John Cena. Randy Orton. Cesaro. Tyson Kidd. Seth Rollins. A Partridge. A Pear Tree.
All of these stars are on the shelf with serious injuries that’ll have them out for a good chunk of 2016. WWE is in crisis mode and the injuries are piling up to the point where something has to be done. It’s gotten beyond the point of being a fluke. Something is happening, and WWE needs to figure out how to keep their stars healthier to curb this epidemic*. WWE is a publicly traded company with a spotlight on how they treat their talent so people can’t work injured like they could a decade ago. So, there has to be something the company can do to make sure half their roster isn’t hanging out in Birmingham.
Here are some suggestions from someone with no medical background or understanding of how the human body works.
*Maybe it’s just further proof that Jerry Jones is a curse.
This is the most obvious way that WWE could prevent injuries. I know, I know, John Cena got injured immediately after coming from a break. But still, revolving windows of time off for wrestlers to recover is the best way to have them healthy and rejuvenated. One idea I’ve been thinking about was having it where any person who loses a title has to take three months off. Make that part of the stipulation to them holding the belt. So, them losing is also a “loser leaves town” match to an extent. Imagine the stakes of a title match during the Royal Rumble and if the champ loses he’d miss WrestleMania. Then when the guy comes back, he has built-in feuds with the people who took him out. I don’t know, but there’s a way to have revolving breaks where the company doesn’t miss a beat. Hell, with all the injuries, they’ve basically been doing that anyway.
I think they’d rather go three months without Cena than the six months they’ll go without him now.
A “Bump” Count
Baseball has a pitch count that guys have to adhere to. Think about what the Nationals did with Strasberg where he was on a strict pitch count and was shut down afterwards. Wrestlers could benefit from being on a minutes count or something that would put specific limits on how much damage they can take in a week or a month. Say Dean Ambrose puts in 30 combined minutes on RAW and Smackdown!, then he has to have eight-minute matches on house shows. Something that doesn’t overwork him to the point he’s clocking in crazy hours every week. If you look at the Attitude Era, wrestlers were on the road 300 days a year, but they weren’t taking nearly as many bumps as guys in 2016 are. A 15-minute match on TV in 1998 was a rare sight for most wrestlers, but it’s happening every day for a lot of the guys on the road now. A minutes or “bump count” could save a few aches down the road.