What does it say about us wrestling fans that we're often never entertained more than when something goes wrong? A fiery promo, an amazing aerial dive, or a well-executed match are all great, but nothing gets quite the reaction or goes viral like a "botch". A botch is when one or more wrestlers screw something up --like a move-- and botch it. It will fill the audience with devilish glee as they chant, "You f-d up! You f-d up!" and have them searching it out online to relive the disaster over and over again. Given the sheer number of matches that take place every week, and the fact that many of them are live, there have been innumerable botches in wrestling history. But what makes a botch truly memorable?
Even experienced and talented wrestlers screw up from time to time. But seasoned performers know how to get past it or incorporate it into the match and nobody ends up remembering the botch. Sometimes however, a botch is far too big to just brush off. Sometimes a botch can result in injury, even serious injury. And sometimes the wrestlers are okay, but the botch threatens to have a major effect on the story. Other times, the botch could be inconsequential, but the performers react to it very badly and let it rattle them. And then, sometimes, it's just really funny. This list will look at the top botches since the year 2000. So get ready to relive the most dangerous, cringe-worthy, shocking, potentially disrupting, and downright hilarious botches of the past 16 years.
20 Undertaker's Disastrous Over-The-Top-Rope Dive
19 Alicia Fox Gets Boxy
18 RVD Crushes Triple H's Throat
In the run-up to Survivor Series 2002, the big speculation was about what the Elimination Chamber would actually be. Nobody had seen an Elimination Chamber match before and had no idea what it would look like or how the wrestlers would use it. Rob Van Dam would use it to try to murder Triple H. To be fair to RVD, it really wasn’t his fault. Unlike later models of the chamber, there was very little space between the ceiling and the top of the pods. So when “Mr. Monday Night” scaled a pod and set up to deliver his patented 5-Star Frog Splash on “The Game”, he didn’t really have any room to jump up. He kind of just lurched forward and free-fell onto the defending World Champion.
17 "The Viper" Dislocates His Own Shoulder
16 Kane Plummets Straight To Hell
15 R-Truth Crash Lands
14 Mickie James & Gail Kim Have a Botch Fest
13 Sin Cara Hurts His Finger
12 Sin Cara 2, Return Of The Botches
11 Chris Jericho vs. Charles Robinson
10 "Green Bay, Wisconsin"
9 The Invasion Begins With A Botch
This was the beginning of the “Invasion” angle and considering how awful and poorly booked that angle was, it’s only fitting that it should begin so clumsily. In the main event of King of the Ring 2001, a heel “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defended his WWE Title against two babyfaces: Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit. Near the end of the match, Booker T appeared on WWF TV for the first time ever, having come through the crowd. Identified as the WCW Champion by the announcers, Booker (presumably also a heel) attacked Steve Austin and slammed him through a table. Booker, perhaps excited by the moment, got too excited and threw Austin a little too far and ended up injuring the Texas Rattlesnake.
8 Royal Fumble
In one sense, this botch wasn’t bad at all, because nobody at the time recognized it as a botch. The trouble was that the botch was at the worst possible time and threatened to derail the WWE’s WrestleMania main event. Batista was scheduled to win the 2005 Royal Rumble and challenge Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 21. His last opponent in the Rumble was John Cena (who himself would challenge JBL for the WWE Title at WrestleMania).
7 Vince McMahon Blows Out Both Quads
6 The Streak Ends With A Concussion
The match between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker at the Superdome in New Orleans at WrestleMania XXX will be forever known as one of the most shocking moments in wrestling history. The Undertaker’s fabled undefeated streak at WrestleMania finally ended. That reaction covers up something, though; while the ending was memorable, the match was not. It was clunky, plodding, and not particularly engaging. One reason for this is, as we would later find out, Undertaker was knocked out at some point in the match. It’s still disputed when he actually suffered the knockout. ‘Taker took a few nasty bumps in the match, particularly one to the outside.
5 RVD Gets Nothing But Air
Rob Van Dam was definitely an exciting performer, but he was hardly “crisp”. The Whole F’n Show was known for “potatoing” guys (legitimately hitting them hard by mistake). But perhaps his most sensational botch wasn’t to do with hitting anybody too hard, but rather missing entirely. At SummerSlam 2001, Rob Van Dam took on Jeff Hardy in a ladder match for the hardcore title. Unfortunately, it is perhaps best remembered for a truly audacious attempted overhead kick by Van Dam.
4 Mickie Gets No Stratusfaction
3 Kidd Gets Injured
This is a sad one that is still fresh in our memory. Shortly after signing with WWE, Samoa Joe faced off against Tyson Kidd in a dark match in June 2015. Although a dark match, it was Joe’s first match on the main roster, but sadly, it had a terrible ending. Joe defeated Kidd with his traditional finishing move, the Muscle Buster. Everything looked to go as planned, but as Joe exited the ring, the audience began to realize that Kidd was injured. There is no official footage of the incident so we only have a few cell phone videos to go by. Kidd has a history of being plagued by injuries.
2 Angle Gets His Bell Rung
1 Shooting Star Crash
This was it. The botch the end all botches. This was meant to cap off a phenomenal debut year for Brock Lesnar, the WWE’s hottest prospect in years. Lesnar would win the WWE Title in the main event of WrestleMania XIX from Kurt Angle. A dream match on paper; an Olympic gold medalist versus an NCAA Division 1 Heavyweight champion. But Lesnar was still quite green, and Angle was badly hurt. He needed neck surgery and had lost a lot of strength in his left arm. Nevertheless, he insisted on wrestling this match and it was pretty good...until the end. There were rumors that in WWE’s developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, Brock Lesnar -the near 300 pound monster-- could execute a shooting star press.
At WrestleMania, Lesnar, exhausted after a long match, ascended to the top rope. He leaped spectacularly into the air, did a back-flip and...landed right on his head. Lesnar smashed his head right into Kurt’s ribs and knocked himself out. Angle, not knowing what to do, covered Lesnar for a pin. For the sake of the storyline, thank goodness Lesnar had the wherewithal to kick out. Angle then picked him up and basically jumped onto Lesnar’s shoulders so Brock could deliver an F-5 and pin him.
What was to be the glory shot of Lesnar ending WrestleMania by posing with the belt was instead a camera shot of a dazed man stumbling around the ring, clearly unaware where he was. As he entered the backstage area he was swarmed by medical staff, who failed to notice Angle himself convulsing as his adrenaline wore off. Only in wrestling.
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