WWE referee Tom Castor suffers an absolutely horrific looking broken leg during an NXT match, but still manages to count the final pinfall. In many ways, the referees are sort of the unsung heroes of professional wrestling. While every fan nowadays knows full well that wrestling is a scripted form of entertainment, that doesn't mean they don't want to get lost in the show, just like a fan of any other genre. Referees contribute to that suspension of disbelief greatly, calling matches as if they were a legitimate competitive sport.
Wrestling referees also serve other important functions, like communicating between those producing and directing the show backstage and the performers in the ring. Referees are just as worthy of respect by fans as anyone else involved in making wrestling happen, as their road schedules are just as hectic, they're required to stay in good enough shape to quickly follow the action around the ring, and sometimes, get just as injured as any wrestler.
Unfortunately, that's what happened to WWE referee Tom Castor at an NXT live event on Thursday night. While millions of people were watching Avengers: Endgame in a darkened movie theater, Castor was reffing a match between NXT North American Champion The Velveteen Dream and his opponent Tyler Breeze, a former NXT star who made a surprise appearance. It's not clear exactly how it happened, but near the end of the match, Castor broke his leg in a quite sickening manner. Despite the tremendous pain he was no doubt in, Castor still managed to roll over and count the final pinfall of the match. A picture of the injury can be seen below, via Riley Pentecost on Twitter. Warning: the image isn't for the faint of heart.
Since Castor's injury occurred, many of his WWE colleagues have shared posts on social media in support of their fallen friend, especially commending him for the grit he showed in finishing the match. Fellow referee Drake Wuertz also revealed that "when [Castor] was on the stretcher" following the injury "he squeezed my hand and proudly said "Drake I Love the Business." Castor himself has since gone on to post a message on his Instagram thanking his fans and coworkers for their support as he recovers.
View this post on Instagram
I sincerely want to thank the WWE Universe and the NXT/WWE Superstars for their kind words and positive vibes. It’s been heartwarming and humbling to say the least. My utmost gratitude to the WWE Medical Staff and ER staff at Nebraska Medicine for your care and support. I’m ready to heal up and rejoin my NXT family doing what we all love to do. #wearenxt . . #wwe #nxt #wwenxt #nxtuk #wweraw #smackdown #205live #wweuniverse #wwenetwork
Castor's reaction to being injured just serves to reinforce how committed to their profession those who work within WWE and the pro wrestling world at large are. He'll obviously need a significant amount of time off to recover from an injury that severe, but one shouldn't doubt that Castor will make it back to the ring as soon as he's able. In the meantime, his toughness and perseverance are worthy of admiration.