There’s a reason that the beginning of wrestling shows often try to warn people watching not to try the moves they see at home. Wrestling injuries are very real, and it’s the reason that people get upset when they are told that wrestling is ‘fake’. You don’t see many brutal injuries in the main products today, such as the WWE, because the safer approach is meant to appeal to a family friendly audience.
Up until ECW was bought out by the WWE, though, extreme wrestling was still very much a mainstream thing. You can still catch some insanely dangerous matches these days, but they are hard to find since they don’t put them on television. Brands like CZW are still trying to keep the hardcore dream alive by shocking audiences with over the top matches.
Throughout the years, there have been plenty of wrestlers that took abuse in their matches in each of these companies, causing themselves long term damage for the sake of wowing a crowd. These men were bloodied, bruised, broken and even burned in some of the most intense matches people have ever seen.
These men are known as hardcore legends and icons, and years of wrestling these types of matches left them with injuries that the average man couldn’t even imagine suffering. 15 of those men stand out as the ones that took the most punishment in their careers, and here they are, starting with the son of a plumber.
15 Dusty Rhodes
The late great Dusty Rhodes gave everything he had to the wrestling business, and as a result, took a lot of punishment in the ring. The phrase, "gave his blood, sweat and tears" is a common one, but it The American Dream really did give all those to the business. To a lot of younger viewers, Dusty Rhodes was simply the dad of current wrestlers Stardust and Goldust.
14 Nick Gage
13 The Sheik
12 “Sick” Nick Mondo
10 Necro Butcher
7 New Jack
6 Abdullah the Butcher
5 Tommy Dreamer
4 Atsushi Onita
2 Terry Funk
1 Mick Foley
“The Hardcore Legend” is somehow still alive, and quick witted at that, despite all of the injuries that he has taken in his wrestling career, and his list is ridiculous. Everyone remembers the insane bumps he took against the Undertaker during a Hell in a Cell match, but that’s just a small part of his hospital record. Foley has broken almost every bone in his body, received thousands of stitches, has torn both his ACL and abdominal muscles, had thousands of thumbtacks sticking out of his body and even suffered some serious burns. Foley was willing to take an absolute beating in the name of entertainment, and that’s why fans respect him more than almost any other wrestler.
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