Wrestling

Austin Theory retires the risky move that could have paralyzed him on WWE SmackDown

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On the Jan. 12 episode of SmackDown on FOX, a match between Austin Theory and Carmelo Hayes was stopped early by the referee after the two wrestlers had a very bad landing on a Spanish Fly move. Even though Theory landed on his head, both men walked away from the match okay aside from facial bruising.

In an interview with The West Australian’s Craig O’Donoghue, Theory discussed what went wrong with the spot.

“Going for a move I’ve done plenty of times. Just so happens, as we’re going through the rotation…the back of his foot as he’s rotating off, hits the top rope. So all the momentum of us rotating, when his foot hits, it takes us straight down.

…I seriously could have been paralyzed, or my career could have been done. I could have been seriously hurt, broke my neck. There’s so many factors. But luckily as we came down, for some reason, I let go to catch myself, and I turned my head all the way to the left. And when we landed, just the back of his head hit my face pretty hard. But when we were laying there I was fine. I didn’t feel rocked or lost.”

Despite avoiding major injury, Theory says he’ll never do that move again.

“That’s such a scary moment…seeing the video footage back of myself upside down literally on the top of my head. Wow. Very grateful for that. And that move is retired for Austin Theory.”

Do you think Theory is making the right call here, Cagesiders?

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