7 Moments That Prove Wrestling Really Hurts
The Wrestler tells the tale of an ageing grappler, trying to come to terms with his diminishing fame and physical decline.
The film depicts exactly how tough the business of wrestling can be. The outcomes of the fights may be fixed, but the injuries are real.
In case you're in any doubt, here are 7 moments that prove wrestling really hurts.
7. Hulk Hogan tears his kneecap
Hulk Hogan was fighting in the WCW when he suffered a major injury in the 1999 Spring Stampede.
In a four-way match, Hogan was up against Diamond Dallas Page, Rick Flair and Sting. Diamond Dallas Page locked Hogan in a figure four leglock around the ringpost and it immediately became clear that the Hulkster was badly hurt.
As Hogan screamed in agony, Page released him. Flair then went to attack Hogan, but upon realising the extent of the injury, backed off.
Hogan was eventually helped out of the ring by medics, as he audibly screams "No, don't touch it. Don't touch the thing".
6. Stone Cold Steve Austin breaks his neck
In 1997 Stone Cold Steve Austin fought Owen Hart at Summerslam, for the WWF Intercontinental title.
During the match, Hart administered a tombstone piledriver that broke Steve Austin's neck. Though Austin returned to the ring shortly after, he was forevermore plagued by neck injuries, eventually forcing his retirement in 2003.
5. John Cena tears his pectoral muscle
Cena continued to fight and won the match, only to be set upon by Randy Orton, in a scripted attack. Surgeons later found that Cena's pectoralis major muscle was torn completely from the bone and that the champion would be out of action for several months.
Cena was forced to give up his WWE title, ending the longest reign as champion in nineteen years.
4. Mick Foley barely survives Hell in a Cell
Known as 'the Hardcore Legend' Mick Foley has picked up more injuries than most. In 1994 he even lost two thirds of his ear, when his head got tangled between two of the ropes, in a match against Vader in Munich.
But it was a match in 1998 that Foley is most famed for. At The King of the Ring, Foley took on The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match, in which the ring is surrounded by a 20-foot-high, roofed steel cage.
The two began to fight on the top of the cage, with The Undertaker throwing Foley off the top on to an announcer's table. According to Foley, this was planned, but the next elaborate move was not.
Having climbed back on top of the cage, Foley was chokeslammed by The Undertaker and the cage gave way. Foley fell through the cage and hit the ring hard, before a chair that had been atop the cage fell and smashed into Foley's head, knocking out a tooth (through his nose).
Foley was knocked unconscious, but came round and was able to finish the match. He was later found to have kidney damage and a separated shoulder.
3. Hayabusa paralyses himself
While attempting a springboard moonsault, Hayabusa's foot got caught in the ropes and he landed on his head. The accident paralysed him and he was initially confined to a wheelchair.
Happily, Hayabusa seems to be making something of a recovery and is now beginning to walk again.
2. Sid Vicious breaks his leg
Sid Eudy (known in the ring as Sid Vicious, Sycho Sid or Sid Justice) was one of the major wrestling stars of the 1990s, in the WCW and WWF.
In 2001 Eudy's WCW title match against Scott Steiner, was the main event at the Sin pay-per-view show. It was alleged that prior to the match, WCW management told Eudy that he needed to broaden his arsenal of wrestling moves and suggested that he try an aerial manoeuvre.
Despite Eudy's apparent unwillingness to attempt such a move, during the match he climbed the ropes, as his paymasters had requested. Eudy leapt, landing his 300 lbs bulk on one leg, while kicking with the other. The result was that his left leg broke in half, as both his tibia and fibula snapped and the bone broke through his skin.
Two hours of surgery followed, in which a metal rod was placed into Eudy's leg. For a while, Eudy was forced to walk with a cane, but by 2004 he had returned to the ring and fought as recently as November 2008 in a match to celebrate Jerry 'The King' Lawler's 35th anniversary in wrestling.
1. The tragic death of Owen Hart
In 1999 the WWF star Owen Hart was involved in a tragic accident that shocked the world. Hart had been an established name in the wrestling world for several years, but was at this stage appearing under the moniker of the Blue Blazer.
Hart portrayed the Blue Blazer as a buffoonish, masked superhero character and on the night of the accident, was due to wrestle The Godfather in an Intercontinental title match in Kansas City.
In keeping with his superhero character, Hart was to be lowered into the ring from the rafters of the arena, via a harness and rappel line. Then when he reached just above ring level, Hart was to become intentionally entangled, before releasing himself from the safety harness and falling flat on his face in the ring.
Tragically, an error with the stunt harness triggered the release mechanism early, as Hart was being lowered towards the ring. Hart plummeted 78 feet, landing chest first on to the top rope and was thrown back into the ring.
The wrestling fans watching on pay-per-view TV and in the arena, were unaware of the severity of what had occurred, as at the moment of the accident a pre-taped vignette was being aired on the broadcast and the big screens of the darkened arena. When the tape ended the cameras showed just the shocked audience, as the commentator Jim Ross explained what had just happened and repeatedly emphasised that this wasn't a wrestling angle or part of any storyline.
Meanwhile medics were working on Hart in the ring. He was transported to the Truman Medical Centre in Kansa, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. It later transpired that Hart had actually died of internal bleeding from blunt chest trauma, while still being tended to in the ring.
Hart left behind a widow, Martha, and two children, Oje Edward and Athena Christy. Three weeks after the event, the Hart Family sued the WWF, with the organisation eventually making a settlement payment of 18 million dollars.
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