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Ricky Starks Opens Up About His Brush W/ Paralysis In 2021

‘Absolute’ Ricky Starks took a bad landing in 2021 after a German Suplex gone wrong at the hands of Adam Page—an unfortunate accident, but an accident just the same—stuff that unfortunately happens often enough in the sport of pro wrestling.

Starks was sidelined because of the injury for obvious reasons. Now, hot off the heels of another seemingly bad landing at AEW Revolution, Starks went into the German Suplex that almost ended his career.

via Luke Sheldon Does… /YouTube

He was fine after the bump—quite the fall through a ladder in the Face Of The Revolution Ladder Match this past Sunday…a nasty looking Power Bomb…but it opened up the discussion for what happened back in April of 2021. He was speaking with Josh Martinez of Z100 while he made the following statements:

“Basically, I got dumped on my head – I’m flexible because I do yoga but that was interesting to me because when I landed, I thought I just had – I was trying to land on my feet basically and I thought – I was like, ‘Ah, I didn’t get all of that’ but when I stood up, I feel like I really – like a tightness in my neck and I was like, ‘Hm, okay…

That feels different.’ Finished the match; then I get to the back and everything was fine. A lot of people thought I had broke my ankle in that match or I was concussed and I wasn’t…I was just telling the doc like, ‘Yeah, that was a rough landing’ and I remember going back to the hotel and doing this (leaning his head side-to-side) a bit and I was like twisting my head. I was like, ‘Huh, something doesn’t feel right’ and I know my body pretty well at this point and that’s when I had requested to go and get an MRI done because I wanted to be sure and you know, make sure that things was okay because the next day, I couldn’t turn my neck…

It stiffened up, which that’s normal…But, something in my gut was like just get double checked and I went to three different doctors. Went to three different doctors. The first two saw it and was like, ‘Well, you know, there isn’t – you seem fine’ but it was the third one that was like, ‘Yeah, this is actually fractured’ and they all kind of said the same thing in terms of, you know, ‘You have a bit of a bulge’ and thankfully, no big herniation or anything like that…

But definitely a fracture and you know, maybe, these are the steps you have to take so I was super, super gutted to hear that and I’ll be straight up with you man, I – they played this clip on ‘Rhodes to the Top’ and I could not watch that episode. I’ve yet to go back and watch the match fully. Every time I see that clip that someone shares online, I can’t watch it and I don’t want to relive it…

It’s such a – it’s a very traumatic thing for me and I don’t think people really get it to the level of it does still bother me to this day in terms of the mental where it’s like I could have lost everything. Doctors said that I was so close to being paralyzed and I couldn’t – man, I couldn’t even fathom that and it’s not even for my own reason but it’s for the fact that I knew my mom and my family were watching and I don’t think I could ever live with them having to witness that on national television to see so, yeah man, I’m glad that things worked out a lot better afterwards…

I did tell people that a broken anything, it takes much longer to heal and that’s with anything. You can still wrestle and all that but, the bone is still gonna need to heal one hundred percent. Almost like when you have to set some type of concrete that you just poured or whatever the case may be. But yeah, that was insane and scary to think about because I could have lost it all.”

via Ricky Starks on Z100 /Post Wrestling (Transcription)
via YoJoshMartinez /YouTube

Starks is the current FTW Champion and is of course an integral member of Team Taz. In the early portion of his career, which started in 2011, he was hired by WWE in the position of ‘enhancement talent,’ as Wikipedia calls it, essentially jobbing to the company’s bigger stars.

He would go on to work in NWA and a plethora of other indie promotions in the years that followed, racking in quite the list of accolades and achievements…all that before landing in AEW. We’re so grateful that everything turned out okay for this phenomenal performer.

NEXT: What Can Be Expected From The Formation Of The Jericho Appreciation Society?

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