William Regal Reveals How He Was Saved From Two Life-Threating Illnesses

William Regal spoke on serious medical issues he suffered from over the last couple years and how doctors swooped in at the last minute and saved his life twice.
WWE William Regal

William Regal spoke on serious medical issues he suffered from over the last couple years and how doctors swooped in at the last minute and saved his life twice.

Regal was recently a guest on Talk Is Jericho and talked about his time in WWE and NXT.  He also opened up about how he was given six months to live, but was saved by a doctor after something unusual came up on an abdomen scan.


“They send me for a scan, because my legs are swelling, and they do a scan of my abdomen. Luckily, again fortunately for me, there is a cardiologist in the room,” Regal said. “And this lady saved my life. She went, ‘hang on a minute, there’s something above that, that doesn’t look right.’ But they couldn’t scan there because you’ve already been injected. You can only do one.

“I go back Monday, I get a scan that I’ve never had before, some type of scan. I go back Monday, I went home. Within an hour of me being in the house my cardiologist called me saying, ‘I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry.’ I am going, ‘why?’ He said, ‘we should have thought of this years ago,’ He’s telling me all of these things, ‘it doesn’t pick up on a regular scan.’” H/T To Wrestling Inc. For Transcription

William Regal’s Rare And Very Serious Medical Condition

WWE William Regal
Courtesy Of WWE

The life of a wrestler is a very hard life because it is hard to have friendships and relationships outside of wrestling.  They are constantly on the road and don’t have a lot of down time.  However, one of the hardest parts is the toll the career takes on the body.  

Their heart is going full speed for an extended period of time day-after-day.  Heart problems are very common for wrestlers and heart attacks are common in wrestling.  William Regal had been in the wrestling business since he was 15 years old and proved himself as a reliable wrestler.  These long years in wrestling possibly led him to develop a serious and rare heart condition.  The sack which surrounded his heart began to harden and calcified. 

“He said, ‘you’ve probably got less than six months to live.’ What had happened was this sack around my heart had completely calcified, it looked like a goose egg. It was completely constricted, it had just grown into a solid lump of rock,” William Regal said. “I have the picture which I can show you. Where they’ve cut me open and he’s wrapping on this goose egg with a scalpel. It’s going, ‘tap, tap tap,’ Then three hours later, you can see where he’s peeled it all off, you can see a completely beating heart. If they didn’t take this off now, I would have six months to go.”

The condition is called pericardial calcification.  It is thought to be caused by a scarring of the pericardium or the sack around the heart according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  Another possible cause is cardiac computed tomography or a type of heart scan which helps to detect plaque buildup in the coronary arteries.  

As the heart is encased in the pericardial calcification it constricts the heart and makes its normal function increasing more difficult.

Just When Regal Thinks He Is Out Of The Woods Sepsis Enters The Ring

WWE William Regal
Courtesy Of WWE

Following his successful surgery Regal eventually developed sepsis in his leg.  He was told he could have his leg amputated or he would die within 24 hours.  Luckily a doctor overheard his condition and was able to save his life without amputation.


“I thought I was going to die, it was really bad,” William Regal said. “It was January 4th, somehow I got sepsis in my leg. Again, this is all things that happened to me, something gets me through this stuff. My wife gets a call, three o’clock in the morning, ‘he’s got sepsis in his leg, we are going to cut his leg off, and he’s probably got 24 hours to live if we don’t.’ It’s like madness.

The doctor who was looking after me, his wife, was a doctor. She was on call, she overheard because they’re not allowed to talk to each other about cases. She overheard a conversation that there’s a fella who had a pericardiectomy. Which again, when I was in hospital, it was like the Elephant Man, if you’ve ever seen that movie? They were bringing people in all the time to look at me. I am like creamed, all these doctors were coming in to stare at me. Because you don’t see this thing, right?

So, she heard this and called her husband at home. Woke him up, and said, ‘they’re about to chop his leg off.’ He called them, and said, ‘inject him with this, this, this, and this,’ They weren’t going to do it, they were going to chop my leg off. That worked, and saved my leg.”

Back To Being The Best GM Of All Time

AEW Jon Moxley, William Regal, Bryan Danielson
Courtesy Of AEW

After these two very serious and life-threatening medical conditions, it could easily seem like another one is just around the corner.  The concern of another an illness taking William Regal’s life before doctors could step in must have been a real concern.  

However, Regal talks about the moment everything changed and he knew he was going to be alright.  This change led him to push to get out of the hospital and get back to work in NXT.

“I am lying in the hospital bed now. When you have open-heart surgery, it’s pretty painful,” William Regal said. “On top of all these other things, right? So, two days before the NXT UK show from Blackpool, where Walter [now Gunther] debuted. I am in the hospital and something in my brain just went, ‘click.’ And I thought, ‘I’m going to be okay,’

I don’t know what it was, something just went, ‘you’re going to be okay.’ Then it was just for the next two weeks trying to get out of the hospital because if you’re in the hospital, I hate to say as wonderful as people are, you’re going to stay sick. You need to get out and get yourself healthy if you know how to.”

William Regal has proven himself to be a wrestler’s wrestler.  A wrestler who everyone in the business praises.  For some mind-blowing reason, WWE decided to release him in early January.  However, he just took his immense talent over to AEW and has begun managing Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley.  If AEW is smart ,they will use him behind-the-scenes as well.

Do you like the idea of William Regal being a manager in AEW, or should he focus more on a behind-the-scenes role?  Is there anyone else you would like to see join this William Regal team and make it a faction?  Leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite Regal moment from his WWE and WCW days are.


Sources: Talk Is Jericho, Wrestling Inc., U.S. National Library of Medicine


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Robert Watson

Just a guy reading comics, watching wrestling, and wondering if aliens exist