Despite being a work, wrestling is one of the most dangerous forms of entertainment on the planet. Everyone involved in the ring is entrusting their opponent not to hurt them severely during a match. Before everyone knew the sport was “fake,” plenty of old-school wrestlers didn’t even know until they got to their first match. Then they were told something to the effect of, “we don’t hurt each other, we only make it look like we hurt each other, and if you let anyone know, then we’re really going to hurt you.”
Even with that mentality, there have been plenty of moves over the years that look devastating, but if also performed incorrectly, could really hurt someone and put them on the shelf for a long time. Owen tombstoning Austin, anyone? With the never-ending supply of maneuvers and variations of maneuvers, there’s no reason to use the more dangerous move sets to try and dazzle crowds. Good stories and great matches are what really captivates a crowd, not obscenely ridiculous moves and dives. However, plenty of those moves are still very cool to see. Here are 5 Dangerous Moves That WWE Should Ban (& 5 They Should Bring Back).
10 Should Ban - Styles Clash
There is not a single fan that doesn’t realize the greatness of the Phenomenal AJ Styles. His 2018 was the equivalent of King Solomon, and his entire WWE run has showcased what TNA couldn’t do. With so many offensive and devastating moves, does such a good worker like AJ really need to use the Styles Clash? Much less the one from the top rope he’s been using as of late? A lot of the move is dependent on how high his opponent can elevate his neck. At least one superstar - Yoshi Tatsu got put on the shelf for a year recovering from a botched Clash. It would be terrible for that kind of accident to happen again, especially when he doesn’t need the move.
9 Bring Back - Scorpion Crosslock
Some submission moves look so terrifying that it’s almost shocking to think why every superstar doesn’t try to pull them off to make their opponent tap. The Scorpion Crosslock is one of those moves.
Popularized in the nineties by Bull Nakano and recently used by Paige, the move inverts the leg lock of the Sharpshooter and combines it with the arm stretch of the surfboard to literally turn your opponent into a crossbow! Now that Paige is a manager, she should teach the move to one or both of her charges.
8 Should Ban - The Diving Headbutt
When the man who invented the move, the recently departed Harley Race regrets popularizing the move, you should probably ban it. When the move was the finisher for a wrestler who had the brain of an octogenarian when he completely lost it and ended his life - you should probably ban it. Daniel Bryan’s career was almost cut short by the Diving Headbutt. You’re diving headfirst into the ring and that can’t be a good thing long term.
7 Bring Back - Stump Puller
A bully move for a bully heel, the Stump Puller is a rare move that Doink The Clown used for a short time and but hasn’t been used since. It’s the kind of move that you can do so much with. You sit on your opponent’s shoulders and yank up on their leg to stretch them. Besides, just about everyone in the audience knows the feeling of their older sibling sitting on their head. Not to mention all of the creative escapes someone could use. This a perfect move for Daniel Bryan’s intellectual peer Rowan.
6 Should Ban - Buckle Bomb
Seth Rollins has finally reached the mountain top. Not just as a champion, but as viable face of the company. While the Curb Stomp band was lifted in recent years, the Buckle Bomb is a move that needs to go. It completely stopped Finn Balor’s push and ended Sting’s career. Yes the running powerbomb into the barricades or the turnbuckles looks really devastating. But the truth of the matter is that the move really is. The guy taking it doesn’t have a lot of control over his body so the landing could be and has been detrimental to their career, not to mention Rollins’ reputation.
5 Bring Back - Piledriver
Guys like Jerry Lawler, Terry Funk, and even Cactus Jack have been masters of the Piledriver over the years. You put your opponent upright and then drop them right on their head. When done properly and correctly, like those legends had done over the years, your opponent doesn’t have to worry. Since it’s seldom been seen over the last few years, it is always a shock when someone dares to risk pulling it out during a match. With safety and accuracy, the Piledriver can once again be the most destructive finisher it used to be.
4 Should Ban - Closed Fists
If you don’t think a closed fist isn’t a dangerous move, then you’ve never given or received one. Jim Ross talks about it all the time when he first learned it was a work. He’d watch the old ten punches in the corner spot and his old man pointed out how ridiculous it was to see someone get “punched” in the face and not draw blood or have bruised wrists.
The closed fist should be banned, just because it’s not believable, and open palm slaps can ring through the arena a lot louder than a fist.
3 Bring Back - Muscle Buster
It’s a strange looking move and even more interesting move to put on, but the Muscle Buster could be the missing piece to the Samoa Joe puzzle. As one of the most gifted performers, brawlers, and technicians of this generation, Joe used to use the Muscle Buster as a finisher. But the very first time he used it in NXT, it ended the career of Tyson Kidd; right in the middle of his resurgence. The move has seldom, if ever been seen since. It’s understandable the company doesn’t want to risk another career-ending injury, but when the injury that Kidd sustained would be the equivalent of what happened to Christopher Reeve, it might be for the best this move stays banned.
2 Should Ban - Transition DDT
When you drop a man on his face, it generally should be the end of the match. As a matter of fact, “The End,” is what Jake Roberts once said the initials DDT stood for. Nowadays though, the DDT and it’s eighty-five variants doesn’t mean the end anymore.
It barely means a two count. Some moves in wrestling are way too special to be utilized the way the DDT has. Banning the move for a while could help reform it.
1 Bring Back - Wings Of Love
Michelle McCool was one of the Diva Search contestants who found her way onto the roster. As she has shown in her few recent encounters, she still could go. She debuted before the Women’s Evolution ever became a thing, but she would have thrived in today’s world. Considering her finisher, the Wings Of Love was considered too rough for the Divas to take, she certainly would able to use it perfectly in today’s era.