Nowinski retired from professional wrestling in 2003 after competing for a full year with post-concussion symptoms. Instead, he co-founded the Concussion Legacy Foundation and now campaigns to increase safety around brain injuries in sport.
“Speaking of Chris, Chris is actually coming back this weekend so Chris will be at Full Gear and I know Chris talked to all the staff and all the talent and me and it’s been over a year since Chris came and saw us last and I think it’s long overdue for Chris to come in and give us his thoughts and his critiques and it’s important we listen to that. So I’m excited about Chris coming back in because I think he’s the world’s leading expert on head trauma. There are other injuries outside of head trauma that have to be discussed but I think that’s what we’re probably most concerned about.”
That AEW is taking major steps to increase safety and rub out injuries that could end careers or even lives is a positive step forward for the industry as a whole.
Now it just remains to be seen whether other companies will follow suit or if AEW will be the standard-bearer.
Inside the Ropes will have full coverage of AEW Full Gear on Saturday November 7.
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Credit for the interview: PWInsider Elite