Veteran running back DeAngelo Williams, who has proven again and again that the tank still isn’t empty, tried his hand (or maybe I should say his face) at wrestling over the weekend. It could have gone horribly wrong for him.
Williams, participating in something called Slammiversary XV, capped the tag-team match by climbing to the top rope and jumping from the turnbuckle. Unlike old-school wrestling, where guys like the late Randy Savage would simply land on a waiting opponent in the middle of the ring, DeAngelo’s target was laying atop a folding table.
So Williams hit the body on the table with his torso, and his head went past the table and slammed onto the mat. Williams literally could have broken his neck.
“This is what happens when it’s real and people think it’s fake,” Williams said on Twitter, posting the video of the climb, jump, landing, and eventual pin. “But the money is real.”
As much as I hated hearing it from my dad when I was a kid, much of wrestling is fake. The outcome has been determined before the match begins, and the punching (which used to accompany a loud stomp that supplied the sound of the blow) and kicking doesn’t have nearly the impact that it would in the alley behind a bar.
But the stunts are real, and the risk of serious injury is always present. While it’s unclear how Williams was supposed to properly land when jumping onto a large human laying a flimsy portable table, it’s safe to assume he wasn’t supposed to take a header onto the mat.
So, yes, the danger is real. Perhaps even more real than it is in the NFL, which could still come calling for Williams once injuries to other tailbacks inevitably occur.