Recently, the WWE Universe learned that WWE Superstar Sheamus may have a serious injury that could require he hang up his wrestling boots. It is being reported Sheamus has what is called spinal stenosis. Wrestlers who have suffered major neck and back injuries are reported to have frequently had something similar and many have had their careers ended much sooner than they would have liked.
If Sheamus does, in fact, need to retire it will be a sad day in the WWE history books. A man that had a lot more to give, Sheamus will go underrecognized for someone who accomplished a lot in a small amount of time. He'll be one of many in a long line of professional wrestlers who had injuries, namely spinal and back injuries that were too much to continue on with.
While we're hoping for the best and that Sheamus is not done with his wrestling career, the news had us pondering what other WWE Superstars had to call it far too early thanks to back injuries. Here are Five WWE Superstars Who Had Career Ending Back Injuries.
PREVIOUSLY: MAJOR INJURY COULD DERAIL SHEAMUS' CAREER
5. Rick Rude
Ravishing Rick Rude was an amazing talent that may go down in history as one of the most underappreciated WWE performers ever. In an era where Hulk Hogan ruled the WWE, Rude was never elevated like he should have been and in other promotions, he was given a number of titles to demonstrate his value.
Unfortunately, while wrestling in New Japan, Rude suffered a career-ending back injury against Sting. While outside the ring, he took an over-the-ropes splash from Sting that led him to fall backward and awkwardly onto a raised stage. He continued the match and got the win but never competed again.
4. Shawn Michaels
You wouldn't have known the moment Shawn Michaels nearly ended his career in the WWE. It wasn't obvious at all. Michaels was thrown out of the ring by the Undertaker in 1998 and landed awkwardly on a coffin outside the ring. It appeared as though he merely brushed the side of the box but he ruptured disks in his spine and had major surgery to put plates in his spine. Michaels, the WWE, and his fans all thought he was finished and he did retire.
We suppose we're cheating by including him here because amazingly, he came back to the WWE and had many more years in the ring long after everyone thought he was done.
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin
This one is again a bit of a stretch to say it was exclusively back related, but neck injuries and leg problems stemming from a spinal injury suffered when Stone Cold Steve Austin was piledriven into the mat by Owen Hart led to a variety of other injuries that caused him to retire early.
There are still those that would love to see Austin come back for one more match and there is speculation that he could if things were done properly but the risks are too great. His back and his neck couldn't take the punishment, not to say he's also got two legs that look like their part of a Terminator film.
2. Davey Boy Smith
The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith was an extremely popular wrestler in the 80's and 90's and after a storied run in the WWE, wound up in WCW when things went down with Bret Hart and the WWE after the Montreal Screwjob. In a tag match for WCW, Davey Boy was severely injured when he landed awkwardly on a trap door that had been put into the ring for the Ultimate Warrior to come through later that night. Fall Brawl 1998 was the last time Smith would play any major part in a wrestling promotion. He spent six months in a hospital and was FedEx'ed his release by Eric Bischoff.
It wasn't long after that medication and substance abuse caught up with Smith and he passed away.
Edge's injuries were a mix of neck, spine and other problems that had built up over time causing him to miss over a year of action in 2003. He started feeling numbness and other side effects of recurring problems thanks to a number of TLC matches and nasty falls he'd been a part of over a long career.
When the news came through that Edge had cervical spinal stenosis (the same issue Sheamus is dealing with now), Vince McMahon called him and told him his career in the WWE was finished and Edge immediately agreed. He's said to have known he was ready when he made the choice. He was the only one not really shocked when he addressed the WWE Universe on Raw after his WrestleMania match with Alberto Del Rio.