More than a year has passed since “Big E,” a former WWE champion, was seriously injured on the FOX television broadcast of the company’s “Friday Night Smackdown” show. Big E, the actual name Ettore Ewen, got hurt when he was suplexed outside of the ring.
The video evidence proved that he was struck on the head rather than landing on his feet. The Birmingham, Alabama venue, Legacy Arena, had to stretcher him out of there. After his collegiate career at Iowa, where he played football under the moniker “Big E,” he retired from boxing.
The good news is that he claims to have sustained no harm to his spinal cord. But there’s more to the story, and apparently things haven’t been great for the guy who delivered the suplex to “Big E” either: Ridge Holland.
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Although Holland is still working for WWE, he said this week that he regularly receives death threats in connection with the incident. He summed it all up with the hashtag “Death threats,” on Twitter. “Threats to my family. Lobbying for me to lose my job. Being labeled as racist. Great stuff. Keep ‘em coming.”
Despite “Big E” saying he has “no issue whatsoever with Ridge” a year ago, this remains the case.
“He’s reached out and said some very kind things,” the wrestler told ESPN. “What we do is dangerous, and there are inherent dangers. And to that degree, we all kind of know what we sign up for, and it was unfortunate that it went down that way. But I’m not dead. I’m alive. I’m doing well.”
While Holland’s confession is certainly cause for concern, he does appear to have some backing from his teammates. “Pro wrestling is extremely dangerous,” The New Day’s Xavier Woods said in reaction to Holland’s article.
Pro Wrestling is extremely dangerous. All of us involved understand that. Ridge & his family do not deserve to be treated this way. Please do not send any hate towards them. Instead use your energy to do something positive like sending love to E. Be kind. Please be kind. https://t.co/3iPM30qBtk
— Austin Creed (@AustinCreedWins) March 13, 2023
We’re all aware of it, and everyone engaged is aware of that. Ridge and his loved ones do not merit this kind of treatment. Keep your hateful thoughts about them to yourself. Put your focus on something constructive, like emailing E your love.
“Be kind. Please be kind.”
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