Accidents happen in professional wrestling—people have ended up badly injured or even dead after simple moves that normally don’t actually hurt anyone went wrong. That’s not what this list is about. This is a about the times wrestlers threw caution to the wind in the name of their art and did some truly dangerous stunts. WWE and wrestling in general are going through a continued effort at making the industry safer, preventing violent accidents of the past to repeat themselves, but the real issue is when wrestlers are completely willing to nearly murder themselves, whether the company likes it or not.
In the 1990’s especially, with the rise of ECW, being extreme and hardcore were huge selling points in the wrestling world. While that can be done in a compelling, interesting way, sometimes it goes too far, and the returns are nowhere near worth the risks involved. We’ve talked about the times the women got violent, and the men have come even closer to actual attempted murder on television. Some of these moments are the most iconic in wrestling history, but that doesn’t change the fact they were so intensely dangerous it’s arguable they never should have been attempted. Read on to discover 10 times wrestling got a little bit too hardcore for its own good.
10 Sid Vicious Jumps 2 Feet And Breaks Legs
Some of the people on this list jumped or got thrown off a solid twenty, thirty feet and were relatively unharmed. Sid Vicious only needed to jump off the second rope to suffer one of the most disgusting injuries in wrestling history. Sid had been wrestling over 10 years when he decided to go aerial for the first time at WCW Sin in January 2001. Standing 6’9” and weighing well over 300 lbs., Sid didn’t exactly need to be jumping off ropes to beat his opponent. Unfortunately, WCW management allegedly demanded he increase his arsenal and go airborne, resulting in that massive frame all crashing down on his left ankle so powerfully it shattered his leg to pieces. He broke both his fibula and tibia in an injury so graphic networks in Canada refused to air it.
9 WCW Booking Injures Everybody
8 Shane McMahon Falls Off the Titantron
7 Terry Funk Politely Asks For A Chair
6 Mick Foley Gets Excedrin Headache Number 9
5 Kurt Angle Repeatedly Attempts to Murder Shane McMahon
Okay, so Shane McMahon is a crazy person who jumps down from really high places into crash pads. That’s dangerous, but it's something called a “stuntman bump”—most of the items on this list are. They planned the spot, considered the risks, and went through with it as planned. At King of the Ring 2001, things went a little bit differently. Shane only fell about six feet opposed to twenty-something, but he landed on his neck against hard cement. Three times. In under two minutes.
4 The Road Warriors Scare Jim Cornette Off A Scaffold
3 The Undertaker Throws Mankind Off the Cell
2 The Rock Handcuffs Mankind And Hits Him In the Head 11 Times
Once fairly commonplace, something fans rarely see in professional wrestling anymore is a true chair shot to the head. Wrestlers still swing chairs at each other, but eagle-eyed fans can tell you they always get their hands up at the last second before it hits them, in order to protect their skulls. Given the Chris Benoit tragedy, Daniel Bryan’s early retirement, and of course many issues with the NFL and CTE, medical professionals are concluding arguably the most dangerous thing a wrestler can do is get hit in the head. At the 1999 Royal Rumble, The Rock handcuffed Mick Foley and hit him in the head 11 times with a steel chair.
1 New Jack and Vic Grimes Both Almost Die
Everything on this list is extreme, and ECW revolutionized extreme, so it's obvious they would be responsible for the moment that ranks at the top. What happened at Living Dangerously 2000, however, was not extreme. It was a terrible mistake that should never have occurred, performed by two men who probably shouldn’t have entered the wrestling business, on the orders of a promoter who obviously didn’t care about the well being of his talent. In what is known as “The Danbury Fall,” Vic Grimes and New Jack climbed about 25 feet up a series of poorly put together scaffolds. They were supposed to fall off and collapse through a large number of tables. They missed. By a lot.
New Jack lands his foot on one table for about half a second before Grimes comes crashing down on top of him, causing both of them to fall head first off the tables onto the concrete. With Grimes’ weight on top of him making his fall even worse, New Jack suffered brain damage from the fall and permanently lost his vision in his right eye. The match is the only one on this list that is unlisted on the WWE network, although it does appear, similar to how they handle Chris Benoit. The carelessness involved in pretty much every member of the ECW roster in allowing this match to happen really makes one question the mindset of hardcore wrestling to begin with.
Sources: WWE Network
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