Wrestling is built on a storyline happening within a match where the men or women involved basically perform live theater to entertain the masses. Yes, wrestling is scripted entertainment, and some might even call it fake. However, “fake” is literally the worst term you can use when describing it. The reason? Have you ever seen a wrestling match?
These men and women fall multiple times in a match, and not on some sort of pillow-top mattress either. They fall on less than an amateur wrestler falls on, and most of the time they do it multiple days a week. This is not even including the top rope or falls from ladders, cells, etc. What these men and women do on a daily basis is absolutely incredible when you see it happen in front of you.
It takes a special man or woman to do it on a regular basis, and it is not just the actual performance but the sacrifices of being away from their families that should also be spoken about.
In the ring, an injury can happen at literally any time. People have died from injuries sustained, and some have left paralyzed. Others have torn ligaments and broken bones and there aren’t many people who last a long time without racking up several surgeries.
It’s clear why the WWE tells you not to do these moves at home. In the ring, even the professionals who have trained for years have fallen victim to some serious injuries, including from many of the 15 moves we talk about below.
We aren’t talking lightly when we speak of how dangerous these moves are, so like the WWE, we highly recommend you not do any of them at home.
Yes, the move made famous initially by the likes of Edge, Rhyno, and Goldberg is actually one of the most dangerous moves one can do. This is an issue for both the person taking the spear combined with the person administering the move. If done correctly, a person might hit their opponent with their arm. If done incorrectly, they will run and literally spear them with their shoulder. If the impact is too high, the person taking the move could suffer from rib damage as a result.
Meanwhile, the person doing it could run into something like a dislocated shoulder among other things. The idea is to make it seem like the shoulder is hitting but end up having the top of the arm hit instead. It is softer to take and easier on the person doing it. However, those not trained do not know the tricks of how to not get hurt from it, which is why injuries have occurred all over the world with this move for years now.
The suplex has various variations. Don’t say that too fast. The thought is that we may have more suplexes than we need, but each time a new one is performed we’re all in awe of how cool it looks. Possibly one of the most popular used today is known as the Superplex. The two people go to the top rope where a suplex is done from the area. However, it must be done the exact same way one would do it on the mat.
Typically the person who gets the move done to them won’t sustain an injury, but watch out if they land badly.
In this move, it may be the person doing it that takes the most damage. This has led to shoulder and neck injuries in the past, especially if they land awkwardly. It is clear that this would be a terrible move to do at home when you can easily find yourself hurt.
13. Shooting Star Press
The shooting star press is a pretty move, well ya know, when you hit it right. A lot of people who do it often usually nail it, but there are those few people who try way too hard to steal a show and end up nearly killing themselves. Exhibit A, Brock Lesnar. In his amazing WrestleMania main event match with Kurt Angle, he attempted one. Memorably, he completely botched it and nearly broke his neck doing so.
The move is not very dangerous to take as one simply lays down and puts their arms up to basically catch the person falling so that they don’t break the ribs of the man landing or their own. However, the person doing it is in a lot of danger. After Billy Kidman retired from active competition, WWE retired the move, not feeling anyone should do it after what we saw with Lesnar. In order for WWE to even allow Evan Bourne to do it once, they made him do it onto a mat around thirty times to prove he could hit it consistently before they allowed him to do it televised. It is still one of the most dangerous moves to do and one you should not attempt at home.
There are more variations to a powerbomb than your girlfriend has shoes. Seriously, there probably more than needed and we’re always pushing for more on the independent scene it seems. The move is honestly not dangerous when you do it correctly, however, it is often landed wrong. For example, Seth Rollins injured both Sting and Finn Balor with his running powerbomb. Rollins did not do the move wrong but both men landed it incorrectly. Sting had to retire due to the injuries he sustained and Balor has missed about 6 months of action due to it.
It all depends on the one you take, but powerbombs have given people concussions, broken necks, torn ligaments, and even dislocated shoulders. When you take it, the idea is one needs to tuck their head like with all falling moves and try to land flat if possible. If not, well you’ve read what can happen. Avoid doing this move at home, but if you must do it, for God’s sake never let it leave the bouncy castle.
11. German Suplex
Another move in the suplex family is the German Suplex. The move is done by a wrestler coming from behind, picking up his opponent and throwing him over his head. Usually one clutches the move to do a pin but one can be released with what is literally called a “release german suplex.” Base wrestling move names aren’t complicated. The move is not dangerous to the person doing it, other than throwing their back out. However, it can be dangerous for the person taking it.
The move is supposed to be taken with the person landing with their chin tucked and flat on their back, like the powerbomb. However, there are some who forget this and land awkwardly. If this happens, one can dislocate their shoulder and even break their neck. Of course, whiplash is likely as well, which brings one to concussion city, exit F-5. The move is typically landed correctly, but it has been messed up on the independent scene and caused serious injury. It is one you want to avoid doing at home with the kids.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin was known for his infamous Stone Cold Stunner. The move is a glorified jawbreaker, but with a twist. Instead of facing forward, Austin would turn away from you and fall down taking you with him. In theory, the move is ineffective but wrestlers often overhype it with how much they sell the move. However, the move is not one you should think is harmless. There are even newer and more dangerous variations of the move being done from the top rope and in springboard form, the former of which is done by Ember Moon.
The move can break a neck, cause a concussion, and of course break or fracture a jaw. This is not even including the teeth one could lose. In addition, if the move is landed with the taker falling forward onto their neck, one can possibly hurt their windpipe which is never good to injury to sustain.
9. The RKO/Cutter
The cutter is also known as the RKO to some of you or the Ace Crusher to the older people. Invented by Johnny Ace over in Japan, because everything bad comes from Japan, the move is literally done by someone falling face first into the mat after being led there by their opponent. Seemingly harmless as one can just put their hands up to avoid impact, the move has been landed wrong in the past. Like with other moves, the cutter has variations. Orton does a quick one that is usually planned ahead of time but others have messed up the move and paid dearly.
If the move is done too fast or if the person wants to hold on too long to their opponent, they could risk breaking a person’s nose, hurting their chin or jaw, and of course, watch out for a concussion. The cutter is truthfully not harmful if done right, but it can be very dangerous if done incorrectly, so why take the risk?
8. Senton/Swanton Bomb
Possibly the most popular move kids and adults alike do at home is the senton bomb, better known as the Swanton Bomb thanks to Jeff Hardy popularizing it. The move is quite simple to do. Jump on your opponent after doing one forward rotation in the air and land on your back. The move is literally that easy to do and you really should not get hurt doing it in the ring.
However, the move is often done in backyard wrestling and this leads to many people not knowing how to land the move or the heights they should do it from unprotected. Jeff often pushed the limits of his daredevil life and would do the move from huge heights. Because of monkey see/monkey do, kids and moronic adults would do the move from high areas to look like their hero, causing themselves to get hurt.
People have seriously been injured and even died doing this move. It may be the simpler nature of the move that leads many to believe it is no big deal to try it. But just like drugs, the first try can get you. Avoid it at all costs unless under the watch of a wrestling trainer who can tell you how to do it safely. Even then, know your limits people.
The brainbuster is a really simple move. You pick a man up in a vertical suplex and drop them down into their upper back/shoulders, to make it appear that you took them to the mat head first. It is a remarkable move that when done perfectly can seem devastating but be completely harmless. However, it tends to be done incorrectly often because people tend to think that they need to land on their head.
When this happens, not only can one have a broken neck or vertebrae damage, but they can also risk concussions among various other injuries. The brainbuster was actually an outlawed move at one point, but it has now made a huge return in popularity. Thankfully only those who do it well are allowed to perform it in WWE.
The DDT is one of the most popular moves in pro-wrestling history. Invented by WWE Hall of Famer Jake “The Snake” Roberts, the move is pretty simple. You put a man or woman’s head under your arm and go to the mat bringing their head with you. The move can be done safely, as the person can put their hands up and even put their forehead on the arm to avoid hitting the mat head first. People even turn their head.
However, many have gotten hurt with the move. If held on too long or the proper protection from the wrestler is not done, concussions can happen and even broken noses. There have also been broken jaws. Due to so many variations of the move now existing, it has become a bigger problem of people trying it at home. It is often safe when done by trained wrestlers, but backyard guys do not know what they are doing and often find themselves hurt from the move.
The pedigree is one of the most popular moves in the world and only done by a handful of people. Invented by WWE Executive and multi-time World Champion Triple H, the move is simple to do in theory. You put a person’s head in between your legs and hold their arms above their back with your forearms holding them as you clasp your hands to avoid them escaping. You then go to the mat with their head safely in between your legs or you let go of their arms before you hit the mat so that they can avoid their head hitting.
Triple H and Seth Rollins are typically the only two men who use it today. However, Triple H has hurt a few people with it. In the photo above, Marty Garner suffered a horrific bump after taking a pedigree when the timing was off just a bit with both men. We aren’t messing around when we say the move is dangerous if one does not do it right.
As mentioned, you can hit your head hard into the mat. You also risk various types of head injuries, a broken nose, and much more. Keep in mind, the person doing the move may also fall on top of you too. It is one that you truly want to let the professional wrestlers handle.
4. Curb Stomp
Made famous by Seth Rollins and Super Dragon, the curb stomp originated from Japan like every dangerous move tends to. The move is simple, you use your foot to slam a person’s head into the mat. Seems simple enough, but it can hurt people. Super Dragon and Japanese performers hold onto the arm while putting their foot on their opponent’s neck or head, then drive their head into the mat. The only way to protect yourself is to turn your head but even there are dangers that you need to be aware of.
The safest way of doing it is the way Rollins does it. Where he simply jumps on your upper back and you go down head first putting your hands up and landing flat. Brock Lesnar and others, however, like to go head first with no protection. WWE has now banned the move, forcing Seth to use the pedigree. The move can be dangerous, as you’re literally using your body weight and leg strength to push a man’s skull into the ground.
This is not to mention the pressure it puts on the human neck. It is, unfortunately, a popular move done in backyard wrestling. WWE banned it because they did not want kids to do it, which means even they see the danger of the move and want to make sure people avoid it.
3. Muscle Buster
Made famous by WWE Superstar Samoa Joe, the muscle buster is an interesting move. Joe told Steve Austin he invented the move on a drunken night in Japan. The move is done by putting your opponent on the turnbuckle and then picking him up so that he is resting his neck on your shoulders.
The aggressor will then grab their opponents legs and run to the center of the ring and jump, bringing both men to the mat. The key is remembering to release the wrestler before you both hit the mat. The move looks as if the opponent is locked in a move that is impossible to get out of until you hit the mat.
While it looks awesome, serious injuries have occurred from the move. In fact, WWE Superstar Tyson Kidd nearly died taking one from Samoa Joe in 2015. Joe went down like normal but Kidd landed wrong taking it. His neck got caught in-between everything and he was seriously hurt. Doctors said if not for his muscles in his neck, the way he took the move on impact could have killed him. Clearly, this move is very dangerous and only people like Samoa Joe should even consider it, as he has been an expert with it for years.
Of course, if an injury can happen to a professional, this move would be terrible to take at home. Not only do you risk serious neck damage, but also spinal damage as well as a concussion. One can also sustain shoulder injuries from it. Really, the move is terrible to take from someone who does not do it all the time like Joe. Even then you’re risking your health.
The piledriver has injured various people over the years, with one of the most notable being “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Many believe it shortened his career heavily as he missed about a year of action due to injuries sustained from a piledriver. The move is really simple to do. One grabs their opponent and puts them between their legs. They then pick them up by the hips so that their legs are in the air. From there, they drop the opponent onto their head by falling straight down or usually down while falling away from them. Now, of course, the idea is not to land them on their head.
The idea is to have them take the move by having their shoulders land on your hips going down with them using their hands to help leverage away from the neck when needed. The piledriver has been messed up so many times that WWE outlawed the move from anyone ever doing it besides someone like The Undertaker who did a safe tombstone piledriver. However, the regular one has not been allowed normally. Only people like Jerry Lawler are permitted to do it since it is a move he perfected.
At times WWE will bring it back, but only the top wrestlers really do it. They normally don’t inform WWE of it as they can just do it during the match. The move clearly risks head and neck problems, as well as shoulder issues. It is considered so dangerous that it has become a type of “wrestler code” to not do the move unless both men agree to it beforehand. If even the professional wrestlers have trouble with it, it definitely should never be done at home.
1. Burning Hammer
The Burning Hammer was a move developed in Japan by Kenta Kobashi. The move is basically an inverted death valley driver. The move is done by picking the person and placing them on your shoulders in a fireman’s carry position, but this time they are on their back and not stomach. You then slam them down sideways onto the mat, making sure their head gets drilled. The move was only performed seven times by Kenta due to how dangerous it was to take. Every time, it resulted in a pinfall.
For years, it was an outlawed move all over the world. No one ever did it because they knew how horrible was to take. You are landing on your head and/or neck. You might get lucky hitting your shoulders, but it’s rare. The fact even Kenta only did seven times tells you the danger behind it. He knew it and every opponent he wrestled knew it. The only time WWE has ever seen the move done was in the Cruiserweight Classic when Brian Kendrick performed it on Kota Ibushi.
We can assume Kendrick did not ask permission to do the move, as he would have been given a flat out no. By far, it’s the most dangerous to do. It’s tough to land without getting hurt and if professionals don’t want to do the move and outlaw it, it should never be done at home for any reason at all. It can literally kill you and is that really a risk you want to take?