Professional wrestling, which is a fantastic geeky hobby, is predetermined. The match results are decided before the wrestlers get in the ring, and in many cases, the moves that’ll be used in the matches are decided in advance as well.
However, just because wrestling is predetermined doesn’t mean the performers aren’t out there taking very real risks. In fact, over wrestling’s long and storied history, there have been some incredibly horrific accidents. Today, we’re going to take a look at some brutal injuries that you’ll never be able to unsee.
Note: To keep things comfortable (somewhat), I didn’t include any accidents where a professional wrestler became paralyzed or passed away. This has happened before in the WWE and other wrestling promotions, but I think it’s better to leave those in the past.
Note: This post isn’t for the squeamish. If seeing gruesome injuries turns your stomach a little too much, you might want to check out one of our lighter articles, such as our introductory glossary of wrestling terms.
12. Vince McMahon Tears Both Quads
This is one of the more hilarious spots on the list, as it’s just so ridiculous. The WWE boss storms his way to the ring and while jumping in, somehow manages to tear both of his quads. He finishes the segment, though, yelling at the performers from a seated position.
11. David Arquette Gets His Throat Cut
The entire match between actor-turned-wrestler David Arquette and deathmatch legend Nick Gage is disgusting. However, there’s a particular spot with a light tube and Arquette’s throat that’ll make your stomach turn in a big way.
10. HHH’s Pedigree Goes Sideways
HHH has performed his Pedigree finishing move more than time than I’d care to count. Early in his career, The Game performed the move on Marty Garner, and he almost broke his neck. Garner didn’t know how to take the move correctly, and the result looks so incredibly painful that it’s honestly difficult to watch.
9. Brock Lesnar Destroys Hardcore Holly’s Neck
A powerbomb is a move that wrestlers use all the time. Between the strength of Brock Lesnar and experience of Hardcore Holly, this doesn’t seem like a botch that should have happened. Apparently, Brock was sick and lacked the strength to pick up Holly, and the results are just downright gross.
8. Joey Mercury Breaks Face on Ladder
In spite of the vast number of ladder matches that take place in professional wrestling all the time, there aren’t that many devastating injuries in them. But this one with Joey Mercery looks painful enough to make up for every wrestler who dodged the climbable bullet. His face basically explodes.
7. Randy Orton Snaps His Collarbone Against HHH
If you’ve ever broken a collarbone, you know how painful it can be. It might not look like the most devastating injury on video, but this one involving Randy Orton and HHH is nasty. Getting thrown out of the ring is fairly routine for pro wrestlers, but it definitely went very, very wrong in this match.
6. Rey Mysterio Breaks Undertaker’s Face
Here we have another broken face. This time it’s Rey Mysterio uses his butt to crush Undertaker’s nose. There’s just something about the idea of a grown adult breaking another grown adult’s face with his butt that’s both funny and incredibly painful sounding.
5. Owen Heart Breaks Steve Austin’s Neck
There’s a reason WWE doesn’t let their performers do piledrivers very often anymore. It’s a risky move that’s putting a wrestler’s neck on the line each and every time it’s done. This is one of the more famous botched piledrivers in wrestling’s history. Owen Heart doesn’t have Steve Austin’s head high enough, and as a result, Austin’s head is the first thing to make contact with the ground.
4. Brock Lesnar Tries a Shooting Star Press
This one is guaranteed to make you cringe. Brock Lesnar goes off the top rope with a shooting star press—a move typically reserved for smaller, high-flying wrestlers. Perhaps it’s better than the move stays with those wrestlers because Brock most certainly doesn’t pull it off smoothly.
3. Cactus Jack’s Ear Gets Ripped Off
Ever wonder why Mick Foley is missing part of his ear? Well, in an older death match, his ear gets ripped off by the legendary Vader. Because it happened so many years ago, there isn’t any high-quality video of it. But if you watch closely, you can see the legendary ear loss happen.
2. Chris Benoit Breaks Sabu’s Neck
This is one of the most legendary broken neck injuries in professional wrestling’s history, and with good reason. Everything about it looks incredibly painful, and it’s sure to make you feel uncomfortable. We promise this is one video you won’t want to watch more than once.
1. Sid Vicious Snaps Leg in Half
While a broken neck is definitely a worse injury than a broken leg, the disgusting visual of Sid’s injury makes it seem worse. If you’ve ever wanted to see someone literally snap their leg in half, then you’re going to love this. I have to imagine it hurt just as bad as it looks.
I’m Going to Throw Up…!
I had to watch every single one of these videos in order to make sure they were as bad as I remember them being, and after watching them one at a time, I will say that they’re actually worse…
Which wrestling accident was the worst? Shout out in the comments!