Not to knock an industry everyone reading this web site surely knows and loves, but standing in the center of tens of thousands of people essentially wearing only their underwear has a high potential for embarrassment. The gear wrestlers wear to the ring isn’t the sole potential source of things going wrong, though, as even those with ornate, flowery outfits can easily create blunders they’ll never be able to live down. In fact, sometimes it’s the impractical nature of those outfits that make it so easy for things to go wrong.
Thanks to the explosion of social media and the internet in general, moments when WWE and other wrestling organizations make mistakes are now more visible than ever. The very second someone messes up on Raw or SmackDown, plans are made for it to get edited into the latest Botchmania compilation on YouTube, and chances are it’ll already be a meme before that even hits the public.
On the plus side for wrestlers who commit the worst faux pas, it’s usually not that long before someone else comes along and makes an even bigger, stupider mistake, easing away from the last one and slowly allowing fans to move past it. Of course, we can’t completely act like these moments didn’t exist, as they’re often pretty darn hilarious. Keep reading to remember all about 15 extremely embarrassing moments these wrestlers want you to forget.
15. Matt Hardy Tumbles Over The Ropes
When a wrestler is picking their pre-match taunts, they need to keep a few things in mind. It should be unique, memorable, easy for fans to replicate, and most importantly, it should not lend itself towards extreme embarrassment. Perhaps taking a page from his brother’s book, Matt Hardy ignored this last part and literally dove headfirst into a pathetic situation when his traditional pre-match taunt of leaning over the ropes backfired and he tumbled out of the ring onto the outside. On the plus side, not that many fans saw Hardy’s mistake, as it didn’t happen on Raw, SmackDown, or Pay-Per-View, but rather a little seen episode of the C-Show WWE Main Event. Hardy was teaming with Justin Gabriel that night, who watched with a smile on his face as his partner took a tumble. To Matt’s credit, he also seemed to laugh it off, simply repeating the gesture with a smile rather than dwell on his failure.
14. Sid Has Half The Brains You Do
Gigantic, intense, and always a little unhinged, there’s no explanations needed about how or why Sid Vicious managed to become a huge star in every wrestling promotion he worked. Well, unless you ever heard him on the microphone, that is. Or, for that matter, saw him in the ring. In fairness, Sid actually did wrestle a handful of classics in his day, and sometimes he could manage a promo that in the very least didn’t make him or anyone else look bad. Unfortunately, Sid’s abilities in those regards had greatly waned by the time he made his return to WCW in late 1999. Even worse, for some reason WCW decided to push him harder than ever before, keeping him in the main event for over two years and giving him multiple reigns as World Champion. This is despite an extremely embarrassing promo early in his run when he proudly shouted at Kevin Nash that he had “half the brains” Nash did. All we can say on that one is that it sounded about right.
13. Triple H Walks Into The Set
All right, so we’re well aware that a few skeptics immediately deemed this moment as fake, a special little moment for fans in the live crowd who wanted to laugh at the big bad villain. That may be so, but it’s too funny for us to ignore it entirely, with fingers crossed that even if it was scripted, Triple H at least gave it his all. Given it was the most recent moment on our list, we’re assuming most fans are aware of it, but to recap, after the main event of Survivor Series 2017, where Triple H lead Team Raw into a victory over Team SmackDown, the WWE COO and his wife were walking backstage to a still rabid crowd. Not paying attention to where he was going, Triple H walked directly into the stage, hitting his head so hard he fell down. Granted, it’s because he fell down that people think it was fake, noting he basically took a bump instead of doing so naturally. Oh well, it’s still a hilarious image.
12. Jeff Hardy Hits Rock Bottom
While everything on this list is embarrassing by nature, only one of them came close to ruining the performer in question’s career. Not only that, but Jeff Hardy’s truly epic fail at Victory Road 2011 absolutely destroyed the show it took place on, and greatly damaged the reputation of TNA/Impact Wrestling in general. To recap, Hardy was set to appear in the main event, challenging Sting for the World Championship in an incredibly anticipated matchup. Unfortunately, it lasted all of 90 seconds, because Sting, the fans, and TNA authority figures realized Hardy was in no condition to compete, presumably drunk and high on whatever pills were available backstage. Later, Hardy admitted the match was his absolute rock bottom, and the angry stares from Sting truly said it all about how ashamed of him the entire industry was at that point.
11. Jackie Gayda Falls Down
In all fairness to Jackie Gayda, Trish Stratus, and the two men involved in their legendarily awful mixed tag team match, the true blame for this one lies on WWE for forcing her into the ring way, way, way too soon. After the first season of Tough Enough, series winners Maven and Nidia were given several months of additional training before ever appearing on TV. Hell, Nidia barely ever wrestled at all, presumably because they later decided she would have, well, embarrassed herself. In contrast, the winners of season two, Jackie Gayda and Linda Miles, aka Shaniqua, were forced into the ring mere weeks after earning their WWE contracts. Unsurprisingly, the two young ladies who barely learned how to bump a month earlier were a tad uncoordinated, and the pressure of performing in front of a giant crowd didn’t help. Throughout her debut match, Gayda lost terrified, lost, and confused, freezing in place when Stratus went for a top rope bulldog ending. It was so bad both women admitted to crying backstage when it was over, and Gayda would never be trusted as a wrestler again.
10. Vince McMahon Has Trouble Hitting The Ring
Of all the people in this giant world we live in, Vince McMahon is the one person who should never, ever have any difficulty walking into a wrestling ring. Though he didn’t actually wrestle his first match until he was in his 50s, he’s been walking inside the squared circle literally his entire life. However, all it takes is one failure out of a billion attempts for a man to become known as an old goof who doesn’t know how to get in a wrestling ring. This happened to Vince at the 2005 Royal Rumble, when he ran to the ring to end the confusion when it looked like both John Cena and Batista had won. Unfortunately, Vince just made things worse, because he managed to tear both quadriceps muscles simply by sliding into the ring. Not in a match, not flying off the top ropes; walking and sliding. If he weren’t their boss, everyone in the ring would have laughed at him for it.
9. Lilian Garcia Can’t Walk
Many wrestling fans being male, they may not quite be aware how difficult it is to wear high heels. Sure, women will tell stories about how difficult six inches or more beneath their feet make it hard to walk around, but men don’t realize just how true this can be. For this reason, few fans were willing to forgive Lilian Garcia when the long time WWE ring announcer took a tumble while walking down the ramp one evening on SmackDown. Typically Lilian’s entrances come before the show hits the air, but this night WWE decided to air it just to make fun of her for her apparently inability to walk like a normal human being. Perhaps part of the reason is that Lilian has done this on more than one occasion, never learning the lesson that high heels and steel ramps don’t always mix.
8. Giant Baby Big Show
Okay, so unlike everything else on this list, The Big Show didn’t really make any notable mistake or faux pas when he dressed up as a giant baby in a diaper and danced around on Raw to somehow promote the fact New Year’s Eve was nearby. On the other hand, the multiple time WWE, WCW, and ECW Champion agreed to wear a diaper and act like a stupid giant baby without even considering the fact he could’ve, you know, turned the idea down. Look, we totally understand that Vince McMahon is a stubborn man, and saying no to him can be an intimidating idea for a wrestler. However, no other athlete in history has been asked to wear a diaper and act like a big fat baby for no goddamn reason, and there’s a good reason for this. Everyone on earth knows it’s a stupid, insulting, embarrassing idea that they would never agree to do. Except Big Show, who happily accepted the role with a smile.
7. Kevin Nash Trips And Falls
It isn’t the intention of this list to mock wrestlers for getting injured, as we completely understand how painful and generally unpleasant the process can be. However, there have been a few wrestling injuries in particular that were so shockingly avoidable it’s amazing they happened in the first place. Like, for example, the time Kevin Nash tripped on Booker T while leisurely walking across the ring. Nash had just spent 3 months on the injured list for unrelated reasons, and fans were clearly excited for his comeback that night on Raw. Unfortunately, his inability to lift his legs above the 6 inches required not to fall on another human being was still a little rusty. This turned out to be devastating for Nash, as he tore his quadriceps muscle in the process and wound up right back on the shelf for a significantly longer period of time. At least fans would never forget why he left this time.
6. Randy Orton Punches His Arm Out
Several wrestlers have managed to injure their legs in severe ways while simply walking, which is plenty embarrassing considering one hardly needs to be an athlete to lift their legs a couple inches. Believe it or not, Randy Orton managed to take it a step further by severely injuring his shoulder by pounding the mat too hard, hyping up the fans for a potential RKO. Okay, so it’s not like pounding a wrestling mat is exactly an every day occurrence, but at the same time, we still don’t really understand how a person could completely debilitate themselves by slamming the floor. And yet, that’s exactly what Orton did at Over the Limit 2010 in the final moments of a match against Edge. So painful was Orton’s injury that he wandered out of the ring in pain and forced a rushed double count out finish when he was supposed to win. If nothing else, this proves the theory a wrestler shouldn’t play up the crowd until after they actually won.
5. Hulk Hogan Forgets How To Talk
Quite frankly, with how much wrestlers talk on live camera, it’s a little bit amazing more moments like the one we’re about to describe haven’t happened. It’s even more surprising that the one person who suddenly forgot how to form a proper sentence in front of a WWE audience was also the man who brought in more fans than almost anyone else. During an episode of SmackDown in 2003, Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon were having one of their many verbal sparring sessions en route to their WrestleMania encounter. McMahon summed up their feud by claiming he was responsible for Hulkamania, and that Hogan himself was just a random cog in the machine hired to play a role. This set the Hulkster off, but he wasn’t quite able to explain why, mumbling through his words, starting and stopping three times, and constantly repeating himself throughout. It’s hard to accurately put into words just how marble mouthed Hogan was in this promo except to say he’s so flustered he actually starts to stutter.
4. Sid Calls For A Mulligan
Poor Sid Vicious. Even when the guy was good, he just wasn’t all that great. In between stints embarrassing himself over in WCW, he spent a couple years doing the same in WWE, nonetheless getting outrageously popular as he continued making shockingly laughable statements during interviews. Not even giving the guy a manager in Ted DiBiase managed to hide his weaknesses, as Sid still felt the need to open his mouth and let nonsense spew out at random. This became clear during a pre-show interview at In Your House V, where Sid and The 1-2-3 Kid of the Million Dollar Corporation wrestled a tag team match against Razor Ramon and Marty Jannetty. Jim Ross asked a relatively simple question, Sid’s mouth started moving faster than his brain, and he stopped himself short, asking if they could start over. Always a professional, JR deadpanned that they could not, because “we’re live, pal.” Knowing he made a mistake, Sid covered his face and sulked into the background, letting Ted DiBiase do the rest of the talking.
3. The Undertaker Burns His Face Off
With all due respect to one of the greatest wrestlers in modern history, The Undertaker is in no way at fault in one of his lowest moments. That doesn’t change the fact it made everyone in WWE look bad, and The Deadman was most certainly furious about it to a degree he wishes fans would never mention it again. If anyone should have been embarrassed, it would be the WWE producer in charge of pyro at Elimination Chamber 2010, as it was their fault the company’s reigning World Heavyweight Champion almost didn’t make it to the main event. When making his way to the ring, The Undertaker nearly exploded along with a big burst of flames that came dangerously close to his face. The Deadman had to run backstage and get doused in cold water before hitting the ring, and his body remained beet-red throughout the ensuing match showing just how badly burned he had been.
2. Ultimo Dragon’s Dream Falls Flat On His Face
Throughout the 1990s, world-traveling superstar Ultimo Dragon was arguably one of the most successful wrestlers never to work for Vince McMahon. At the peak of his fame, Dragon held nine major championships at the same time, including belts from Mexican, Japanese, and American companies, the last being represented by WCW. Dragon first retired in 1998 after a botched surgery, later deciding to make a return in 2003 to achieve the one thing in wrestling he never had before, that being a match at WrestleMania. McMahon and company were aware of Dragon’s fame and skills in the ring and thus were readily willing to give him that chance, and the big moment came months into his comeback at WrestleMania XX. Making his grand debut, Dragon walked onto the stage, stepped on his own cape, and fell flat on his face. The match he wrestled afterwards wasn’t all that great either, making it little surprise he decided to give up on the American part of his comeback in a matter of months.
1. The Most Shocking Debut In History
Bad as everything on this list is, none of them come close to the number one most embarrassing moment in wrestling history. Everyone who calls themselves a fan is well aware of it, but given the nature of this list, you had to know it was going to get mentioned yet again. In 1993, Sting, Davey Boy Smith, and Dustin Rhodes were in a heated role with Sid Vicious, Vader, and Harlem Heat, which was set to culminate in one of WCW’s epic War Games matches. They needed a mystery partner to round out the odds, and when Sid demanded to know the man’s identity, he chose to reveal himself with a dramatic puff of smoke. So devastating was the effect of this smoke that The Shockmaster couldn’t see, wandered into a wall, tripped, and fell down, knocking off his helmet in the process. Both his teammates and enemies openly laughed hysterically at his misfortune, as did most of the wrestling audience. Nothing was shocking about the fact Shockmaster turned into a joke immediately then soon faded away.
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