If you know someone that constantly berates the pro-wrestling business for being phony or fake, look no further than here for proof that the industry is a lot more real than people give credit for.
Maybe not every maneuver hurts, but when something goes wrong, wrestlers are just like the rest of us. It’s hard to tell when a wrestler is hurt considering they need to sell and react to everything that comes their way, yet some gruesome injuries have been caught on camera and they certainly aren’t pretty.
When pro-wrestling was beginning to make an impact in the mainstream during the 1990s, Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion pushed the boundaries for more shocking violence and characters that weren’t as fictitious as the ones seen on their rival’s programming. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) soon followed suit, and the matches became a little riskier for wrestlers, not to mention the spots and stunts being a hell of a lot more dangerous.
It’s not like wrestlers couldn’t get hurt as easily before these promotions came along. Japan’s format of wrestling, labeled as “Puroresu” isn’t kind to the body; hence most of the wrestlers working a stiffer style in companies like All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). If you were working with a legit shooter, you were probably going to feel a lot of pain throughout.
But all it takes is for something so basic to go wrong, or a freak accident seen in sports like professional basketball or football; everyone gets hurt. Here are some of the worst wrestling injuries caught on camera:
Brock Lesnar nearly paralyzed himself by jumping off the top rope at WrestleMania 19
He botched a Shooting Star Press and landed straight on his neck
Joey Mercury had the worst injury ever caused by a ladder
He was struck in the face hard, causing an eruption of blood
Buff Bagwell got a broken back in WCW due to a collision with Rick Steiner
It kept him out of action for a while but thankfully didn’t end his career
Goldberg ended Bret Hart’s wrestling career with a kick to the cranium
Hart suffered a concussion and later a stroke as a result
Sid Vicious suffered one of the most brutal leg breaks you’ll ever see
After attempting a Big Boot on the second rope, Sid’s left leg snapped in half
Brock Lesnar broke Hardcore Holly’s neck in a badly botched powerbomb
Rumor has it that Holly refused to cooperate with his opponent
Owen Hart nearly ended Steve Austin’s career at SummerSlam 1997
Hart’s piledriver had gone horribly wrong and broke Stone Cold’s neck
Mick Foley will forever be remembered for his daredevil stunt at King of The Ring 1998
The Undertaker threw him off the 16-foot cage in a Hell In A Cell match