Owen Hart piledriving Steve Austin, Triple H Pedigree-ing Marty Garner, or Seth Rollins powerbombing Finn Balor (and Sting) are just a few examples of superstars hurting their opponents during their matches. This is why WWE implores everyone “not to try this at home,” because even the professionals mess up and can severely hurt their fellow competitors. Even moves that are executed properly can lead to a serious injury. Despite the possibility of accidents happening, every wrestler in every match puts their trust in their fellow wrestlers to catch them or keep them from getting seriously hurt as they entertain the crowd. Unfortunately, there are wrestlers that aren’t so concerned about their opponent’s safety and have even intentionally and legitimately hurt them during their match.
In an environment with egos, personalities, and politics, the locker room of wrestlers can be a powder keg to genuine bitterness among the wrestlers. This real life heat between wrestlers can lead to stiff shots in the ring or careless maneuvers that can hurt for real. However, even wrestlers that have no actual animosity towards their opponent whatsoever can still take liberties during their matches. Whether they’re “going into business for themselves,” reckless in the ring or whether they’re just jerks, some wrestlers go out of their way to break that trust between wrestlers and injure their opponents in real life.
Whether intentional or accidental, wrestling fans remember many of these sick injuries that happened in WWE, from Owen breaking Austin’s neck to Lesnar dropping Hardcore Holly on his head. However, these injuries weren’t exclusive to WWE. There have also been plenty of superstars who came from WCW who accidentally and intentionally hurt their opponent. This article is about these dangerous superstars specifically from WCW. Here are 8 WCW superstars who intentionally hurt others during their match, and 7 that accidentally hurt their opponent.
15. Intentional: William Regal Challenging Goldberg
William Regal is one of the toughest and most respected wrestlers in the business. He could legitimately besmirch almost anyone in the ring, despite being a regular jobber to the upper card talent. Still, Regal was always a professional, and yet, his rough upbringing into the sport sometimes came out through his wrestling style, with painful stretches and stiff shots. In some instances, Regal’s wrestling style became a little too real even against the promotion’s biggest stars.
One of the most memorable instances of William Regal showcasing his legitimate wrestling skills just happened to be against WCW’s biggest rising star, Goldberg. According to Regal, who was then using the first name Steven, he was instructed to legitimately wrestle Goldberg in a competitive match, something completely foreign to Goldberg and to his fans until this point.
Despite losing as instructed, Regal worked a stiff, shoot style match against a confused Goldberg to make him better sell Regal’s offense. WCW officials were not happy at making their star look foolish, and Regal was fired for dishing out some real shots and throws, even though Regal claimed he was instructed to do so.
14. Accident: Rick Steiner Botches Bulldog on Buff Bagwell
Despite donning traditional wrestling attire, Rick Steiner wasn’t exactly an in-ring general. Even as one half of the legendary Steiner Brothers, Rick’s offense was limited to a few clotheslines and maybe a suplex here and there. Along with his brother, Scott, The Steiners were known for their notorious stiffness in the ring, either from their own toughness or clumsiness, but never had any Steiner Brother actually injured anyone in the ring, with the exception of Buff Bagwell.
When Big Poppa Pump and Buff Bagwell joined the New World Order that set up feuds and many matches between Rick Steiner and Buff. When Steiner hit his top rope bulldog finisher, Buff landed awkwardly head first into Steiner’s back jamming his neck. Bagwell suffered spinal shock and damaged vertebrae but amazingly recovered to finish out his career. The Dog Faced Gremlin may have been clumsy, but the injury was a complete accident and, arguably, wasn’t even Steiner’s fault.
13. Intentional? Madusa’s German Suplex On Sherri
In addition to dumping Women’s Title belts in the trash, WCW’s Madusa, or Alundra Blayze as she was known in WWE, had a reputation of dumping her opponents with her patent German Suplex as well. Normally, this suplex only hurt in kayfabe. However, during a match against rival WWE Hall of Fame member Sensational Sherri, Madusa’s suplex legitimately knocked Sherri out. While this may have just been a botch, there is evidence to support Madusa intentionally dropping Sherri like a rag doll.
Both Madusa and Sherri had real life heat between each other. Sherri hated Madusa, refused to lose to her, talked down to her and worked stiff against her during their matches. After taking another loss to Sherri, Madusa attacked Sherri from behind and dropped her awkwardly on her head, perhaps as payback. With all heat both ladies had on each other, Madusa intentionally looking to hurt Sherri with that drop wouldn’t be that surprising.
12. Accident: Kevin Nash Can’t Power Bomb Big Show
Kevin Nash and the Big Show, or The Giant as he was known in WCW, were two of the biggest athletes on WCW. This created a perfect opportunity for the two “giants” to feud. The two behemoths carried on a feud during Nash’s nWo days which led to “Big Sexy” almost ending Big Show’s career.
As Nash was attempting his trademark Jacknife Powerbomb, Nash didn’t have the strength to pick Show up all the way and inadvertently dropped the 400 plus Show onto his head and neck. However, this clearly was not intentional, as you can’t fault Nash for not being able to execute the move on a 400-pounder, even if it was ill advised to try it. The botch was completely accidental, and Show completely recovered, with the botch turning into a storyline to fuel the Nash and Big Show rivalry.
11. Intentional: Paul Roma Sabotages Alex Wright
“Pretty” Paul Roma wasn’t exactly the easiest guy to work with. He seemingly didn’t get along with his WWE tag team partner Jim Powers or any of his Four Horsemen stablemates in WCW. However, Roma seemed to have issues with his opponents as well. In a match against Alex Wright, Roma was scheduled to lose to Wright and he wasn’t happy jobbing to the younger, greener rookie. What happened in the was a perfect example of a wrestler “going into business for themselves.”
Roma no-sold Alex Wright’s arm locks, yelling at the ref and fans while receiving it, gave Wright very little offense and made what offense Wright could get in look weak. Even though Wright would get the win, Roma appeared to even kick out before the three count.
Roma made Wright look terrible and even delivered some stiff shots during their match. Roma intentionally sabotaged the match and in doing so hurt Wright physically and professionally. WCW management wasn’t pleased with Roma at all and fired him shortly after the incident.
10. Accident: Goldberg’s Kick Catches Bret Hart
Because of Goldberg’s raw intensity during his matches and tendency to injure opponents, no one was ever eager to be next. Wrestling Goldberg virtually ensured a loss and almost guaranteed an injury. Goldberg’s high energy and raw power would simply get the better of him, making him a bit of a risk to his opponents, even opponents who had been in the business for many years.
During their epic showdown at Starrcade, Goldberg faced off against Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Hart bounced off the ropes, and Goldberg nearly kicked Hart’s head off. Hart would suffer a concussion, and the effects of the kick would ultimately end Hart’s career. The kick was completely accidental, and Goldberg is extremely remorseful for the kick until today. Bret himself has said he holds no ill feelings toward Goldberg.
9. Intentional: Bruiser Brody Sends Lex Luger Running For Cover
Bruiser Brody is one of the all-time greatest brawlers in all of wrestling. He possessed the height, toughness, and the look of a star. However, Brody had a notorious reputation for legit fighting people in the ring and working stiff. Whether he was facing Ric Flair or a jobber, Brody had the tendency to no sell his opponents offense or dish out reckless offense to them, fearing a loss would financially hurt him in real life.
One infamous example of Brody’s “work” was his cage match against Lex Luger in which Brody stopped selling Lex Luger’s offense. Neither the ref nor Luger knew what happening as Brody just stood in the corner no-selling Luger’s punches while dealing stiff blows to Luger who was just trying to get Brody to do something. Not knowing what was going through Brody’s mind and afraid for his life, Luger shoved the ref for a DQ and got the heck out of the ring, climbing over the cage in the process.
8. Accidental: Vince Russo Urges Sid To Go Top Rope
Sid Vicious may be regarded as one of the best big men in the business, but “The Ruler of the World” was totally set up to fail during an awkward four way match for the WCW World Heavyweight Title. What was supposed to be a four way title match involving Sid Vicious, Scott Steiner, Jeff Jarrett and a mysterious fourth participant turned into a complete debacle (if it wasn’t already) when Sid went to the middle rope for a jumping big boot. Sid landed all his weight on his leg, and it gave way, snapping in two in one of the sickest injuries ever in professional wrestling.
The backstory was that Sid didn’t want to perform the move, but Vince Russo urged Sid to do it. Sid, against his wishes, attempted the move and the result speaks for itself. Even worse were the stomps to a broken Sid by the mystery man who turned out to be Animal, to set up a dumb storyline swerve that fell completely flat anyway. While Russo may not have known Sid would split his leg, he definitely played a role in Sid’s catastrophic injury for encouraging the stupid maneuver.
7. Intentional: Perry Saturn Potatoing Mike Bell
Perry Saturn was a rising star in WCW before being let go by the company, freeing him to work in WWE. Sadly, Saturn’s fame got the better of him, and he became hooked on various substances. His addictions never seemed to affect his professionalism in the ring minus one incident involving jobber Mike Bell.
During the match, Bell would botch an arm drag, and Saturn wasn’t pleased. In a possible roid induced rage, Saturn started legitimately attacking Bell with real shots to the face and back. The kicker was when Saturn threw Bell out of the ring, and Bell landed onto his head and neck. Miraculously, Bell wasn’t seriously hurt, but Saturn was in a load of trouble and given the “Moppy” storyline as punishment.
6. Accidental: Sting Ends Rick Rude’s Career
The Man Called Sting wasn’t just the most popular wrestlers in the history of WCW, he was also a dang good wrestler. Sting was a big strong superstar but was never a risk in the ring unlike some wrestlers. However, this trend didn’t hold true against the legendary “Ravishing” Rick Rude.
The match was moving along flawlessly when Sting jumped over the top rope onto Rick Rude who was outside the ring. Rude caught Sting but landed awkwardly on his back onto a raised area of the ramp. Rude was injured and was forced to retire due to the injury. Rude was devastated by his retirement, and even Rude’s wife blamed Sting for ending her husband’s career. However, as dangerous as the spot may have been, it may be a bit much to blame the injury on The Stinger and even more outrageous to say the injury was anything other than accidental.
5. Intentional: WCW Veterans Initiate Daniel Puder
Although this incident happened in WWE, the beatdown that it resulted in was very real(ish) and consisted of legendary WCW superstars. An incident occurred between Kurt Angle and newcomer and former MMA fighter Daniel Puder. During a competition between the two, Puder and Angle would legitimately wrestle each other with Puder completely showing up Angle. Although the wrestling was unscripted, the belief was the Angle would defeat Puder anyway. That didn’t happen at all, resulting in one ref panicking and fast counting a pinfall for Angle. Angle was naturally upset, as were WWE officials.
As punishment, Puder would suffer a beatdown at the Royal Rumble from some of the stiffest wrestlers in the business, namely Hardcore Holly, Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. One by one, the three took some real shots on Puder to teach him a lesson over the incident with Angle, with Puder’s chest becoming bright red from Benoit’s hard chops alone.
4. Accidental: Stan Hansen Catches Vader’s Eye
“Oh, it’s time. It’s time! It’s Vader time!” usually meant bad news for his opponents in kayfabe and real life. Vader is widely regarded as one of the most popular big wrestlers in the business. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean he was the best wrestler and certainly far from the safest. Despite being a puppy dog behind the scenes, Vader, in the ring, didn’t know his own strength. His clumsiness and brutal strength often led him to accidently hurting his opponents for real. However, in this rare instance, Vader is the one accidently hurt.
During one of many wars in Japan, between Vader and hardcore legend Stan Hansen, both hard hitting behemoths were beating the hell out of each other once more. Hansen would accidentally thumb Vader in the eye, popping his eyeball out of its socket in a hideous incident caught on camera. Vader popped his eye back in place and required a metal plated to be surgically placed behind his eye after the match. Even though the eye gouge was an accident, the injury was a testament to the brutal battles these two legends engaged in.
3. Intentional: Stevie Richards Avenges Blue Meanie On JBL
“Dancin’” Stevie Richards worked for all three of the major wrestling companies during his wrestling career. He was “Big Stevie Cool” in the ECW stable Blue World Order. He was Raven’s abused lackey in WCW and was the unofficial leader of Right to Censor under the more formal “Steven” Richards. Despite his working relationship with all three companies, Richards’ loyalty is unquestionably with ECW and his bWo stablemates.
During the WWE-sponsored One Night Stand pay per view, JBL would legitimately fight Richards’ friend and stablemate, the Blue Meanie, in a scripted brawl at the event. Meanie would get legitimately bloodied from JBL’s real punches, resulting in a match between Meanie and JBL. Richards would interfere in the match and, for payback, swung a chair for the fences, destroying JBL with a chair shot to the head. JBL would get concussed in real life and all was even.
2. Accidental: Billy Kidman Misses Shooting Star Press On Chavo Guerrero
A shooting star press maneuver can be a thing of beauty when hit properly. Evan Bourne could hit the move perfectly, and Paul London made it look amazing as well. Then, there’s Billy Kidman. Kidman was famous for the move in WCW, however his SSP looked hideous, sometimes botching the move so horribly that Kidman made Brock Lesnar’s shooting star press at WrestleMania XIX look like a masterpiece.
Kidman’s botches were either embarrassing, with Kidman catching his leg on the ropes as he was coming down, or incredibly dangerous, with Kidman landing on his opponents’ heads. Just ask Vampiro or Psicosis. Luckily, neither of them were seriously injured, however, Chavo Guerrero wasn’t so lucky.
During a match against Chavo, Kidman executed the shooting star press but landed knee first onto Chavo’s head, giving him a concussion. The move was a complete accident, but the botch is just another in a long list of reasons to vote Kidman for the worst shooting star press ever.
1. Intentional: Abdullah The Butcher Infects Hannibal
Superstar Billy Graham has publicly stated that he wants no part of a WWE Hall of Fame that has Abdullah The Butcher in its ranks, and it’s hard to disagree with him. Not only did Abdullah never wrestle in WWE, but he’s also a pretty terrible human being.
To be fair, Abdullah The Butcher is a hardcore legend and known for his extreme matches, but sometimes he took the extreme a little too far. It’s one thing for Abdullah to make his opponent bleed when that was agreed upon, it’s another thing to open his opponent up without their permission. That’s what indie wrestler Devon Nicholson, aka Hannibal, accused Abdullah The Butcher of doing to him. To make matters worse, Abdullah had Hepatitis C and decided not to tell anyone. With Abdullah bleeding everywhere, while making his opponents bleed without their consent, all while carrying an infectious disease makes Abdullah The Butcher pretty high on the list of terrible humans.
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