The entire point of professional wrestling is that the two opponents aren’t actually supposed to hurt each other when they perform their moves.
While many people scoff at companies like the WWE for releasing a product that is “fake” and scripted: the sad reality is that professional wrestlers will injure each other or themselves by accident, as the potential to harm someone still exists when performing a move.
There have been times when a professional wrestler has used the facade of a match to hide the fact that they are actually out to harm their opponent. There have also been times when a professional wrestler simply loses their temper and decides to take their aggression out on their opponent.
We are here today to look at the times when professional wrestlers have admitted to, or been accused of purposely causing physical harm to their opponent in the ring.
From the recent receipt at the Royal Rumble to the ECW brawl that secretly hid an assault, here are the 15 Times WWE Wrestlers Actually Harmed Each Other In The Ring!
15. Brock Lesnar & Braun Strowman
The most recent attack on this list happened during the 2018 Royal Rumble event. When professional wrestlers punch each other, they combine it with stomping on the ground in order to make a loud noise. This is to make the impact seem more impressive than it is actually is, as they are barely connecting with each other during an exchange of punches.
There was no stomping on the ground when Brock Lesnar decided to punch Braun Strowman in the face during the main event of the recent Royal Rumble. Strowman accidentally hit Lesnar in the face with his knee, as he was moving too quickly.
14. The Mass Transit Incident
In 1996, there was an ECW house show event held in Massachusetts. One of the wrestlers couldn’t make it, so a teenager named Eric Kulas went backstage and managed to take the spot on the roster. Eric Kulas was only seventeen, but he pretended to be twenty-three and claimed that he was a trained professional wrestler under the name “Mass Transit.”
It was during a tag-team match against New Jack and Mustafa Saed (better known as The Gangstas) that Kulas asked New Jack to cut open his forehead.
New Jack then proceeded to sever several of the arteries in Kulas’ head, causing a huge mess on the mat.
13. Ahmed Johnson & Goldust
Dustin Runnels is best-known for playing the role of Goldust, who is now one of the longest-running characters in the WWE.
Goldust is known for being a bizarre character, whose aesthetic was inspired by David Bowie. Goldust’s gimmicks have included elements such as suffering from Tourette syndrome and being attracted to other male wrestlers.
It was during a match with Ahmed Johnson in the 1996 King of the Ring event that Goldust took things too far. He had originally promised to place his hand over Johnson’s mouth and kiss it.
12. The Acolytes & Public Enemy
The people within the professional wrestling industry are well-known for hazing newcomers who want to break into the business. The hazing is often way worse for those who come in from rival promotions, as they have to work extra hard to prove their loyalty.
Public Enemy were a known source of backstage heat during their brief tenure in the WWE, due to the fact that they had previously been members of two rival promotions.
This culminated in a vicious match against The Acolytes in 1999.
Public Enemy were known for using tables in their matches but refused to do so during their match with The Acolytes. This resulted in The Acolytes being told to put them through the tables anyway, which resulted in one of the stiffest and most violent matches in WWE history, as The Public Enemy weren’t aware of what was going on.
11. Daniel Puder & Kurt Angle
WWE has produced several seasons of a reality show/competition called Tough Enough, which promises the victors a chance at becoming a member of the roster.
The most infamous Tough Enough contestant has to be Daniel Puder, due to an incident involving Kurt Angle in 2004. Angle challenged the Tough Enough contestants to an amateur wrestling match, which resulted in him breaking Chris Nawrocki’s ribs.
Daniel Puder was up next and he decided to get revenge for his fellow contestant by getting Kurt Angle in a kimura lock and attempting to break his arm. The referees had to quickly cover for Angle and count the move as a pin, despite the fact that Puder’s shoulders weren’t touching the ground.
10. New Jack & Vic Grimes
New Jack suffered one of the most horrendous injuries in the history of professional wrestling. He was wrestling Vic Grimes at the Living Dangerously event in 2000, which involved the two wrestlers climbing on top of a twenty-foot tall scaffold.
Vic Grimes screwed up the move and dropped New Jack onto the concrete… and then fell on top of him.
New Jack suffered brain damage and lost the sight in his right eye as a result of the fall.
New Jack would later get his revenge during a match where he was supposed to throw Vic Grimes into a series of tables within a wrestling ring, which involved a forty-foot drop. New Jack has since admitted that he purposely screwed up the move so that Vic Grimes would miss most of the tables and freefall to the mat.
9. The Undertaker & Shane McMahon
One of the few times that it is considered acceptable for a wrestler to legitimately strike his opponent is if that person badly screws up a move in a way that could have caused a serious injury.
It takes a lot of guts to pull that kind of move on the son of your boss, but the Undertaker is one of the few people in the WWE with the clout and respect to do it.
Shane McMahon became the Undertaker’s opponent for Wrestlemania 32, where they would face each other in a cage match. Shane accidentally punched the Undertaker in the face during an exchange of blows on the final Monday Night Raw before the event.
8. Ken Shamrock & Vader
There have been many MMA fighters who have made the jump to professional wrestling, which is usually the result of a bigger paycheck and less risk of injury. The most recent example of this is Ronda Rousey, who is now part of the WWE.
Ken Shamrock joined the WWE in 1997, which followed years of success in mixed martial arts tournaments.
It was partly due to coming from an MMA background that Shamrock earned a reputation for being stiff and not pulling his punches properly in the WWE.
Ken Shamrock faced Vader during the In Your House pay-per-view event in 1997. Shamrock accidentally broke Vader’s nose with a series of punches, which resulted in Vader almost knocking him out with a lariat to the head.
7. Alberto Del Rio & Sin Cara
A professional wrestler is well within their rights to stop a match if they suffer a real injury. They generally won’t do this, as they don’t want to break the illusion of their durability. The wrestler will usually just make it known to the referee so that the match can be altered on the fly so as to avoid further injury.
Sin Cara didn’t care about his reputation when he called for his match against Alberto Del Rio during Monday Night Raw to be prematurely ended, due to the fact that he broke his finger while jumping through the ropes.
Del Rio was disgusted by the fact that Sin Cara would end the match over such a minor injury, so he threw him back into the ring and kicked him in the ribs. Del Rio has since admitted doing this in interviews, as he was angry at Sin Cara’s lack of professional pride.
6. CM Punk & Ryback
CM Punk mysteriously vanished from all WWE programming at the start of 2014. He was occasionally used in promos for upcoming events, but he never actually appeared at them.
The truth about CM Punk’s departure finally came out in November of 2014, when he did an interview with Colt Cabana that shed light on some of the shady dealings within the WWE that caused him to leave the company while still at the height of his fame.
One of the revelations that CM Punk made during the Colt Cabana concerned the fellow WWE wrestler known as Ryback.
Punk accused Ryback of purposely trying to injure him during a match, where he was supposed to be dropped through a table.
5. Michael Tarver & John Cena
John Cena has earned a reputation as being one of the nicest guys in the WWE. He is well-known for his charity work and always being gracious to fans who approach him public.
There have been a few individuals within the wrestling industry who have accused John Cena of playing politics and keeping down younger wrestlers who he is afraid might try and usurp his position.
Michael Traver was a member of the faction known as The Nexus. He has since left the WWE and now works for independent wrestling companies.
Traver has publically accused John Cena of purposely fracturing his arm with a chair during a pay-per-view match while they were in the WWE and laughing about it backstage. Traver claims that Cena did this because he felt threatened by his talent.
4. The Complaints About Bubba Ray Dudley
The Dudley Boyz are one of the most celebrated tag teams in professional wrestling. They were an important part of the rise of ECW and would go on to be involved in the amazing TLC matches with Edge & Christian and the Hardy Boyz during the Attitude Era.
Not everyone has such a high opinion of the Dudley Boyz.
There have been several instances where wrestlers have accused Bubba Ray Dudley of purposely targeting injured areas after he had previously been warned to leave them alone.
Rico Constantino and René Duprée have both gone on record with accusations that Bubba Ray Dudley purposely injured their hamstrings, even though he was aware that they were both still healing due to previously tearing them.
3. Perry Saturn & Mike Bell
The WWE used to use generic trainee wrestlers known as “Jobbers” to have exhibition matches with the stars so that they could lose badly and make the other guy look strong.
This role has faded away over time, partly due to the sheer amount of stars that the WWE has on their roster and the limited amount of time they have to use them.
One of the most infamous jobber matches of all time involved Perry Saturn wrestling a newcomer named Mike Bell. Their match went on as normal until Bell screwed up a move, which caused Saturn to land on his head.
2. JBL & The Blue Meanie
The 2005 ECW One Night Stand reunion show was a big success for WWE. The next reunion show the following year would also briefly lead to the revival of the ECW brand.
The first ECW One Night Stand event has been overshadowed by an incident that happened at the end of the pay-per-view. There was a brawl in the ring between ECW wrestlers and those from Smackdown.
It was during this brawl that JBL decided to legitimately attack the Blue Meanie, due to the fact that the Meanie had been calling him a bully in interviews.
This resulted in the Blue Meanie’s face being badly bruised.
The Blue Meanie decided not to sue over the incident and instead opted for a brief run in WWE, where he was given the chance to wrestle JBL. This resulted in the Meanie’s tag partner smashing JBL in the face with a stiff chair shot as payback for what had happened before.
1. The Punishment Of Daniel Puder
Daniel Puder would go on to win the fourth season of Tough Enough. The incident with Kurt Angle immediately put him at odds with most of the people within the company, as he had almost seriously injured one of the most respected WWE wrestlers of the time.
The public punishment for Daniel Puder happened during the 2005 Royal Rumble. He was ganged up on by Chris Benoit, Bob Holly, and Eddie Guerrero, who were some of the most notoriously rough wrestlers when it came to the treatment of newcomers.
Daniel Puder came down to the ring and bragged about how he was going to be the first Tough Enough winner to also win the Royal Rumble. Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero teamed up and proceeded to repeatedly chop Puder’s chest.
Bob Holly was the next entrant to the Rumble match, where he also joined in on beating Puder with a variety of painful moves.
Can you think of any other times when WWE wrestlers actually attacked each other in the ring? Let us know in the comments!
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