Everyone knows that the world of professional wrestling is full of risks. Sometimes you can crash and burn, but other times you hit it out of the park. This is dedicated to those guys who showed us the crashing and burning part.
Of course, there are injuries in pro wrestling every single day. This is only the worst of the worst. So while Kurt Angle’s broken tailbone and Seth Rollin’s torn ACL were bad injuries, I’m only covering the ones that changed the business.
***If you have a weak stomach, this blog may not be for you. By the way, considering that there are over 20 broken necks in wrestling, I’m only going to include a few. Graphic pictures and videos will be shown!***
Sid Vicious Snaps His Leg In Half[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOSYcM4AJ8k]
As you can clearly see, a normal human being’s leg is not supposed to bend that way. Upon jumping off the top rope on an episode of WCW, Sid Vicious landed on one foot, with the other leg in the air for a kick. He didn’t land in an unusual way. The problem is, the ring is hard–very, very hard.
I can tell you from a guy who’s been in a ring, it’s not much better than falling on your kitchen floor. The wear and tear was too much for Sid’s leg to take. When he landed, his leg broke like a bread stick. This is the injury that ended Sid’s career. Legend has it that the creative team and bookers told Sid to expand his move set. Sid insisted that a wrestler of his size, (over 7 feet tall) should not be a high-flyer. I guess he was right.
Joey Mercury Shatters His Nose[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAWjDNK1_Yw]
On December 17, 2006, Joey Mercury suffered a broken nose which resulted in not only reconstructive surgery, but 33 stitches inside and outside his nose. During a Fatal Four-Way ladder match for the WWE Tag Team Championship, one of the Hardy Boys jumped on a ladder, which was propped up against another ladder. The structure acted as a slingshot, launching one of the ladders into the air and into Joey’s face, breaking the nose in 3 places. The injury was gruesome; despite it, Joey was back in the ring just a few weeks later.
X-Pac Rips His Butt…[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf8sC5YhyO4]
Probably one of the funniest wrestling injuries of all time, X-Pac attempted his patented move, the “Bronco Buster”, but the opponent moved out of the way. X-Pac didn’t cover himself properly and there’s no other way to put it… his butt hit the turn buckle, ripping his anus in half.
In all seriousness, he lost a ton of blood and needed surgery in the hospital to repair his body. Luckily, the former WWE superstar injured himself at an Indy event, so it wasn’t televised!
Mick Foley Hates Hell In A Cell[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hMp65SzyTU]
At King Of The Ring in 1998, Foley was part of arguably the most brutal WWF/E match of all time. Falling off the Cell twice, going through a pile of thumbtacks, and the announce table certainly constitutes room for injury. Mankind suffered a concussion, dislocated shoulder, dislocated jaw, bruised kidney, lost teeth, and stitches in his nose. Foley kept wrestling and finished the match. (Even with his teeth sticking out of his nose.)
Cactus Jack Loses His Ear[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ih9_n_YepaM] On a WCW European Tour, Foley and his opponent went for a fairly simple move, called a “Hangman”. It involves a wrestler falling over the ropes and getting his head stuck, causing him to hang and choke. Foley’s mistake: He didn’t loosen the top rope before the show. When Foley hit it, it was too tight, so when he flipped, he was really stuck. Choking, Foley managed to get himself out, but his ear was torn off in the process.
The picture above shows Foley with a hole in the right side of his head where the ear should be. Foley was able to have part of the ear reattached after the match and eventually reconstructed.
Sabu Breaks His Neck[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4nYzC2fdU0]
Sabu didn’t break is neck once, he broke it twice. The video above shows Sabu breaking it for the first time during his match with Chris Benoit. He recovered relatively quickly and returned to the ring.
One break should be enough, but for Sabu, he was unlucky enough to have it happen again. During his match with the “Human Suplex Machine,” Taz, Sabu was standing groggy near a table. Taz went for his signature maneuver, the “Taz Plex”, and Sabu wasn’t able to fully rotate. He crushed his neck between the table and canvas. Sabu was rushed to a hospital, where he made a full recovery. The “Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal” superstar is still wrestling in the Indy’s today.
The Danbury Fall[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-FVssz4JkE]
In an attempt at what could have been one of the greatest wrestling spots of all time, the mentally unstable “New Jack” (who is rumored to be responsible for the deaths of two wrestlers, and the attempted murder of one) was wrestling Vic Grimes. The 40-foot scaffold was supposed to be the stage and the tables were stacked high to cushion Vic’s fall. Atop the scaffolding, the men lost their balance and both tumbled to the floor, missing the tables and the ring, splatting on the concrete floor below. Vic Grimes departed from wrestling as a whole. New Jack received instant brain damage from the fall, as well as blindness in his right eye. He is still wrestling today.
Triple H Wrecks Marty Garner[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLnGnD92W68]
A lesser-known wrestler, Marty Garner eventually sued WWE over this incident and ended up settling out of court. Early in HHH’s career, he went for his finisher, the “Pedigree”. Garner, thinking it would be a different move, put his body in the wrong position, causing him to land on his head. The worst part about this injury was that Triple H had Garner’s arms trapped, so he wasn’t able to break his fall. Garner suffers from permanent spinal pain and neck problems.
Brock Lesnar Breaks Hardcore Holly’s Neck[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1UJg_IpB-w]
During an episode of Smackdown in 2002, Holly let himself off on the wrong side of a Powerbomb. Holly was helplessly thrown down on the ring by Lesnar, folding his neck in half. Holly was out for 13 months before finally returning to the ring.
Nick Gage Dies And Is Resuscitated From Cut Artery[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjY0B2zpHLw]
*The video above is graphic and contains lots of profanity*
During a CZW hardcore live event, wrestler Nick F’n Gage hit the ropes for a normal move. He must have forgotten than he was participating in a hardcore show as the ropes were covered in barbed wire and light tubes. Gage hit the ropes and a group of light tubes shattered underneath his arm, severing an artery. Gage would have bled to death if it wasn’t for a Flight For Life helicopter, which took him to emergency surgery. Gage insisted on finishing the match, and even tried to duck tape and stitch his arm shut. He was restrained by doctors until the helicopter came.