Sid Vicious breaking his leg in WCW remains one of the most graphic injuries sustained in a wrestling ring. However, at an NXT live event in 2019, WWE referee Tom Castor may have matched that and more!
A Gruesome Injury for WWE Referee Tom Castor
WWE NXT’s road schedule led to Omaha, Nebraska, on April 25th, 2019. The biggest story going into the event was “Prince Pretty” Tyler Breeze’s return to the NXT circuit. But, sadly, going out of the event, NXT referee Tom Castor turned out to be the talk of the show.
The respected WWE NXT official was calling the main event between Velveteen Dream and Tyler Breeze when amid the action, Castor found himself on the receiving end of a botched superkick. As a result, he fell awkwardly and broke his ankle.
Former NXT referee Drake Wuertz ran in to continue calling the match but got caught by Breeze’s “Beauty Shot” finisher, leaving it down to Tom Castor to recover and call the finish — with one of his legs pointing in the opposite direction.
When Drake realized the severity of what happened, he threw up the dreaded ‘X’ signal to alert medical staff and officials that Castor was legitimately injured.
Despite the painful injury, Tom Castor showed huge amounts of resilience and dedication to his job at the end of the match.
Wuertz, who happens to be good friends with Castor, shared a touching moment that took place between the two of them after the match.
“When he was on the stretcher, he squeezed my hand and proudly said, ‘Drake, I love the Business.’
“We love you Tom!” Wuertz shared.
The outpouring of respect flooded feeds across social media.
“There aren’t too many that ‘love the business’ left. He’s one. Tell him to let me know how I can help. Gotta TRY to keep the love alive.” Scott Dawson tweeted out.
One of RAW’s newest acquisitions, Ricochet, showed his respect by saying, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do!”
From the main roster to across the pond to NXT UK, love was shown for the brave official.
“Feel better and heal up quick Tom. Top man!” said NXT UK talent Jordan Devlin.
It’s an unusual position for a referee. Their job requires them not to be in the spotlight and leave the fans to focus on the wrestlers in the ring. But on this occasion, it was impossible to ignore Tom Castor’s great courage. Even fans in attendance were inspired by him.
“I was there,” Twitter user @TheCoachAdair wrote after the show. “It was the most insane, gutsy thing I’ve ever seen. And in the main event! What a legend! Tom, rest up. We love you and will be there for you when you get back.
And another fan in attendance under the Twitter handle @TheRealMikeD23 posted the following picture to show support.
Although Drake Wuertz threw up the ‘X’ sign for Tom Castor, former WWE referee and current producer Scott Armstrong noted that Castor was in control of the situation and threw up the ‘X’ for himself! He wrote:
“Our @NXT @WWE Ref @tomcastorWWE broke his [ankle] last night, still counted 3, and then threw up the "X" for himself!!! Shout out to Tom for being a true Pro and keeping his focus! #ReffinAintEasy! #SpeedyRecoveryTom”
Omaha had it tough that night. Castor wasn’t the only one who suffered an injury on the NXT live event. As Tom Castor bravely counts three, a member of the audience can be heard saying: “This town is cursed!”
That was a reference to NXT superstar Raul Mendoza, who also sustained an injury at the event.
Raul, who most notably competed in 2016’s Cruiserweight Classic, injured what appears to be his ankle against a member of The Forgotten Sons, Jaxson Ryker. The dreaded ‘X’ was also thrown up here, and the match was canceled.
After Raul’s injury, he thanked fans for their support, showing he was in good spirits. “It doesn’t matter if you call it sports entertainment… This is Real!”
Tom Castor Returns After Injury
Ten months after sustaining the gruesome ankle injury, Tom Castor returned to the business that he loved.
At the time, Tyler Breeze commented, “It’s exciting for me, and it’s exciting for him. Try to keep the cameras off him ’cause he’s gonna be smiling from ear to ear!”
Castor had been refereeing wrestling matches for over twenty years, and his return back to the ring marked one of his most cherished moments of them all.
When asked how he felt after his first match back, he replied, “Out of body! It’s so weird; it was the most calm I ever felt.”
With tears in his eyes, Castor continued, “I love what I do, and I love these guys. And they’ve been with me this whole time, and this company has taken amazing care of me over these past ten months.”
Castor continued, “I’ll forever be grateful to this company for giving me a job that I would do for free! I just want to make everybody proud.”
And he most certainly has. Tom Castor showed amazing resilience in the aftermath of his injury and showed a strength few can in the face of adversity.
These stories may also interest you:
- Joey Mercury – The Injury That Brokedown a Promising Career
- Vince McMahon and His Chaotic Injury at 2005’s Royal Rumble
- Wrestling Injuries That Ended Careers Too Soon
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