August's update, unfortunately, was not so good, as during the SummerSlam media conference, Big E told the folks in attendance and the rest of the WWE Universe that he may never wrestle again.
“We did the year check-up and all that stuff looked great, but on the other side, I also talked to spine specialists, people who have worked on other people in the company and done their fusions and they said, ‘Hey, I would not wrestle again if I were you,'” Big E relayed via Fightful. “For me, at 37, these are things that I think about. I think about quality of life. When I started this job at 23 and probably had a bit of a death wish and was okay at dying in the ring, I would now like to not die in the ring. I would like to do other things with my life. I don't really have a timeline right now. I'm just really grateful to not have any nerve pain. My strength is great. Legit no issues whatsoever. It's something I want to be smart about and make the best decision for my life. I'd like to have a lot of healthy life ahead of me. I want to be smart about things. Unfortunately, right now, I have no answer. I feel great, but I have nothing.”
Gosh, now that is some disappointing news, but it is not without a silver lining, as Michigan Panthers' MC noted that he has been in discussion regarding becoming a commentator within the WWE Universe, a development that would make fans missing the former workhorse incredibly happy indeed, but ultimately that silver lining doesn't take away from the sheer heartbreak of seeing a future Hall of Famer's career ripped away in their prime. While Big E should be commended for his positivity, watching his career end in a no-contest on a random episode of SmackDown would be a tough pill to swallow.
Big E tells Chris Featherstone that he and WWE have discussed him being a color commentator.
He said that @BeckyLynchWWE's concerns are real and he'd need a pee bucket or a catheter
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) August 4, 2023
Big E sounded much more hopeful about his future just one month prior.
While it's obviously unfortunate to hear that Big E has been advised to never wrestle again, what makes the matter all the more heartbreaking is that not one month ago, the widest member of the New Day sounded very positive about his future, with the former WWE Champion telling Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick on After The Bell that he was hopeful about the future.
“I feel great. Unfortunately, I don't have a timetable. The great thing is, I feel 100%, I don't even feel like someone who broke their neck. My mobility is incredible and great. My strength is great, I have no issues whatsoever. I wish I had some answers on returning to the ring. I have nothing, unfortunately, but the beautiful thing is I feel great, my body feels great, I'm really thankful for that. Life is good. I'm blessed. I can walk around and touch my toes, go to the gym, all those things. Really grateful,” Big E said via Fightful.
“I want to say thank you to the EMTs who were there, very timely. I thought it was a contusion, I didn't think my neck was broken at all. Thankfully, people got to me before I could do that. So thankful for the people in Birmingham, Dr. (Jeffrey) Dugas, who took great care of me. Everyone who was just there for me. People texting me, emailed me, all the people who checked in. Fans, peers, family, loved ones. Oftentimes, we look at the internet and Twitter, we think of wrestling Twitter, the community, sometimes it can be a dark place and be less than ideal. For me, I just saw a very beautiful community that reached out, wanted to support me, that was there for me, not just the day of or the day after, but weeks and months after. I am so proud to be part of this community and part of this industry because of that. I'm really grateful for all those things. Thank to everyone, I love you guys. I appreciate the love and support. I am doing beautifully. Mind, body, soul, all those things are incredible. Fortunate and blessed to be alive. Tip your waiters. Pay your taxes.”
Could Big E still return at some point in the future? Sure, no one ever thought “Stone Cold” Steve Austin would wrestle again, and he worked a legitimately good match against Kevin Owens 19 years after his final match with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Still, if it comes down to a few more matches or having a better quality of life for the next 50 or so years, then few would actually hold it against Big E if he says goodbye, especially if he transitions to commentary duties instead.