by Craig Higham - March 29, 2014
This week on RAW, on the way to winning the fatal four-way match to become the new number one contender for Big E’s Intercontinental Championship, Christian suffered his second concussion for the year. On top of these two concussions, since his World Heavyweight Championship run in 2011, his career has been stalled due to consistent injuries:
Christian’s Injuries Since 2010
|Sep ’10||Torn pectoral muscle||4 mos.|
|Nov ’11||Severe high ankle sprain, lingering neck/shoulder issues||6.5 mos.|
|Jul ’12||Lingering shoulder issues||10 mos.|
|Sep ’13||Concussion||5 mos.|
Rey Mysterio and Mark Henry are two other WWE superstars who fall into this category of spending more time out of the ring then in due to injuries. With all three superstars close to or over 40, each of them is faced with a big decision this year, with what to do with the rest of their careers, as well as their quality of life after wrestling. The reason it is hard for these three to make that decision, is that when healthy, each superstar can still deliver in the ring, with both Mark Henry and Christian fighting for major championships only last year. But all too often, as we saw on Monday night, after delivering in the ring, we then have a situation where they cannot back up and continue their momentum the following week.
While I am in awe of these athletes, the traveling and punishment that they do to themselves, I am also as a father and a man over 40, realise that there are more important things in life than you job, that is your kids and family. Each of these superstars need to start thinking about these people in their lives when making the decision on their futures. Their futures options include:
- Trying to stay on full time
- Part time/legends contract
- Move behind the scenes (trainers, mentors etc)
- Leave wrestling alltogether
While Mark Henry, Rey Mysterio and Christian might feel like they still have much to offer the WWE and not ready to retire, then maybe they should look at several of their ‘Attitude’ superstars for inspiration on how retiring from a full time schedule can actual benefit you more. I feel you need to look no further than (my writing idol) Mick Foley. I was as devastated as most when he finally hung up his boots, but seeing him move around the stage during his comedy tour of Australia last year, I am glad he did for his wife and his kids. He now gets to spend quality time with his wife and kids, while coming up with a career outside the ring.
Now while Mick Foley was (at a time) equalling Ric Flair in the amount of farewell matches he was having, his part time wrestling career he managed to deliver (still to this day) the best Hardcore match at Wrestlemania, before finally hanging up the boots for good. He still involves himself with wrestling through his legend contract, Wrestlemania tours he organises as well as appearances and promotions for the WWE.
The Undertaker is another example of a wrestler who has developed a way to prolong his career while looking after his health. He only Wrestles one match a year, and from my understanding that match is very well planned leading up to Wrestlemania.
The likes of The Rock and Chris Jericho, have found successful careers outside of wrestling, in the movies and music, but will occasional come back to satisfy their wrestling cravings.
Triple H, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn etc have careers behind the wrestling curtain but still wrestling part time when needed )or get the urge)
Mark Henry, Rey and Christian will leave a big hole in the WWE roster, as all three have become great exponents of putting over other superstars. We have seen Christian put over Sheamus over the past couple of months, and Mark Henry help establish Brock Lesnar as a monster leading up to his upcoming match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. All of these three superstars deserved a better run as major champions, but at least they (although briefly) made the top of the mountain (unlike deserving superstars like (William Regal, or Mr Perfect), and all three will one day be included into the WWE hall of fame.
But as a fan of all three, especially Christian, although I would miss seeing them inside a WWE ring, but be happier with the knowledge they are enjoying a healthy life and career outside the ring, rather than ending up like Mickey Rourke’s Character Randy ‘The Ram” Robinson.
Whatever decision is made, at least (when Australia get the WWE network) we can always go back and watch these three in the prime of their careers.
Hooroo and see you next week.
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