When it comes to sports-related injuries, wrestling is probably one of the sports that comes to mind. Although the moves are scripted, fake and choreographed, there is still a high probability of things going wrong. There’s no denying that wrestlers hold back when performing strikes, grapples and slams, but everyone else can agree that it is still a contact sport that when done unprofessionally, will result in dire consequences.
Wrestlers from the WWE, TNA and many other organizations go through a lot during matches to entertain the millions of viewers watching at home. Fans are well-aware of the possible dangers in the sport as they’ve probably seen a wrestler get injured on live television.
Who could forget Joey Mercury’s devastating accident that occurred during 2006’s Armageddon? What about Psycho Sid’s “leg-shaking” injury back in his stint at WCW? Or Harcore Holly’s potentially fatal injury at the hands of Brock Lesnar?
Fans don’t even need to search online to remember what these injuries are. For those who didn’t know though; Mercury’s nose and orbital bone got shattered by a ladder during a Fatal 4-Way match. Sid snapped his leg on live television! And Lesnar accidentally broke Holly’s neck after a botched powerbomb.
Those injuries happen every now and then, with some nastier than the other. 2015 is no exemption to wrestling injuries. Those who missed out on last year’s broken bones and all thing’s bent and out-of-place in wrestling should look no further as below are the top 10 most devastating wrestling injuries of 2015.
10 John Cena
Back in July, the People’s Champ John Cena faced off against Seth Rollins in Oklahoma City. At some point in the match, Rollins unleashed a devastating flying knee to Cena. The move was, as with any other wrestling move, choreographed, but the effect of that particular flying knee was all too real.
At that point, Cena was selling the move very well. When the dust cleared, it was apparent that Cena’s pain was real and his nose was broken and disfigured. Being the professional that he is, Cena went on with the match as if nose was all nice and tidy. He then proceeded to win the match via STF. Now that’s a candidate for employee of the year.
9 Jeff Hardy
One half of the Hardy Boys was sidelined last April after a biking accident. TNA Wrestler Jeff Hardy injured his left leg during a motorbiking accident and is still out for now. The accident left Jeff Hardy with a broken tibia. After months of rest post-surgery, it was later discovered that his PCL was torn.
Still on the road to recovery, Jeff expressed his willingness to end his career on WWE. He notes that he and his brother Matt would like to make a comeback and face off against the current stables, particularly the Dudley Boyz.
8 Hideo Atami
On May 7, it was revealed that NXT superstar Hideo Atami will be out for 6 to 8 months due to a bad shoulder injury. WWE did not say what exactly happened to Hideo Itami and his shoulder but it did provide a reason for Atami’s absence: a parking lot attack.
What’s devastating about Atami’s injury was that he was at the height of his career. A few months prior to his injury Atami won the WrestleMania Axxess NXT tournament for the right to compete on the card at WrestleMania in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The injury may have stunted his momentum.
7 Sami Zayn
WWE’s NXT roster is home to a list of up and coming wrestling superstars. Sadly, their roster is also home to injured wrestlers. Another NXT superstar sidelined by injury is the charismatic Sami Zayn. Last May 4, John Cena put up is U.S. title on the line during and open challenge on Raw in Montreal. Seeing as it was Zayn’s hometown, he made a surprising entrance to the ring after being introduced by fellow Canadian, Bret Hart. The crowd was of course nothing but ecstatic.
Zayn was an underdog in the match but he put on a show for the fans and Cena himself. Sadly, his performance may have caused him a lot more as he injured his shoulder during the match. As a result, Zayn underwent surgery on his right rotator cuff.
6 Daniel Bryan
During a match against Sheamus last April 2015, then Intercontinental Champion Daniel Bryan suffered a concussion. He was forced to vacate his title the following month. There’s still no timetable for Bryan’s return and his concussion is serious and career-threatening. In fact, rumors are currently swirling that Bryan is ready to call time on his in-ring career.
In an interview with WrestlingInc., the superstar said that he’s really devastated about the injury. “I think the frustrating part for me with the injuries is feeling like I've almost let the fans down, because they're the ones who pushed me to the super high level. They were the ones who, without them, I would've never gotten here. They were the ones who wanted it so bad, so it's almost like, I feel like I let them down,” said Bryan.
5 Randy Orton
Wrestler’s go through intense physical activities every week. It’s no surprise that some of them have recurring injuries. One such wrestler is Randy Orton and his hypermobile shoulders that yet again were his problem this year. This time, he received his injury by a rather unconventional method.
During the latter parts of 2015, Orton severely dislocated his shoulder while taking out the trash. Literally. According to WWE’s physician Dr. Steve Daquino, Orton suffered from “Bankart lesion in his shoulder, some stretched ligaments and a partially torn rotator cuff.”
During September’s Night of Champions PPV, Sting faced off against Seth Rollins. At the height of the match, the 56-year-old wrestling legend was thrown to the turnbuckle back-first while he was on the shoulders of Rollins. Sting was thrown not once, but twice on his back.
The first one was the starting point of the injury but the second throw really did the damage. Sting stood up on wobbly feet and the medical staff rushed to check up on him. He went on with the match and it ended with Rollins retaining his title. Again, another Employee of the Year candidate right here.
It was later revealed that Sting suffered from cervical spinal stenosis. Up to now, there’s no word yet on when Sting’s comeback to the squared circle will be. Fans of the legend are worried about his condition as it looks like Sting’s time to retire has finally come up.
3 Tyson Kidd
Last June, Tyson Kidd went up against Samoa Joe in a non-televised wrestling match six days prior to Raw. A couple of days later, Raw announced that Kidd will be out for a while after sustaining a severe neck/spinal injury via Joe’s signature Muscle Buster.
Kidd later on tweeted that he will be out for at least a year. He also said that only 5% of people with the same injury he sustained survived. Kidd, also known as TJ Wilson, had to put up with 16 staples, 4 screws and a rod after surgery.
2 Seth Rollins
Last November, then WWE World Heavyweight Champ Seth Rollins was at a live event in Dublin, Ireland. Rollins suffered a devastating knee injury during a match against Demon Kane. The WWE Champ suffered a right MCL, ACL and Medial Meniscus tear and he was stripped of his belt.
WWE had the right to strip Rollins of his belt as he had to undergo surgery and is scheduled to be out for 6-9 months. The belt had to belong to someone, right? Rollins made a number of appearances on this list but this time, he’s on the receiving end of the injury.
1 Perro Aguayo Jr.
Mexican wrestler Perro Aguayo Jr. met his untimely death during a Fatal 4-Way match in Tijuana back in March. The match was against former WWE Superstar and fellow Mexican, Rey Mysterio. During the match, Mysterio delivered a flying kick to the neck and shoulder of Aguayo which sent him flying to the bottom ropes. Aguayo was slump on the ropes and it took two minutes for the referees and wrestlers to notice something was wrong.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital and after 90 minutes of the staff trying to revive him, Aguayo was pronounced dead. The autopsy showed that the lucha libre died from three broken vertebrae.