Monday, September 21, 2015

Sting Hurt at Night of Champions

Is Sting's career over?
Photo Credit: Lee South/ImpactWrestling.com
Last night, during the main event WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Seth Rollins and Sting, the latter appeared to collapse after routinely ducking a clothesline from the former. He received immediate medical attention from the ringside doctor, but the match continued to completion, which included a spot where Sting appeared to rope-a-dope Rollins to transition into a Scorpion Death Lock. Well, as confirmed by WWE dot com, Sting did indeed get hurt last night. Although that news item didn't detail the severity of the injury, a source close to the situation has said that he was still in the hospital as of this morning, and that the injury is pretty severe.

Sting apparently "went numb" after taking the second turnbuckle powerbomb from Rollins. Dave Meltzer passed along the information that the injury is "significant," and other sources are saying it's "career-threatening," which isn't good for anyone, whether young or, like Sting, in the twilight of his career. Yeah, Sting probably was closer to his retirement than he was to his debut right now anyway, but he should get to make the decision on his own terms, not because he got screwed up on an injury.

The question then arises how much of the injury was the kind of happenstance that all pro wrestlers subject themselves to, or whether WWE bears some culpability letting Sting go out there and take all the same spots in a match that someone like, say, Dean Ambrose would. Undertaker is another pentagenarian who has suffered injuries after working high impact matches against younger, more modern wrestlers with higher risk offenses. In fact, the last two times he went into the ring against Brock Lesnar, he needed immediate medical attention.

So where is the ombudsman backstage to step in and maybe call into question the logic of putting older, more fragile wrestlers into matches where they take big spots that are riskier even for younger bodies to take? Furthermore, before Hulk Hogan racist-tiraded himself out of WWE, was WWE actually going to let him work a match, even though one wrong bump would see his entire skeleton shatter like one of Steve Austin's glass panes? Situations like these are where an outside force needs to step in and make sure that if guys like Sting, Undertaker, or even younger wrestlers coming back from major injuries like Daniel Bryan are going to work that their load is lessened to the point where they're not risks to get seriously hurt after every match.

Of course, WWE wouldn't need to rely on guys like Sting and Taker to pop buyrates/subscriptions if the company actually built younger wrestlers into bankable stars with good booking practices instead of its trademark bullshit parity stylings with a side of humiliation every couple of months, but hey...