Injuries are an unfortunate side effect of any sport, and while the notion of how legitimate the label of a sport is for the likes of professional wrestling, WWE superstars endure nagging injuries as much as any other athlete. With the high-flying modern wrestling style of today’s WWE, it should come as no surprise.
Sure, wrestlers experience their share of nicks and bruises, but typically they are able to shrug them off mid-match. Other times, well, they aren’t so lucky. Wrestlers are not immune to career ending injuries, and more recently wrestlers like Edge and Daniel Bryan have had their own experience with scary injuries of their own. Famous daredevil wrestler Mick Foley even once lost his ear in the middle of a match!
That said, most injuries are overcome with a little rehab time. With today’s advances in medicine, wrestlers need to simply take some time off to heal up, so most injuries pose as only minor inconveniences. Still, a wrestler who rushes back into the action too soon may risk injuring themselves again, and thus nagging injuries are born.
Looking to explain why one of your favorite WWE superstar is underperforming? Or perhaps you’re simply wondering about the injury histories of several wrestlers? Not to worry, we’re here to give you the information you need. Here are ten of the WWE’s nagging injuries for several superstars.
10 Rey Mysterio’s Knee
Mysterio is proof that big things sometimes come in small packages. Standing only 5’6”, Mysterio doesn’t even weigh over 175 pounds. That hasn’t prevented him from accomplishing feats professional wrestlers only dream of, though. He’s made a career off of being the underdog. Unfortunately, sometimes the underdog loses, especially when injuries are factored into the equation.
Mysterio spent some time away from wrestling after injuring his knee in 2013. By “some time” we actually mean eight entire months away from the sport. That’s as clear an indication as any that this injury was on the serious side. After returning, there was already speculation that he’d re-injured himself somehow, as his performance was lackluster. Whatever the truth is, it seems Mysterio’s professional wrestling days are numbered. Whether nagging injuries or father time (he is going on 41 years old), Mysterio may have to consider retirement as a possibility in the near future.
9 Rusev’s Lower Leg
This injury is actually rather recent. During a SmackDown taping in Pennsylvania, Rusev apparently injured his lower leg during a wrestling match with Ryback. The injury has forced the league to cancel several of his future matches, including his challenge for the currently vacant Intercontinental title.
The timing of the injury is certainly unfortunate, and nobody wants to miss time right when they’re about to get the shot at a title. The 29-year-old wrestler was also expecting to further several of his storyline feuds, especially the main feud with Dolph Ziggler. Leg injuries are especially nagging because wrestlers participate in a sport predicated on movement and jumping. As it appears now, Rusev could be out of commission for some time.
8 Sin Cara’s Knees
Sin Cara is a lucha libre character that has had its share of troubles since moving to the WWE. While he has certainly contributed to furthering the Latin American audience, as well as provided an influx of high flying lucha libre wrestling styles, Cara has struggled at times to mesh with the WWE’s style.
Cara has actually been a combination of two wrestler’s over the years. The original Mistico eventually handed over the mask to Hunico. Since taking over, Hunico has suffered lingering injuries that have hampered his career. A ruptured patella tendon coupled with a knee injury has kept him out for months at a time dating back to 2011.
7 The Undertaker
Another victim of wear and tear, the Undertaker is so beat up that it’s hard to pinpoint a single injury for this entry. Thus: we simply put The Undertaker in his entirety. In a physically demanding sport, one that’s predicated on peak physical fitness no less, it’s extremely hard to stand the test of time. The Undertaker has proven to be a force to be reckoned with over the years, but it seems time has finally begun to catch up with him.
The physical toll he’s gone through is obvious when considering how scarcely he performs anymore. For a long period of time, Undertaker was only doing WrestleMania shows in order to defend his streak. Now that it has ended, it’s easy to see him beginning to fade out of the wrestling scene. In total, the man has health issues with much of his body. The list includes a bad hip, broken ankle, inoperable shoulder damage, and facial damage.
6 Triple H’s Torn Muscles
Triple H has implanted himself firmly in the WWE realm of consciousness. He’ll be around, wrestling or not, for many fans to watch for years to come. He is married to the CEO’s daughter, after all. In a wrestling capacity, though, Triple H has struggled to stay healthy, and a myriad of nagging injuries has hampered his appearances.
It all started back in 2000 when he suffered a detached left quadriceps muscle. His leg problems continued in 2006 when he tore the quadriceps muscle in the opposite leg. Each injury gave him a long stint of recovery time. More recently, Triple H tore his biceps muscle, forcing him to miss a variety of events leading up to WrestleMania XXVII. With such a storied history of torn muscles, it’s impressive to see his willingness to step back inside the ring!
5 Randy Orton’s Shoulders
Orton has earned his moniker “The Legend Killer.” Over the years, he’s wrestled and beaten some of the top names in professional wrestling. He’s become rather popular in the process, even developing into a popular internet Vine. His career has also been littered with feuds, and it was during a feud with The Undertaker that he initially injured his shoulder.
The shoulder injury forced him to miss some time, especially considering his signature move the RKO lands directly on the shoulder. It was a wise move for him to wait to heal up before stepping back into the ring. Unfortunately for him, he broke his collarbone soon after his return. Luckily, he was able to rehab successfully once again and return to his feuding ways. We just hope his lingering upper body and shoulder issues stop flaring up.
4 Batista’s Arm Injuries
Batista put in the time and effort to climb the rungs of the WWE’s ladder. He began in the Ohio Valley developmental division and eventually signed with the company in 2000. His name began to see some fan recognition, and Batista found success as his career progressed. Unfortunately, he also encountered a wide variety of injuries.
The most common of injuries throughout Batista’s career involved his arm. He suffered a serious arm injury at the hands of Mark Henry, and even had to relinquish his World Heavyweight Title during the rehabbing process. Later, Randy Orton further injured Batista with a punt to the head. Even further, Orton would strike again as Batista suffered a torn left biceps. Batista has now left for the even more physical UFC, and we hope his nagging injuries don’t continue to slow him down.
3 John Cena’s Neck
During the beginning stages of his career, Cena seemed destined the type of greatness that only comes once in a few decades. His momentum was absolutely unstoppable, and the WWE seemed content with billing him as their preeminent babyface character. As of late, however, Cena has slowed. This has led to many questioning whether or not his body is catching up to him.
It’s no secret that the WWE is a grueling league, and Cena has persevered through some nasty injuries over his career. In 2014 it was reported that he was struggling with a severe shoulder injury, as well as developing some issues with his neck. Each injury in and of itself was cause enough concern for the league, and rumors even began circulating as to whether or not the WWE was considering a strictly Hollywood career for Cena moving forward. Whatever the case, Cena’s wrestling performances have dipped as of late, and it’s clear these injuries are giving him significant hurdles.
2 Edge’s Spine
Edge was the “Rated R-Superstar” that fans clamored for. He will live on in their eyes as one of the most successful wrestlers ever seen, winning a total of 31 total championships of various types. His success was largely due to his reckless wrestling style. He effused energy and passion, and threw his body around the ring as a result. Unfortunately, it was this same style that lead to his departure.
Edge injured his neck back in 2003, requiring extensive surgery that forced him to miss nearly an entire year’s worth of wrestling. A pectoral tear in 2005 also caused him to miss a few added weeks. Later in 2009, he tore his Achilles tendon and missed yet another year. After all these injuries took their toll, it was revealed he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, and forced to retire. Many doctors believe it was his reckless style, such as his head-first spears, that contributed to the nagging injuries and eventually his forced retirement.
1 Daniel Bryan’s Neck
Is there any injury more discussed in the current WWE landscape? We think not.
Daniel Bryan has been an unlikely superstar. While he’s not the beefiest, he certainly has the charisma needed to connect with fans. In fact, he’s grown to be a fan favorite over the years of his professional career. It seemed like the WWE was recognizing this, as Bryan began earning big name matches left and right. Then it all halted when he was injured.
The first scary injury was back in 2014 when he suddenly lost all strength in his right arm. The injury required neck surgery, and Bryan was sidelined for some time. Later in 2015, after Bryan had returned for a short while, his name was suddenly pulled from upcoming events. At an episode of Raw, he then revealed he’d gone through an MRI and his entire career was now in doubt.