Professional wrestling can be a dangerous sport inside and outside the ring. Inside the ring, the most insignificant of moves can end up being life altering. Wrestlers put their bodies on the line every night just so the fans can go home happy. The sad part is that these wrestlers bodies are so banged up that they go home anything but happy. Some of the wrestlers on this list are so banged up from the years of torture on their body that it's surprising they are still alive today. These fifteen wrestlers are evidence that the life of a pro wrestler certainly isn't for everyone.
The worst part about always being in pain is that wrestlers turn to hard drugs just so they can feel better. A good portion of the wrestlers on this list had their careers cut short due to drug and alcohol addictions. Some of them were lucky to get help and get their life on track while others are still struggling.
Here are 15 wrestlers who are remarkably still standing above ground today when they should probably have been buried six feet underground.
16 Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy will go down as one of the greatest daredevils in wrestling history. His countless insane stunts, especially during ladder matches are some of the most iconic moments of all-time. Of course, a man that is crazy enough to put his wellbeing on the line almost every night has to be a bit nutty outside of the ring too.
While Hardy's passion for adrenaline has given some broken bones, most recently breaking his leg in a dirt bike accident, it's his drug habits that have almost gotten him killed. His 2011 TNA Victory Road appearance was evidence just how bad his drug problem was. Hardy was facing Sting for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but was so drugged up he couldn't even stand. Luckily, Hardy seems to be a good place today so now he can continue to put his body on the line in the ring and not out of it.
When it comes to the wrestlers who are willing to put their bodies through hell just to entertain the fans, Sabu has to be near the top the list. Sabu became famous in ECW for his insane love of diving out of the ring. Half the time he would either miss his opponent or end up hurting himself more than the guy he trying to attack. He also had a love for putting himself and his opponents through tables. If there was a match where a table didn't get broken he would often throw himself through one.
Unfortunately for Sabu, all those crazy stunts had repercussions on his body back then as well as today. At the age of 52, Sabu recently had to have hip surgery because his bones were actually grinding against each other. Sabu still has shoulder and back issues that need to be addressed, but he can't afford to pay for the surgeries. Ironically Sabu has to continue to put his body on the line just so he can eventually get the medical help he needs.
14 Lex Luger
Lex Luger had a highly successful, decade-plus long wrestling career that could have been even better it wasn't for some of his personal issues. After WCW closed its doors in 2001, Luger's in-ring career started to wind down. Then just a couple years later he started getting in trouble with the law. He was arrested multiple times for things like driving under the influence, illegal drug possession, and even battery.
While Luger's legal problems were bad enough, in 2007 his health took a turn for the worse. Luger would suffer a spinal stroke that would temporarily leave him in a quadriplegic state. Fortunately for Luger, his health both physically and mentally have improved in recent years. While he may no longer be the muscle bound wrestler we all remember him being, Luger is just happy to be alive after what he went through.
13 New Jack
When it comes to wrestler's who are legitimately scary to face in the ring, New Jack might just be number one on the list. The hardcore legend was never afraid working a little stiff. His chair shots have been known to knock a few of his opponents out cold. There were a couple of notable incidents where New Jack nearly killed his opponents. The first incident happened in 1996 when he almost made a seventeen-year-old kid bleed to death in the ring. In 2002, he launched Vic Grimes off a forty foot scaffold so hard that he almost missed landing in the ring by a foot.
While New Jack gave out a lot of punishment to his opponents, he himself took some serious beatings throughout his career. There was one occasion in particular that almost killed him. In 2000, he was once again facing off against Vic Grimes in a scaffold match. The two men fell off the fifteen-foot scaffold and onto the concrete floor with Grimes landing on New Jack's head. Not only did New Jack suffer legitimate brain damage, but he also went blind in one eye.
11 Mick Foley
Mick Foley is an absolute legend in pro wrestling. However, Foley's path to becoming an icon wasn't as easy as someone like Hulk Hogan or The Rock. His body absorbed so much punishment during his career. From the death matches early in his career where he lost one of his ears, to the death-defying stunts he performed later in his career. Foley earned the respect of fans.
There was one match in particular that probably took years off of Mick Foley's life. In 1998, he was facing off against The Undertaker at King of the Ring in the second ever Hell in a Cell match. Notably, there were two bumps that Foley took that easily could have killed him. The first one was when The Undertaker threw him off the top of the cell and through a table. The second dangerous bump Foley took was when he was chokeslammed by 'Taker right through the top of the cell. Foley fell hard on his back in the ring and completely knocked himself out. A lot of people in the back watching actually thought Foley was dead.
10 Tyson Kidd
Ever since Tyson Kidd was a small child, he already knew that his goal in life was to become a professional wrestler. During his childhood, Kidd could be often spotted hanging around the famous Hart house in Calgary. While the last ever Dungeon trainee wouldn't have the most successful career, the fact he accomplished his goal of becoming a wrestler is a feat by itself.
Unfortunately, just when it seemed like Kidd was gaining some momentum in the WWE, his career and life came crashing down in 2015. Kidd was involved in a non-televised match with Samoa Joe when he took a Muscle Buster which broke his neck. Only 5% of people who suffered the same type of neck injury actually survive. The fact that Kidd was in such great shape when the injury occurred saved his life.
9 Sean Waltman
Sean Waltman was just 21 years old when he caught his big break with the WWE as The 1-2-3 Kid. It was looking like he had a long bright future ahead of him. While Waltman would continue to wrestle in the mainstream for the next decade, it wasn't too long after that when his career started to fizzle. Major wrestling companies had a hard time employing him due to his bad drug addiction.
In the early 2000's Waltman had developed a bad meth addiction. In 2008, he hit rock bottom when he attempted to hang himself. Luckily his girlfriend was able to save him when he was right on the verge of dying. Today, Waltman is sober and seems to be in the best shape of his life. The man who was given a second chance in life might now get a second chance when it comes to his wrestling career.
8 Jerry Lawler
Jerry Lawler has had a lengthy wrestling career. He started wrestling back in Memphis in 1970 and he still wrestles the occasional match to this day. Not matter if he's in the ring or behind the announce desk, Lawler has always had the ability to captivate a crowd. Although on September 10, 2012, Lawler captivated the crowd for all the wrong reasons.
It wasn't too long after Lawler had competed in a match on Monday Night Raw that he collapsed at the announce desk. His heart had stopped and the medical crew had to perform CPR in order bring him back to life. Fortunately, Lawler was able to recover from his heart attack and would be back in the ring less than a year later.
7 Ric Flair
Ric Flair is arguably the greatest wrestler of all-time, but his career was almost cut short before it even began. The year was 1975, and six men were traveling on small aircraft for what was supposed to be a routine 45-minute flight. However, the flight ended up changing people's lives forever. There were three wrestlers, two promoters, and the pilot on the flight. One of those wrestlers was the young up and coming superstar Ric Flair.
Before they departed the pilot made the terrible decision of dumping some of the gas out of the plane in order to balance the aircraft. It was well before their destination that everyone became aware that they were going to run out of gas. The plane ended up crashing 100ft ahead of the runway. All six men on the flight would be badly injured. Two men got the worst of it. Johnny Valentine would be paralyzed and the pilot would tragically die. While Ric Flair's injuries weren't as life altering, he did break his back and doctors told him he would never wrestle again. Ric Flair proved them wrong, to say the least, as his career went on for another forty years.
6 Superstar Billy Graham
Superstar Billy Graham's health problems date all the way back to the 1980s when he was forced to hang up his boot due to his deteriorating body. Whether it be his ankles, his hips, or his shoulders, name a body part and it probably felt sore for Graham. Once he left the squared circle, his bumps and bruises may have gone away, but a whole list of other health problems would pop up.
In 2002, Graham had to get a liver transplant because his was completely shot. In 2006, he had to have surgery for a bowel obstruction. In 2010, his new liver started failing. Graham didn't like his chances of survival and actually purchased himself a burial plot. In recent years the now 73-year-old has suffered from double pneumonia and heart failure. With all these ongoing health issues, it's a miracle Graham is still standing today.
5 Perry Saturn
Once Perry Saturn was released by the WWE in 2002, his life went completely into the toilet. Saturn was suffering from drug addiction while he was still in the WWE, but it only got worse after his release. The start of his downfall came in 2004 when he was shot in the neck and shoulder after coming to the aid of a woman who was in the process being raped. Saturn to turned to drugs to get over his physical and emotional pain.
It wasn't too long after that when rumors started surfacing that Perry Saturn was dead. In reality, he was actually heavily addicted to meth and living on the streets. In 2010, Saturn reemerged having beaten his drug addiction. While he may no longer be a meth addict, he's still suffering from many health issues today. However, Saturn is probably just grateful to alive today and not six feet underground.
4 Magnum T.A.
Magnum T.A.'s wrestling career sadly ended just as it was beginning to take off. He joined the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions in 1984 and was immediately put into the spotlight by engaging in a feud with the Four Horsemen. Magnum would even earn a shot at facing Ric Flair for NWA Heavyweight Championship. After his feud with the Horsemen was over, he then set his sights on the Koloffs.
Unfortunately for Magnum T.A., those two feuds would be the last of his career after a tragic event on the night of October 14, 1986. Magnum was driving his Porsche in the rain when he lost control and wrapped the car around a telephone pole. He was lucky to survive the accident, but he would be forced to live in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
3 Scott Hall
There are not a whole lot of other wrestlers who squandered their career quite like Scott Hall. The crazy part is despite all his drug and alcohol struggles, he still had a tremendous career. From his early days as Diamond Studd in the AWA, to his role as the "Bad Guy" Razor Ramon and inclusion in original nWo, wherever Hall went he had success.
Despite having a Hall of Fame career, things could have so much better if not for his demons. Hall was arrested numerous times throughout his life. If he wasn't battling legal problems he was battling health ones. It wasn't too long ago that Hall looked his days were numbered as he was confined to a wheelchair. Luckily, Hall found a savior in Diamond Dallas Page who gave him a new lease on life.
2 Dynamite Kid
Dynamite Kid is considered one of the most influential wrestlers of all-time, it's just sad that his many bad decisions killed his career, and almost ended his life. Dynamite Kid, whose real name is Tom Billington, first made a name for himself in Stampede Wrestling. After that, he had arguably his most memorable run as one-half the WWE Tag Team The British Bulldogs. However in 1996 at just the age of 37, Billington was forced to retire due to all the injuries he suffered through the years. Instead of taking time off when he got injured, he was continue wrestling which only made it worse.
One would think that once Dynamite Kid retired his body would start to recover. However, tt has actually been the complete opposite for him. In 1997, due to all the major back and leg injuries, he was confined to a wheelchair. To makes matters worse for Billington is the fact that he has suffered multiple strokes, with one as recent as last year. Dynamite Kid may not be dead just yet, but sadly his future is looking pretty dim.
1 Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Perhaps no other wrestler in history has had his personal demons more publicly documented than Jake " The Snake" Roberts. He was one of the biggest wrestling stars in the WWE during the mid-1980s to early 1990s. His exceptional ring psychology as well his snake Damien made him a joy to watch in the ring. However, by the mid-1990s Roberts career was ruined by his drug and alcohol problems.
As the years went by, Roberts health became worse and worse. In 2012, he was in such rough shape that he had trouble breathing, walking, and it was a huge task for him to even stand up. Luckily for Roberts, he found a life saver in Diamond Dallas Page who helped him miraculously get his life back together before it was too late.
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