Professional wrestling is not just a sport, but also a form of entertainment. The promoters, organizers, and the wrestlers themselves go out of their way to ensure that every move and trick is carefully choreographed. Wrestlers are encouraged to stay fit and practice routines and movements frequently. However, as with any sport, accidents can and do happen. This article will discuss some of the worst incidents in the history of the sport.
On October 5, 1999, the stage was set for an incredible night of wrestling. All the fans had entered the Nassau Coliseum and expected to see an exciting fight between Darren Drozdov and D’Lo Brown (Accie Julius Conner).
The injury occurred when D’Lo went to perform his signature move, the running Powerbomb. A powerbomb is a trick or throw in which a fighter is lifted by his opponent, at shoulder height, and then hits the mat. There are numerous variations of the movement.
On this night that D’Lo performed the move, something went terribly wrong and the result was that Droz fractured two discs in his neck.
As for what actually happened, there have been a number of theories, including one involving a fan throwing a drink into the ring, causing D’Lo to slip. However, both men have refuted this theory. Droz believes that because he was wearing a baggy shirt, he did not allow D’Lo to hold on safely and did not allow him to help jump up.
Droz was immediately taken to the hospital where he underwent treatment. Unfortunately, even with great care, Droz was left quadriplegic. Fortunately, with the help of treatments and physical therapy, Droz has regained some movement in his arms and upper body.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steven suffered a broken neck at Summerslam. Summerslam, a huge event, took place on August 3, 1997 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The scheduled fight was between Austin and Owen Hart and was to decide the Intercontinental Championship.
Austin’s injury was caused by an improperly executed “piledriver”. A hammer is a standard move in the world of fighting, but there are several variations. In a standard pile driver, a wrestler lifts his opponent by the legs so that his head hangs down and his legs flap in the air. The lifter then falls to his knees or into a sitting position, making his victim’s head appear as if he has crashed into the mattress. On this night, when Owen dropped Austin, his head hit the mattress, causing Austin to break his neck.
After the contact, Austin was temporarily paralyzed for a minute or two, and during this hiatus, Owen continued to perform until Austin recovered enough to quickly end the fight. Fortunately, for Austin, he made a full recovery and suffered no permanent injuries.
Stunts and fighting matches often require the use of accessories and weapons. It was one of these accessories, a ladder, that caused Mercury’s injury.
The event was Armageddon. The night was December 17, 2006 and the location was at the Richmond Coliseum, in Richmond Virginia.
The match was a four-team ladder event. The winner would be the team that could climb the ladder and regain the championship belts that had been suspended in a ring. At one point, Jeff Hardy climbed the ropes until he was standing on the top one. From this position, he leapt onto one of the stairs, causing another to jump into Mercury’s face.
Fortunately, for Mercury, the impact of the ladder only broke his nose. Another fighter in the ring, Nitro, took the ladder to the throat. Both men were able to finish the match.
This is perhaps the most tragic event in the history of professional wrestling. On May 23, 1999, a crowd gathered at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri to watch Over the Edge. Owen Hart was scheduled to fight The Godfather.
On this particular night, Owen was fighting as the Blue Blazer and the event organizers prepared a special entrance to the ring for him. To enter the ring, Hart had to be lowered from the rafters of the arena using a special harness. The trick had been tested in a previous event and everything worked out fine. Yet that night something went terribly wrong.
Owen had climbed onto the rafters and was wearing his costume. As he began to descend into the ring, the harness gave way and Owen plummeted more than 70 feet and landed on a padded turnbuckle.
Owen was immediately taken to Truman Medical Center, where, despite numerous attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead. An autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was internal bleeding caused by blunt trauma.
These are just a few of the accidents that have happened to wrestlers over the years. However, thanks to safety conscious promoters and organizers, accidents are few and far between and most of them are relatively small.