Shawn Michaels’ knee injury happened during his match with Edge on the 14th May edition of Raw. The match had already sparked backstage controversy over the way it was booked, which you can read about here. Michaels could not walk to the back after the match ended and had to be helped to his hotel, and to the airport the next day. He warned management that he thought the injury was serious and suggested they write an injury angle to explain his departure.
According to the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer, WWE is attempting to be topical by blaming Michaels injury on multiple concussions, teasing that his career might be ended prematurely as with NFL quarterbacks such as Steve Young. Ironically, Christopher Nowinski, a former WWE wrestler, is now one of the most renowned people to have researched the effects of concussions on athletes and recently appeared on HBO’s Real Sports show to discuss the subject.
The booking of Judgment Day was also affected by Michaels injury, as he could not do a match. With Umaga and Bobby Lashley also carrying injuries, they decided to effectively not do either of those matches and instead add the Hardys against Cade & Murdoch. They also gave C.M. Punk and Elijah Burke more time than initially booked for as they thought the card would run short. As it turned out, they actually had to cut time from the US and World Heavyweight title matches. Dave Meltzer is also reporting that the Edge/Batista match was originally meant to end with a count-out victory for Batista, though management later decided they did not like that finish and changed it to a roll-up after Batista’s leg gave out.
Meanwhile, it seems there is no specific source for Gregory Helms’ neck injury other than accumulating wear-and-tear. By the 12th May he was warming up for a match and found he could not do any push-ups or flex his triceps, while his neck pain had increased greatly. He consulted Dr Lloyd Youngblood, the specialist who has operated on the necks of Steve Austin, Edge, Rhino and others, and an MRI scan showed Helms had two cracked vertebrae, with one pressing into his spinal cord. Youngblood operated on him on the 21st and should be out for between 12 and 15 months. Helms took the news that he could not wrestle for a year quite hard.
Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 28th May 2007 (click here for subscription information)