It’s a well regarded fact that when the WWE tries to be funny or scary, it goes…poorly. From Sexy Chocolate Mark Henry to Billy and Chuck to Lighting Bolts, Katie Vick, and dead men rising from the grave, there’s a long, long list of things the WWE thought would be funny or terrifying, and instead, well, stunk.
This is not such a list. Instead, in honor of Halloween, where all things scary are celebrated, this is a list of some truly scary WWE moments. Moments a fan will remember forever if they were witness to the event, and if they weren’t there…they’ve surely heard about them like the scary campfire stories they truly are.
What are they? Read on to find out.
With wrestling being such a physical endeavor, serious injuries happen. From Triple H’s quad tear to Austin’s neck injury care of an inverted piledriver, WWE has a long history of major in-ring injuries caught on tape.
Which brings us to Enzo’s concussion care of the ring ropes at WWE Payback. While Triple H’s and Austin’s injuries were arguably more severe, they were also well hidden, and not particularly shocking in the moment.
Enzo’s injury on the other hand, was painfully obvious…and scary. After necking himself on the ropes and landing outside, it was clear something was very wrong with our bonafide stud. The fact he didn’t move, his body went limp, and his eyes went glassy told fans watching at home something serious just went down…but we didn’t know what.
Worse, in a perfect display of what exactly *not* to do in the wake of an injury of this nature, one of the Vaudevilians grabbed him by THE NECK.
Thankfully the terror of this moment was greater than the actual injury, and Enzo returned to action, and went on to compete for the WWE Cruiserweight championship – and in perhaps the most terrifying moment of all, stripped nearly naked at SummerSlam to the shock and horror of the audience.
2. Rock and a Hard Place
WWE at its best, strikes a balance between fiction and reality that makes hardcore fans question what they’re seeing. ‘Is that a shoot?’, ‘Was that supposed to happen?’ are the kinds of reactions the WWE wants out of its long-time fans, to keep them guessing. That’s why CM Punk’s Pipe-Bomb garnered so much attention.
But sometimes this reality / fiction line get blurred in the worst way, and instead of entertaining fans, it repulses them.
At Royal Rumble 1999, The Rock and Mankind engaged in a brutal ‘I Quit’ match, which saw The Rock tap into a vicious, malicious, sadistic part of his character we hadn’t seen before. Routinely degrading Mankind physically and verbally, the match culminated in a series of unprotected chair shots to Mick Foley that were quite frankly tough to watch at the time.
In modern day it’s almost impossible. With what we know of Chris Benoit, CTE, and how head trauma can ruin and derange a person’s life, watching this match in hindsight is scarier and will make you more squeamish than just about any horror movie you can think of.
3. Foley’s Fall: Part Duex
Despite being a WWE moment that’s almost played out, the fact remains Mankind’s fateful Hell-in-a-cell match against the Undertaker at King Of The Ring is one of the scariest things a WWE fan can bear witness too – especially at the time. From thumbtacks to a dive onto an announce table, to a fall into the wring, Foley was a human stunt dummy that fateful night.
But it’s the second of Foley’s two major falls this match that land on this list. Why? It wasn’t planned and it didn’t have an announce table to break his fall.
The story goes this match had no right being good. Taker had a broken foot. Foley thought he sucked in a cage. To amp things up they started on top, Foley fell off, climbed back up, and then fell *through* the cage.
But he wasn’t supposed too. According to Foley’s ‘Have A Nice Day’ that second major bump was unintentional (which is why the chair on the cell lands directly on his face), and Foley survived save for the grace of Gotch.
According to Foley’s book, he was so tired from climbing up the cage twice and taking his first bump, when Undertaker went for the Chokeslam, Foley took it poorly. In fact, only one of his feet got off the cell.
As a result, when the cage gave way, Foley landed on his shoulders and neck, instead of his head and neck, which would have happened had Foley taken the bump more traditionally.
This was the scariest moment of the match. An unplanned, terrifying, potentially lethal happening just barely avoided, but moments that will remain seared into the brains of Foley, Taker, and fans worldwide.
5. Shooting Star Mess
Never has sheer joy turned to abject terror so quickly. For the climax of the Wrestlemania 19 Main Event between Brock Lesnar and already seriously injured Kurt Angle, Lesnar ascended the top rope.
Wrestling fans in ‘the know’ knew what this meant. Rumors and buzz had long swirled about Lesnar’s insane ability – including the fact he’d landed and used a Shooting Star Press in developmental. Fans across the globe wanted to know when we’d see this move in WWE proper from the beast incarnate – almost demanding it.
So, when Lesnar took to the top rope, people knew what was coming. What arrived was…possibly the scariest moment in WWE history.
Lesnar landed directly on his neck and the end of the match had to be improvised. The fact the match *could* be finished let some of the tension out of air, as – thank god – the fact Lesnar could get up, move around, and execute a finishing move to end the match meant whatever injury he suffered as a result of botch couldn’t have been too serious.
But *man* people do *not* normally land that way on their head and be okay afterward. For those moments, WWE fans had a vision of the worst. Lesnar could be paralyzed or dead as a result of a fan-demanded move in the Main Event of *Wrestlmania* – the kind of calamity the company – and Lesnar – may never recover from.
There are few scenarios worse than that when it comes to what could go wrong in a WWE Match, and watching the botch today it is *still* impossible to watch without cringing, making it the most terrifying single moment in recent WWE History.
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