WWE star Big E says he broke his neck on 'Smackdown'

Originally Published: 12 MAR 22 15:02 ET

By CNN staff

(CNN) -- WWE star Big E said Saturday he was recovering from what he called a broken neck, suffered during the live WWE Smackdown show in Alabama the previous night.

Wearing a neck brace on a hospital bed in Birmingham, the wrestler whose real name is Ettore Ewen tweeted in a video his C1 and C6 vertebrae were both fractured, but he had "some really good news ... all things considered."

He said he suffered no displacement of the spine nor spinal cord or ligament damage and did not need surgery.

"And a pro tip: if you're going to break your neck, do it in Birmingham," he said in a video posted on Twitter.

"They've been great, everyone here at UAB (Hospital) has been great. But for real, it's meant a ton to me that so many of you have been so kind and reached out, stopped in to see me, texted me. I know I sound like a broken record but I feel very grateful and I'm going to be alright."

On Friday night, in another Twitter video in which he also wore a neck brace, Big E reported he was able to move his fingers and his strength "feels fine" but he was told his neck was broken.

"I can't thank all of you beautiful people enough for all of your concern and messages," he said Friday night.

"It's very heartwarming.... I'm gonna be all right. I'll be good. Don't worry."

The injury occurred during belly-to-belly suplex at ringside when Big E landed on his head, according to published reports and video posted on social media.

Big E was a defensive lineman for the University of Iowa, according to WWE.com. The 36-year-old wrestler from Florida won the WWE championship in September.

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