Home What kept Northern Virginia native Serena Deeb away from AEW? Unprovoked seizures
Health, Pro Wrestling/MMA

What kept Northern Virginia native Serena Deeb away from AEW? Unprovoked seizures

Chris Graham
serena deeb
Photo: All Elite Wrestling

For more than a year, wrestling dirtsheets speculated openly about why Serena Deeb was off AEW TV, with the speculation hinting at her having heat backstage.

It wasn’t backstage heat.

It was a serious health scare.

Deeb, a Northern Virginia native, shared on Instagram last week that she had suffered three unprovoked seizures, the first in October 2022.

The term unprovoked seizures sounds scary, and it is: according to the National Institutes of Health, unprovoked seizures can occur more than seven days after an acute injury such as stroke or brain hemorrhage, or in the absence of known causes.

Either way, scary.

“This has been a really traumatic time period for me. It’s affected my career, and it’s affected my life in a lot of ways. It’s been really scary for me,” Deeb said in the Instagram video.

Deeb’s last match, according to the Internet Wrestling Database, was on Oct. 18, 2022, at an “AEW Dark: Elevation” taping in Cincinnati.

There was no indication at the time that she was hurt in that match, so one concern with that first seizure, and the two others that she suffered later, was that they could be evidence of epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes recurring, unprovoked seizures.

“I’ve seen a lot of different doctors, I’ve had every test imaginable, and for the longest time, nobody could tell me why this happened,” said Deeb, who noted that she had kept what she was going through “very private” as she sought to learn more about the condition.

Seizures are actually fairly common. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, around 4 percent of the American population will experience at least one seizure in their lifetime.

Deeb’s message for others who experience seizures: “I know how scary it is, and I just I just want to send the message that you’re not alone, and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

This story has a happy ending.

“The reason why I wanted to talk to you today is because I do have some news, and it’s really good news, it’s great news,” she said in the Instagram video. “I saw my neurologist recently, and he told me that I’ve recovered, I’m healthy, and I am officially cleared to wrestle. I am ready to return.

“Hopefully the next time you guys see me, I’ll be in the ring doing exactly what I do best. And I can’t wait to wrestle. I can’t wait to show you exactly what The Professor, what Serena Deeb is made of.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].