On a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Drew Rice sat down with former WWE and World Tag Team Champion Tyson Kidd. Kidd has spent a majority of his life around the wrestling industry and has seen the business change over time. One of the things that has changed the most has been the medical treatment of wrestlers, and Rice asked Kidd about how those improvements occurred over time.
“I think before that [ringside doctors] would be outsourced doctors, and now they are our own,” Kidd said. “They are almost brand specific. We have doctors at every show. And, for example, with drug tests, we used to drug test you when you first get signed. And you were allowed to fail that first one and it would be counted as your baseline. Whatever you fail for couldn’t be there in the follow-up test, and things like that. But it has changed. Now it has changed to where you have to pass clean the first one or your contract does not get executed, which is a giant change in the right direction.
“The medical has stepped up quite a bit. With my injuries, my neck and my knee, the [WWE] took care of absolutely everything. I have had, luckily, the best surgeons in the world work on me, and that is through the WWE. Obviously, I wouldn’t have hurt my knee if I wasn’t wrestling that day in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for the WWE. But they didn’t hurt my knee, it was just a thing. But they took care of every single aspect of my knee, and the same with my neck.”
The neck injury Kidd is referring to nearly killed him, and was the result of a botched move during a dark match with Samoa Joe. Kidd was asked to further discuss his experience recovering from the injury.
“With my neck, I was obviously not out of the company,” Kidd said. “I was under contract the entire time, I was just at home. But I was at home for almost two years. They made sure I had a great surgeon, I had to get airlifted out of Texas, and yeah, they covered a lot of things.
“I can’t say enough good things about the medical in terms of just what I have experienced with them.”
When asked if he ever sits back and appreciates his career and accomplishments up to this point, Kidd said that he had always been good at appreciating things as they were happening.
“I’m not bad at living in the moment and [is] not too worried about looking too far ahead,” shared Kidd. “When you’re in FCW [Florida Championship Wrestling, the WWE’s former developmental territory] it is a little different than it is today. Now, [Triple H] is coming down to NXT every week, pretty much. When we were doing the Full Sail tapings he would come at least once a month. When I was in FCW, Hunter came zero times, and I was there for two years. So my point being, is that it is just a different animal. At that time, you don’t know if you are on anyone’s radar, you don’t know if you are getting called up tomorrow, or let go tomorrow. You don’t know. You just don’t know. So, you [can] become a victim of trying to look far ahead too much. Obviously, it is in your control. You can get better at your craft and get better at the things you need to get better at. Whether it is promos, in-ring, your body, or everything.”