WWE may be a physical sport, and there’s no denying that performers put their bodies on the line for our entertainment.
While injuries do come with the territory, WWE does try and protect its performers as much as possible, especially now that we know more about head and neck injuries.
As such, higher-ups have banned several moves over the years, particularly those that regularly lead to serious injuries, and you can check out eight of the most famous examples below.
The Punt Kick
The Punt Kick was once Randy Orton’s brutal finishing move, but the former WWE Champion was told to stop doing it back in 2012.
The decision was made due to the increase in concussion awareness, which definitely made a lot of sense.
Randy Orton was never actually kicking his opponents in the head, but WWE made the decision to ban the move due to the fact that it promoted the act to its fans.
The Curb Stomp
Seth Rollins may use the Curb Stomp now, but for a period of around three years, WWE banned him have it as part of his arsenal.
The move, which Rollins used until 2015, saw him stamp on the back of his opponent, driving their head into the mat.
However, as Rollins has confirmed in interviews since, Vince McMahon told him to stop doing the move over fears that it would be very dangerous should children try and imitate it.
During the time when he wasn’t able to use the move, Rollins used both the Pedigree and the Ripcord Knee, but was granted permission to use the Stomp again in 2018.
There’s no denying that The Vertebreaker, which was made famous by Shane ‘The Hurricane’ Helms, is one of the most brutal-looking moves in WWE history.
Goliath.com explained that the “move requires perfect timing to prevent injury”, due to the fact that the person delivering the move can’t see his opponent, which is probably why it was banned.
The move sees Helms hold his opponent upsidedown on his back, before dropping down, often leaving his opponent with their head spiked on the mat.
Another move that WWE initially banned, and has since brought back, is The Pedigree.
The move, as you’ll know, was made famous by WWE COO Triple H, but fans forget that it was initially banned for a while.
Triple H’s original version of the Pedigree was banned after a few occasions where injury occurred, and has since been adapted.
With the new move, which is still used today, the person hitting the move releases their opponent’s arms well before impact, meaning they’re far less likely to injure themselves.
Through this adaptation, the person taking the move is able to have their arms hit the mat first, meaning they’re far less likely to spike their neck/head onto the mat, and injure themselves.
The Burning Hammer
The Burning Hammer was first invented in Japan, but was brought over to America by former WWE Superstar Tyler Reks.
The move is considered to be the most dangerous move ever, so even when Reks was allowed to use the move, it was a watered-down version from the one you may have seen in Japan.
The move was completely scrapped after Reks has a backstage altercation with John Cena, who claimed that the move was basically an inverted Attitude Adjustment, and hasn’t been used regularly since.
Although the crowd absolutely lost their minds when Brian Kendrick hit one on Kota Ibushi as a one-off during the Cruiserweight Classic in 2016.
The Piledriver, in its various forms, is rarely used in WWE anymore, unless it’s The Undertaker’s Tombstone version.
The various versions of the move see the person taking the move dropped right on their head, which given that we know more about CTE now, has been banned.
The ban is occasionally relaxed, but only in certain circumstances and for certain people. However, the standard piledriver is never used anymore, and it’s probably for the best.
Even for The Undertaker, who is able to use the Tombstone, has to use a modified version from the one he originally debuted. He very much falls on his knees now, with his opponent nowhere near the mat, to prevent injuries.
The Brainbuster is another move that was banned for a while, but has been brought back, although with a much more modified version.
The move, as the name suggests, can lead to some pretty nasty head/neck injuries, which is why it was banned.
The move is very similar to a suplex, but is a lot more brutal. The person taking the move lands on their neck and shoulders, rather than their back.
Goliath explains that the move is banned due to the lack of control involved from both parties, which can obviously lead to injuries.
Chair shots to the head
For the best, WWE has banned chair shots to the head, and no one is really clamouring for them to come back.
Admittedly, it does look cool when someone gets blasted with a chair to the head, but given what we now know about CTE and concussions, it just isn’t worth the risk.