There are those who believe that the wrestling matches they see on television are all staged. They see these amazing athletes hurling themselves around a ring all in the name of entertainment. Certainly, there is some truth to that. Wrestlers have scripts and they do have pre-determined moves which are carefully choreographed to ensure that maximum entertainment are enjoyed by the audience. But much like a NASCAR event in which some people watch for the excitement of the cars and the beauty of the race, there are those who watch specifically for the crashes. In wrestling, there are many crashes. With accidents, injuries, and even death a possibility in the ring, it is difficult to deny that this entertainment fringes on real danger every time these athletes step into the ring.
To further illustrate that point, WrestleMania, wrestling’s greatest showcase, has risen to an annual event of extraordinary fanfare and interest. This April, WrestleMania 32 will take center stage, and once again, with over 300 matches under its belt, the sport has never been stronger or more popular. There is always one guarantee when it comes to the epic event; good violence. Wrestlers tend to go all out, normally pushing the envelope and even employing moves that the WWE has banned as being too dangerous. And the WWE is not blind to it. They are beginning to face a massive injury crisis. Cesaro recently had to undergo shoulder surgery after he tore his left rotator cuff. A few weeks after Cesaro’s injury, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins suffered a devastating knee injury in Ireland during a wrestling event. With his ACL, MCL and meniscus all torn, he was expected to miss 6-9 months. Randy Orton suffered a dislocated shoulder that sidelined him 4-6 months. Daniel Bryan had serious concussion issues. Nikki Bella was out due to a neck injury. Rusev tore a bicep tendon. Lana suffered a broken wrist and Tyson Kidd’s neck injury has him out at least a year.
The point? This sport can be rough and serious injuries can occur. That is why the WWE has cracked down on creative moves that lead directly to injuries of its biggest stars. These are 13 Moves The WWE Banned For Being Too Dangerous.
13. Wings Of Love
The Wings Of Love is a complicated move that used to be performed by Michelle McCool. The move is all the more impressive being that a woman of her size was able to handle lifting another wrestler in the fashion she did. Balancing her opponent, suspending her up into the air, and then slamming her down face first, was quite the accomplishment. The move is indicative of Awesome Kong’s Implant Buster. The WWE must have gotten numerous complaints from McCool’s victims and they deemed it “too devastating for the WWE girls.” Thus, McCool had to stop using the dramatic move.
12. Double Underhook Powerbomb (aka Tiger Driver)
The Double Underhook Powerbomb, also known as the Tiger Driver, has different names and even more variations to its implementation. Chris Jericho and Cesaro have performed this maneuver. The move is initiated by wrapping up the victim’s arms up as if they were performing a Double Underhook DDT. They would then flip their opponent into a frontwards Powerbomb. As if that wasn’t devastating enough, the unlucky SOB’s on the wrong end of this move were tossed down on their backs or necks. The neck part is what grabbed the attention of WWE execs and got the move outlawed. With such little margin of error, it is no surprise it was nixed.
11. The Canadian Destroyer
The Canadian Destroyer is a move that is very deserving of its name. Created by Canadian wrestler, Petey Williams, the move required Williams to place his opponents in a Powerbomb position. Amazingly, Williams would then flip over his opponent’s back in an amazingly athletic maneuver. To complete the move, Williams would then Powerbomb them backwards. With so many variables in play, victims were unable to protect themselves from injuries to their neck, head and spine. Thus, the move was banned.
10. 450 Splash
Well, there’s one way to get a complicated move banned; just have a wrestler mess up the move and nearly take out one of the sport’s biggest stars. That was the case when the 450 Splash was implemented by Justin Gabriel. Gabriel actually executed the move perfectly. The problem was the inexperienced wrestler botched the timing. The unlucky star was Randy Orton who gets clipped as he was rolling out of the way. Orton is completely dazed afterwards and was barely able to complete the match. Afterwards, fans were witness to Orton screaming at Gabriel for botching the move and clearly injuring the star. The incident caused the move to get banned.
9. Pile Driver
The Piledriver. Back in the day, this was a famed move used through the 1980s. In fact, the old wrestling game on the original Nintendo featured this awesome move. However, when superstar Steve Austin had his neck broken during a slight variation of this move, regulations came flooding in. The classic move featured the facilitator placing his opponent’s head between his legs, lifting him up by his waistline, and then slamming him head first into the mat. Due to the lack of control over preventing head injuries, the move ultimately got banned.
8. Burning Hammer
Famed Japanese wrestlers have gone the extra mile when it comes to creating new inventive moves to showcase to their fans. The sport is huge in the country and its wrestlers are revered. So it is no wonder that they have created some of the most dangerous wrestling moves of all time. The Burning Hammer is one of those moves. Famous Japanese wrestler Kenta Kobashi created the move. It features a wrestler who would lift their victims so they rested parallel on their shoulders. They would then flip their helpless victims onto their back, head or neck. The move had too many dangerous variables to be properly policed or controlled, thus, it was banned.
7. The Brainbuster
Anything called “The Brainbuster” clearly comes with some cautionary notes. The move is very dangerous and it is another Japanese favorite. The move is initiated with a classic Vertical Suplex. The facilitator holds his victim into the air vertically and then drops them on the back of his neck. It is exactly as painful as it sounds. The move is rarely seen in the United States and the WWE has made it clear it is no bueno. Again, the danger and risk of paralysis is just too great with this move.
6. Poisoned Frankensteiner
The original version of this move was created by Scott Steiner. Then the Japanese injected the crazy move with crack and made it far more dangerous. Steiner’s original version was more palatable with the facilitator controlling how his victim landed when he flipped them frontwards off the top rope. The victim could easily roll forward and out of harm’s way at the culmination of the move. However, the Poisoned Frankensteiner in Japan features the facilitator performing the move backwards and the victim lands directly on their head, lacking the ability to control his landing. Thus, the move is far too dangerous for the WWE.
5. Shooting Star Press
Much like a lot of the moves on this list, it takes one bad incident for the move to get banned by the powers that be. This is the case with the Shooting Star Press and it was none other than Brock Lesnar himself that got this move the boot. He was in a match with Kurt Angle when Lesnar climbed to the top rope. He had difficulty steading himself before he leaped high into the air and tried to complete a back flip right onto Angle. But instead of landing on his opponent, Lesnar blew the move and landed on his head. He laid helplessly unconscious in the center of the ring. That kind of incident is enough to scare the crap out of any WWE executive. The move was promptly banned.
4. Dragon Screw Neck Whip
The Dragon Screw Neck Whip is as wicked as the move reads. The move was perfected by Keiki Mutoh. Basically, the victim stands outside the ring as the facilitator prepares them for a Back Suplex into the ring. Instead, the facilitator pulls the victim a bit into the ring, propping their feet up onto the top rope and then whips the victim’s neck in a downward motion, falling back into the ring. Obviously, the fact that the move is not only violent, but ends with a striking blow to the victim’s head is a pretty big reason why the move has been outlawed.
3. The Apron Brainbuster
So, when you have a Brainbuster and that is too dangerous, adding the word Apron in front of it doesn’t make things any better. Initiate the Brainbuster and add a firm taste of the ropes and you have the recipe for The Apron Brainbuster. Sami Zayn performed this move often in Japan and became the NXT Champ. With the Brainbuster on the “no-no” list, it’s hard to believe the WWE would ever allow The Apron Brainbuster to surface; but stranger things have happened. As of now, the move is outlawed and has not made its way into the United States.
2. The Original Pedigree
The Original Pedigree is one of the most dangerous moves ever performed in the wrestling arena. This move was made specifically to impress mass audiences and it did not disappoint. Triple H perfected the move and inflicted mass amounts of pain upon them. Triple H used to hold his victim’s hands behind their back throughout the move, which caused them to absorb the full impact of the apex of the action upon their head as opposed to the new version which allows for the victims to use their hands, chest or even their face to absorb the brunt of the move. It was the early 1990s when Triple H dominated with this move and awed audiences. But since then, the move has been vanilla’d down to prevent serious injury.
1. The Kinniku Buster
The Kinniku Buster is the definition of dangerous. To put this move in perspective, the Kinniku Buster forces their victim to land directly on their neck. The move is similar to, but far more aggressive and dangerous, than Samoa Joe’s Muscle Buster. The facilitator lifts their victims into a Perfect Plex and holds them high up into the air. He then drops to his backside, driving the victim’s neck right into the facilitator’s shoulders. The move is difficult to pull off and terribly dangerous. Clearly unsafe, The Kinniku Buster is outlawed by the WWE.