Alex Shelley Discusses The Dangers Of Head Injuries In Wrestling

IMPACT Wrestling World Champion Alex Shelley recently appeared on an episode of the Wrestling Perspective podcast to talk about a number of topics including how head injuries is a very dangerous thing in wrestling as it is something you have to deal with for the rest of your lives.

Shelley said, “The scary thing about traumatic brain injuries is that you don’t know how bad they are until after the fact. People can get these injuries, and your brain is bleeding. You don’t know what the effects will be because there’s so much going on north of the neck, right? I’ve had people who have had a TBI, and they might seem minor at first, or the symptoms weren’t that bad. They magnified, and these people are dealing with these things for the rest of their lives.”

He commented on how promotions like WWE, AEW and IMPACT should hire a “concussion spotter.”

“So I didn’t see the incident, but people with IMPACT were talking about it, too. I’m sure people in every company are because that can happen to anybody. It’s good for them to talk about this too if it’s me and that happens to somebody I’m wrestling, I’m not touching [them]. I don’t care what anybody says; I’m hands-off. Like that’s it. But I think it could be really useful, and AEW has the resources to do it. The WWE and IMPACT could also do it, and it is called a concussion spotter. They started using these in all the major sports leagues. You have people whose job is to watch the NHL and monitor hits, and it will be much harder in pro wrestling, right?”

Shelley talked about how sometimes you can tell right away what the signs of a traumatic brain injury are.

“We’re such good actors, as it were, but some of these things you can tell right away. If you know what a flexion synergy is or when you see something that looks like anesthesia on one side of the body, I mean, there are signs of a traumatic brain injury, certain types of motor coordination will go out the window, certain kinds of things will happen to the body, and they’ll lock up.”

Shelley also talked about how Chris Nowiski, who became the founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, recently visited IMPACT to discuss head injuries.

“It’d be awesome to have somebody doing that, and if that’s not the case, then it’s good to educate the people in the back on headsets to make sure that they know all of these things. Again, I don’t think this is anybody’s fault. I think it’s an aberrant situation that this occurred. That would be amazing and easy to have. Chris Nowinski is kind enough to go around to all the major companies. We just had him an IMPACT in December or January, and he gave a full-on presentation. He’s done them yearly at certain places. It’s a contact sport, though, like things will happen, and this is human error. Again, the blame should not be placed on anyone, but let’s see what we can change.”

You can check out the complete podcast in the video below.

(H/T to Fightful for transcribing the above quotes)