Great moments occur every single week within the world of professional wrestling, and as fans, we wouldn’t have it any other way. From high flying spots to dramatic heel turns, people who don’t know or appreciate this business will never truly grasp what it feels like to become truly invested in a piece of wrestling brilliance.
Unfortunately, with the good always comes the bad, and when it comes to the WWE they’ve certainly had a few stinkers over the course of their long and ‘illustrious’ history. Some of those have been created by the company themselves, meanwhile, other botches and fails are entirely down to the performers involved.
While we may have only listed 20 in the following list, we certainly could’ve expanded upon it had we dug deep enough. Still, there’s plenty of material to work with here from the downright ugly to the outright amusing.
So, whether you’re a cynic or a comic, there should be something for all the family.
20 Mark Henry's World Strongest "Push"
In the blue corner, you’ve got one of the most successful superstars to have ever come out of the WWE system – Batista. In the red corner, you’ve got Mark Henry, a guy who worked his ass off for years and years before finally reaching the mountain top and becoming World Heavyweight Champion back in 2011.
So what do you get when you throw the two of them together? Well, apparently, utter bedlam. As you can see in the following clip, Batista took it upon himself to oversell a push from Henry to the point where it honestly looked like an unknown entity or force of nature had thrown him halfway across the ring. Perhaps Mark really is the World’s Strongest Man after all. Then again, probably not.
19 Sin Cara’s Debut Entrance
In the present day, many fans will know Sin Cara for being a rock solid mid-carder on SmackDown Live, who represents the Lucha style of wrestling fairly adequately. Some fans, however, who have been watching since way back in 2011, will recall the debut of a man who was tipped to be the next big thing in the WWE.
It goes without saying that he failed, and from his very first appearance the man formerly known as Mistico gave us a taste of what was to come. He managed to botch his entrance on his way down to the ring, which caused a snowball effect that plagued the remainder of his tenure with the company. Thankfully, Hunico has restored some kind of dignity to the role as of late.
18 Sid Has Half A Brain
Sycho Sid, aka Sid Vicious, aka just Sid, has always been and will always be one of the most underrated main event performers in all of professional wrestling. His in-ring work was stellar, his look was incredibly intimidating, and he could tell a good story if and when he so desired. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case in this particular entry.
During an interview with Gene Okerlund, Sid managed to botch one of his lines and asked whether or not he could start over. Alas, the promo was being shown live to the viewing audience both in the arena and around the globe, meaning that there was nowhere to hide for the former WWE champion.
It’s harsh to shine a light on this kind of thing, but it’s also quite amusing.
17 Lucha Things
From the moment Kalisto hit a death-defying Salida Del Sol from the top of a ladder at TLC 2015, thousands upon thousands of WWE Universe members were pinpointing him to be the next Rey Mysterio. Within a few months he managed to capture the United States Championship, and from then on, it seemed like his career would continue to go from strength to strength.
But that isn’t always how things work out in the WWE because as we all know far too well, one mistake can cause a ripple effect that completely halts your momentum. In Kalisto’s case, his unfortunate moment came during a bizarre backstage promo in which he completely fumbled his lines.
He's not too far gone, but this was still pretty bad.
16 Cena’s Nose
There’s a reason why John Cena has been at the top of the card for so long now: because he’s one of the most resilient and determined individuals in the history of this business. From injuries to a tireless travel schedule the man never gives up (pun not intended), and there’s no better example of that than with this match against Seth Rollins from 2015.
Cena was on the run of his life courtesy of the United States Championship Open Challenge, and in a moment of madness, Rollins broke John’s nose in a way that few could argue was completely gruesome to watch. But, despite this, the 16-time world champion carried on and actually managed to finish the match. What a guy.
Moral of the story: don’t mess with the best.
15 Orton Forgets His Line
The Raw after WrestleMania is always known for being one of the craziest shows of the year, and back in 2013, things were turned up to a whole new level. The crowd in attendance at the IZOD Center were already giving Sheamus and Randy a hard time, and it appears as if they were so influential that they caused The Viper to forget the lines to his promo.
At one point you can actually see Orton lean in and ask The Celtic Warrior what his next line was, and from that point on things just continued to spiral out of control. The fans knew that something was wrong and they capitalised on that, going on to completely ruin a match between the two former world champions.
14 The Chair Shots
The Rock is without a doubt one of the most influential performers to ever step foot inside the squared circle. Mankind, on the other hand, also known as Mick Foley, is probably one of the most inspirational performers in the history of World Wrestling Entertainment. When you merge the two together, you get magic – well, more often than not.
The place was Anaheim, California and the match was The Rock vs Mankind in an I Quit bout for the WWE Championship. As seen in the Beyond The Mat documentary things went pear-shaped in a hurry, with Rocky nailing Mick with chair shot after chair shot to the unprotected skull of The Hardcore Legend. To this day it’s one of the most cringe-worthy matches of all time, and it was certainly not meant to be that way.
13 Joey Mercury’s Face
Joey Mercury seems like one of the good guys within the wrestling business, but back in the day things were a little different. Joey admitted to having had a drug problem which caused several issues for him both personally and professionally, and the root of those problems originated from the following moment that changed Joey’s life forever.
During a match between MNM and The Hardy Boyz, Matt and Jeff attempted a stunt which would see them slingshot a ladder into the faces of Johnny Nitro and Mercury. As you can see things went very, very wrong, with Mercury being busted open so hard that he almost went completely blind in one eye.
This is the definition of ‘don’t try this at home’, and it always will be.
12 Paige’s Title Win
We’ll keep on the topic of Raw after WrestleMania moments, but this time we’ll fast forward twelve months to New Orleans. AJ Lee had just retained her Divas Championship against all the odds at the Superdome, and the following night saw her cut a promo in which she claimed that no woman on the roster could touch her.
Cue the debut of NXT superstar Paige, which sent the crowd into a complete frenzy. The newbie wound up facing AJ that very same night in a bout for the title, in what should’ve been a headline-making moment for her. In one sense it was, but in another, the finish to the match was completely botched.
We probably won’t be seeing any replays of it on the WWE Network anytime soon.
11 Roman’s Tombstone
We fast forward now to WrestleMania 33, where Roman Reigns challenged The Undertaker in a match that would determine who was the biggest dog in the yard. Or, something like that. The main event showdown was plodding along nicely for around 10-15 minutes until suddenly, everything got a little bit awkward.
Roman attempted to reverse a Tombstone Piledriver attempt by Taker and in the process, actually wound up dropping the Deadman as he was unable to lift him. It was one of the most painful sights of the night, and that’s saying something when you consider that Bray Wyatt also produced a PowerPoint presentation in the middle of his WWE Championship match against Randy Orton.
Still, at least the best man won at the end of the night, right? Right?
10 Hogan Can't Take A Chokeslam
Sticking with the legendary Phenom, we turn to a moment that never should’ve even been given the chance to exist. The year was 2002 and Hulk Hogan was in the midst of a reunion tour that saw him once again win the WWE Championship, against the wishes of around 95% of the WWE Universe. Still, nostalgia is always good for a pop or two, I guess.
He would end up losing the strap to The Undertaker in what was a relatively underwhelming contest, but aside from that, it also showed just how old Hogan was at the time. As you can see in the following clip, Taker slowly lifts Hulk up for a chokeslam before gently lowering him back down to the canvas. Painful stuff.
9 Rollins’ Knee
Some would call this next entry karma, but we’d just call it an extremely unfortunate case of bad luck. With Seth Rollins being more than six months deep into his run as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, it seemed as if nothing could stop The Architect from carving out one of the longest world title reigns of the last 25 years.
Then, in the blink of an eye, it was all over. During a house show match in Dublin against Kane, Seth went for a move that he’d executed perfectly hundreds of times; at which point, his knee completely broke down. It robbed Rollins of an appearance at WrestleMania 32, which was particularly excruciating given how hard he’d worked to get there.
At least he managed to avenge his demons in Orlando.
8 The Silverdome
We love Hulk Hogan for a multitude of reasons, but as the years have gone on, it’s become harder and harder to separate Hulk the performer from Hulk the man. His many issues stemming from his personal life have plagued the pro wrestling world as of late, and because of that, we’re choosing to look at a slightly more light-hearted moment from back in 2014.
Hogan was the host of WrestleMania 30, with one of his duties being to open the show in front of a partisan New Orleans crowd. Things were going pretty well, right up until the point where he called the Mercedes-Benz Superdome the Silverdome – twice. Some conspiracy theorists have claimed that WWE asked him to do this on purpose, but come on, he’s not that good of an actor.
7 We Comin’ For You
Booker T has got to be one of the most infuriating commentators of all time, and we’re including some of the worst of the worst on that list. It’s a shame, really, because many young fans won’t remember some of Booker’s early work back in WCW. In those days, the former member of the Harlem Heat was a star in the making.
That was, aside from this promo. It's been repeated and repeated time after time ever since it initially took place, and to be honest, we aren’t all too surprised about that. If you don’t know the story by now then turn up the volume on either your phone or laptop, sit back, and listen to one of the most hilarious botches of all time.
6 Orton’s Collarbone
Randy Orton has always been quite unlucky when it comes to injuries, especially seeing as most of them have actually happened during a match. The Apex Predator is known for being one of the safest and most efficient workers of the last few decades, but unfortunately, sometimes accidents are just unavoidable in this business.
Which, as you can tell, was the case during this match with Triple H back at Extreme Rules. The Game dumped Orton over the top rope, at which point Randy landed hard on the floor below and broke his collarbone. It was obvious from the word go that something was very, very wrong, and we can only imagine how guilty The King of Kings felt about the whole thing. Poor Randy.
5 The Rumble Botch
Back in 2005, it was clear to see that a new era was on the horizon for World Wrestling Entertainment. The likes of Randy Orton, Batista and John Cena were all coming through the ranks, and it was only a matter of time before all three of them exploded into the main event picture and carried the company forward for years to come.
One of the crowning moments of that time period came during the final stages of the 2005 Royal Rumble, and funnily enough, the whole thing was botched from start to finish. First Batista and Cena accidentally eliminated each other at the same time, and then Vince McMahon tore both of his quads as he angrily entered the ring.
In short, it was beautiful to watch.
4 Brock Destroys Hardcore Holly
Brock Lesnar isn’t someone you want to annoy, either in the ring or outside of it. As a former NCAA and UFC champion his credentials are there for everyone to see, and yet, there were many rumours back in the day that suggested Lesnar had some kind of a beef with none other than Hardcore Holly.
It was quite a random story at the time and still is to this day, with both men claiming that the whole thing wasn’t true. Whichever way you look at it, nobody can deny that the following clip of Brock dropping Holly square on his head is one of the most uncomfortable viewing experiences out of everything we’ve seen on this list.
Disclaimer: this is what happens when you sandbag The Beast.
3 The Neck Break
Stone Cold Steve Austin was in the midst of his rocket push to the top of the card in the summer of 1997, and as such, he was involved in a relatively high profile match against Owen Hart at the biggest party of the summer. It was set to be one of the show stealers of the night in East Rutherford, but of course, that wasn’t the case.
Instead, Hart hit Austin with a piledriver that would change not only the trajectory of his career – but of his entire life. Not only was Stone Cold briefly paralysed, but he also broke his neck which would cause him to completely alter his in-ring style. Some would argue that it was a blessing in disguise, but at the time, it was the definition of a truly terrifying incident.
2 Shooting Star Press
When you’re as physically imposing as Brock Lesnar is, nine times out of ten you don’t even need to try that hard in order to make a good match seem great. When it comes to the main event of WrestleMania, however, it doesn’t matter who you are – because if you don’t go the extra mile then your entire legacy could be affected from that point on.
That, in itself, is probably one of the reasons why The Beast Incarnate decided to attempt one of the most stunning feats in the show’s illustrious history: a shooting star press from the top rope. As we all now know things didn’t turn out so well for Brock, and what was supposed to be a career-defining move turned out to be an extremely worrying botch.
1 The Camera Man
We round things off with one of the greatest matches of all time, which took place back at WrestleMania XXV in Houston. It was contested between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker who, at the time, were both quite frustrated by their placement on the WM25 card. So what did they decide to do? In short, they went out there and tore the house down.
But not even the grandest stage of them all is immune to botches, with Taker doing a dive to the outside which caused him to fall directly onto his head on the outside. Apparently, this was due to a fault by the ‘cameraman’, who was actually a trained pro wrestler who was supposed to catch The Phenom’s fall.
Needless to say, he was released soon after the incident.