Wrestling is a physical sport, and that means that WWE Superstars can sometimes pick up some serious injuries.
Sometimes injuries aren’t that bad, and the Superstar only needs a few weeks out, but in other instances, they are really quite serious.
Off the back of Big E’s horrible neck break in March, which he shared a worrying update about recently, we decided to look at the worst injuries in WWE history.
So, with a warning for the squeamish, here are the 15 most horrific injuries in WWE history, and footage of the exact moment they happened.
Edge was forced into early retirement in 2011, after suffering from neck issues for several years.
But it was actually a Spear that he hit on Brodus Clay in April 2011 that forced him to have to step away from the ring for nine years.
Edge immediately felt his neck after hitting the Spear (0:40 in the embedded video), and it was clear that he’d done some damage.
MRIs said that Edge had cervical spinal stenosis, and doctors wouldn’t clear him to step back into the ring over fears he could end up paralysed, or even dead.
Thankfully, after nine years away, Edge was able to get cleared and step back into the ring, but for a period of time, the injury was so serious that it looked like he’d never be able to wrestle again.
14 . Sting
Another neck injury coming up next as we look at Sting’s match with Seth Rollins at Night of Champions in 2015.
Rollins hit Sting with a buckle bomb, one of his signature moves, but things went wrong, and it was clear that Sting was immediately hurt.
Like Edge, medical tests confirmed that Sting was suffering from cervical spinal stenosis, and he was forced to retire from in-ring competition.
Also like Edge, that wasn’t the end of the story for Sting, as five years later, the WWE Hall of Famer was able to get cleared to wrestle again, working with AEW.
However, for a period of time, it seemed like Sting’s neck injury was so severe that he’d never be able to wrestle again.
13. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar isn’t exactly a highflyer, which made his antics at WrestleMania XIX even more surprising.
In the main event of the show, which took place in April 2003 Lesnar went for an incredible shooting star press, as you can see above, during his match with Kurt Angle.
Things didn’t go well for Lesnar, and he landed right on the top of his head from the spot, giving himself a huge concussion.
He was somehow able to finish the match, and while the spot didn’t see Lesnar pick up any serious long-term injuries, ‘The Beast’ was lucky to be able to even walk after what was a horrific spot.
12. Big E
Holy shit man Big E got a broken neck for this. Prayers to him. He's the most positive superstar ever 🙏pic.twitter.com/AxcqZeoPyO— 𝙒𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙖 (@wrestlelamia) March 12, 2022
As we covered at the top of the article, Big E unfortunately broke his neck in March of this year during a match on SmackDown.
Big E landed on his head after a suplex from Ridge Holland, and had to be stretched to the back for medical assessment.
After being taken to hospital, Big E announced that he’d broken his neck, with sports doctors claiming that the former WWE Champion could have ended up paralysed after the spot.
As of right now, it’s unclear if Big E will require surgery, and ad of right now, there’s no word on when he’s going to be back in the ring, with some even claiming that he may never be cleared for a return.
11. Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon and other WWE Superstars talking about that.time.Vince blew both his quads after the bitched Royal Rumble ending.— Just Talk Wrestling (@JustTalkWrestle) April 17, 2022
The bad luck never ended on this day 👀 pic.twitter.com/NCjNOBXwPo
WWE Superstars aren’t the only people within wrestling who can get injured, as proved by Vince McMahon proved in 2005.
At the 2005 Royal Rumble, Batista and John Cena threw themselves over the top rope at the same time, meaning the match had to be restarted.
Vince McMahon was irate and charged down to the ring to sort things out. Sliding to get into the ring to restart the match.
This is where things went wrong for Vince, as while getting into the ring, he managed to tear BOTH of his quads clean off the bone.
Vince was then left unable to stand up, falling over after trying to get to his feet. This left fans with a hilarious image of Vince, who was absolutely fuming, having to sit in the ring on WWE PPV.
The injury is gruesome though, and while the image of Vince sitting on the mat may be funny, don’t let that take away from how badly hurt the WWE Chairman must have been.
10. Randy Orton
At One Night Stand 2008, Randy Orton sustained a pretty serious injury, breaking his collarbone.
The show saw Orton share the ring with fellow former WWE Champion Triple H, and things didn’t go to plan for Randy.
During the match, Orton went to hit an RKO, but Triple H reversed the move, and threw Orton over the top rope onto the floor.
As he fell, as can be seen above, Orton actually broke his collarbone, with the injury keeping him out of the ring for several months.
Orton would be able to return at the beginning of 2009, but the injury he suffered was rather gruesome.
9. Daniel Bryan
Like Edge and Sting, Daniel Bryan was also forced into an early retirement in 2016.
The issues for Bryan actually started several years prior, but a match with Randy Orton in 2014 is where things really started to go wrong.
DB took a fall and lost all feeling in his left arm. He was left unable to walk properly, forcing Triple H to make the call to end the match, for Bryan’s safety.
The fall had brought up neck/head injuries that had plagued Bryan earlier on in his career, and is what led to his retirement from wrestling in 2016.
Thankfully, like Edge and Sting, Bryan was able to work his way back to full fitness and return to the ring in 2018, but this particular injury nearly ruined one of the all-time GOATs’ wrestling career for good.
8. Hardcore Holly
We’ve covered one of Brock Lesnar’s injuries, but here’s now an injury suffered to one of his opponents.
During his debut year in 2002, Lesnar shared the ring with Hardcore Holly for a match on SmackDown, with Holly actually breaking his neck.
The issue came when Lesnar lifted Holly up for a powerbomb, but could get him up properly, dropping him on his head, accidentally breaking his opponent’s neck.
The sickening injury kept Holly out of the ring for 13 months, and in interviews that followed, he clarified that the injury was a mistake and Lesnar was not to blame.
Paige has had a real rough go of things when it comes to injuries in WWE, with the Englishwoman not having wrestled since 2017.
Paige’s last match came at a house show in December 2017, where she was kicked in the back of the neck by Sasha Banks.
The match was called off as a result of the impact injury that Paige suffered, and she still hasn’t been cleared to return to the ring.
Paige had just returned from a serious neck issue, and the injury during her match reaggrivated that.
She was spoken about wanting to get back into the ring after his horrible injury, and let’s hope that she, like Edge and Daniel Bryan, is able to do so.
6. The Undertaker
The Undertaker is one of WWE’s best ever wrestlers, and over the course of his incredible 30-year career, he picked up his fair share of injuries.
During his 2009 run, ahead of the Fatal 4-Way show, ‘Taker shared the ring with Rey Mysterio in a qualifying title match.
As you can see from the clip above, after one of Rey’s high-risk moves, he caught ‘The Deadman’ square in the face.
The injury didn’t seem too bad at the time, despite ‘Taker bleeding, but the legendary wrestler ended up being badly hurt.
The spot actually saw Undertaker fracture his orbital bone, which isn’t a great injury, and he was forced to miss the 4-way match that he’d qualified for as a result.
5. John Cena
In October 2007, John Cena shared the ring with Mr Kennedy on Monday Night Raw, and walked out of the ring with an injury.
After an awkward hip toss from Cena saw him tear his pec muscle, but because he’s a warrior, John continued on with the match.
Cena was seen clutching his arm durting the match, and it was clear that he was badly hurt.
He was the WWE Champion at the time, and as a result of the rough injury, he was forced to be stripped of the title.
Cena, again because he’s a warrior, was able to return quicker than expected, and was back in the ring by the end of January the following year.
4. Mick Foley
If you’ve ever watched wrestling, you’ve probably heard about Mick Foley’s match at King of the Ring 1998 with The Undertaker.
Foley, who was performing as Mankind at the time, was lucky to not walk out of the show with a broken neck, and frankly, could have died in the ring.
After getting thrown off the roof of the cell and falling through the cell onto the ring, Foley suffered a concussion, a dislocated shoulder, multiple puncture wounds, a hole in his lip and a dislocated jaw.
The match changed wrestling forever, and is one of the most sickening in WWE history, even 25 years on,.
3. Triple H
In 2001, Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin shared the ring on WWE Raw with Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit.
A spot during the match saw Triple H tear his quadricep muscle pretty badly while trying to save Austin from a Jericho Walls of Jericho submission.
Triple H finished the match, which probably didn’t help things, and was even put in the Walls of Jericho himself.
After continuing the match, you could see how much pain HHH was in. The injury kept him out of the ring for a total of eight months, and was rather horrific.
2. Joey Mercury
A broken nose may not sound too bad, but Joey Mercury’s injury in 2006 was one of the most gruesome in WWE history.
During a ladder match at Armageddon, a ladder hit Mercury square in the face, and his face basically exploded, with blood pouring everywhere.
He swelled up pretty quickly, and it was confirmed that he broke his nose, but the physical result of the injury was pretty rough. It really looked quite bad.
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin
In 1997, Stone Cold Steve Austin shared the ring with Owen Hart at WWE SummerSlam, and things didn’t end well.
During the match, Hart hit Austin with a Piledriver, but he landed right on the top of his head, breaking Austin’s neck.
Austin was left temporary paralysed, and with a broken neck, but he managed to finish the match. He did have to take a long period of time off to recover, though.
However, this was the beginning of several bad neck issues for Austin, who was forced to retire in 2003.