If you're a wrestling fan, you're probably used to hearing that "wrestling is fake." While professional wrestling doesn't exactly offer the bare-knuckle brawling it often portrays, the damage done to wrestlers is very real.
In fact, injuries to professional wrestlers are extremely common and, given the demanding schedule of a company such as WWE, the amount of times these men and women are constantly being tossed onto the canvas are enough to leave them sore and sorry.
The wrestling mat itself is no jumping castle, with only a layer of canvas and roughly two inches of padding covering wooden boards and steel framing. No matter how you try to twist it, it's not a soft landing.
When you take into account the variable dangers - mistimed manoeuvres, highlight moves, weapons etc - wrestling may not be "real,” but it sure as hell isn't fake.
Despite injuries being common place in professional wrestling, the performers often take it as a point of pride to be able to finish their matches despite injury. While most of the injuries are often minor, there are times when they should just allow themselves to be aided out of the arena and into the hands of medical staff.
Nevertheless, these 15 wrestlers took it upon themselves to complete their matches despite suffering serious injuries during, an incredibly impressive feat despite the obvious dangers to their long-term health.
Commiserations to Stone Cold Steve Austin and Sid Vicious who almost made the list - Austin for a broken neck at the hands of the late Owen Hart and Sid for a broken leg due to an off-balance jump off the second rope - but seeing as both were hardly able to move when the injuries were suffered despite finishing their respective matches, they just missed the cut.
This list should further bathe the original Sin Cara in shame for asking for his match to be stopped due to a broken finger. Way to go, kid.
15 15. Sting - Night of Champions, 2015
14 14. Brock Lesnar - WrestleMania 19
13 13. John Cena - RAW 10/1/2007
12 12. Kurt Angle - SummerSlam 2000
11 11. The Rock - WrestleMania 29
10 10. Triple H - RAW 5/21/2001
9 9. Bret Hart - Starrcade 1999
8 8. The Miz - WrestleMania XXVII
7 7. The Undertaker - Elimination Chamber 2010
6 6. Shawn Michaels - Royal Rumble 1998
5 5. Hardcore Holly - Smackdown! and ECW
Nobody is more deserving of being on this list twice than Hardcore Holly, though that's hardly a great thing. During a Smackdown match in 2002 with Brock Lesnar, Lesnar attempted to lift Holly onto his shoulders for a powerbomb but couldn't complete the action. Instead of throwing him down on his back, Lesnar left Holly dangling in the air before dropping him to the mat head first. The accident left Holly with a broken neck and resulted in him enduring a 13-month hiatus before returning to the ring.
4 4. Cactus Jack - WCW Munich, 1994
3 3. Vader - AJPW vs NJPW Supercard Show 1990
2 2. Mankind - King of the Ring 1998
1 1. Sabu - Born To Be Wired 1997
Sabu really should have seen this one coming when he decided that the Air Sabu corner splash during a match that featured barbed wire in place of ring ropes was a good idea. As his opponent, Terry Funk, moved out of the corner, Sabu ended up getting caught in the wire, tearing open his left bicep. The injury was so bad that the muscle was visibly hanging out of the gash. However, like any sane person would, Sabu called for some tape and did an amateur job taping closed the 10-inch wound before finishing the match; both Sabu and Funk required several ring technicians using wire cutters to free them from the barbed wire. Paul Heyman later said the match was "so gruesome, I never ever dared to schedule another one like it."
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