Ah botches, a fun enough topic in wrestling to have led to the creation of regular vidoes titled ‘Botchamania’. With that in mind, and looking at some of those terrible mistakes that have happened in the ring or on the mic, in today’s Top Five we look at some of the biggest botches in wrestling history.
5. Joey Mercury’s face vs a ladder: In late 2006, MNM, Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro, were involved in a ladder match against the Hardy Boyz, Paul London and Brian Kendrick as well as William Regal and Dave Taylor. As you’d expect, as with every ladder match, this was a spotfest. One of the planned spots was for Jeff Hardy to land on a set-up ladder and for it to then hit both members of MNM in the face but for them to use their arms to protect themselves.Best laid plans and all that, Mercury was out of position and couldn’t get his arms up in time and the ladder smashed him full in the face causing him to leave the ring and head to the back with blood literally pouring out of his face. More remarkably, the only damage was a broken nose, it could have been a lot worse, and Mercury would return to the ring within a matter of weeks. But for those watching, it was a horrible looking incident that left one-half of MNM with a crimson mask.
Best laid plans and all that, Mercury was out of position and couldn’t get his arms up in time and the ladder smashed him full in the face causing him to leave the ring and head to the back with blood literally pouring out of his face. More remarkably, the only damage was a broken nose, it could have been a lot worse, and Mercury would return to the ring within a matter of weeks. But for those watching, it was a horrible looking incident that left one-half of MNM with a crimson mask.
4. Sid has half a brain: Ah, Sid. You could probably do a top five botches of Sid thanks to his woeful ability on the mic and that awful incident that all but ended his career when the powers that be saw fit to suggest he do a big boot off the second turnbuckle. But, no, instead let’s look at some of his promo gold with this entry, namely, mid-promo, announcing he had half the brain of those he was challenging. Kevin Nash, who is dressed up as Sid, and Scott Hall listen in the ring to Vicious cut his promo when he states, and I quote, “But you know and I know that you are only half the man that I am. And I have half the brain that you do!” Quite the claim, mid-promo, I’m sure you’ll agree. This sort of nonsense was, in reality, part and parcel of the madness that was World Championship Wrestling in 2000. And the best bit, Sid’s analysis is probably right…
3. Brock Lesnar’s Shooting Star Press: ‘Brock doesn’t do high-flying, it’s all impact wrestling’. Well, that’s certainly the case now and rightly so. After all, this spot could have had serious longer-term ramifications on the life quality of Lesnar, let alone his in-ring career. After all, this is a hideously botched attempt at a Shooter Star Press from the now ruler of Suplex City.
In the lead-up to his WrestleMania 19 match with Kurt Angle, Brock had been using the Shooter Star Press, largely on the house show loop, and had been hitting it fine. However, on the night of WrestleMania, it didn’t go to plan. Perhaps it’s the slight hesitation as he’s on the top turnbuckle, the distance he is away from Angle or it being the grandest stage of them all, whatever it is the outcome is grim with Lesnar landing on his head. It could have done a whole lot of damage to what was then just a fledgeling career. Perhaps the build of him and the strength of his neck saved him from what could have been something terrible. The main takeaway, however, was that Lesnar never attempted that move again. And that’s definitely a good thing considering the clip above.
2. The Shockmaster: It’s difficult to really think of someone more botched than this. After all, judging by the guys that his debut was interrupting – including Sting, Vader, Dusty Rhodes and the Bulldog – it was clear that he was getting pushed straight to the top. That is, until his debut.
It’s rightly very well documented, Fred Ottman, who had prior to then been one-half of the tag team champions ‘The Natural Disasters’ as Tugboat in the WWE, tripped over part of the set’s frame causing him to tumble through the wall and his helmet to fall off, exposing his face. The live reaction is absolutely incredible. Sid said, “Oh God”, Kole, later Booker T, asked, “who is this motherfucker?” and the British Bulldog exclaimed, “He fell flat on his arse!”.
Who really knows what was planned for him in the long run but with the Shockmaster gimmick almost given up on after this incident, it’s fair to assume that the company saw no way back for it. But that doesn’t mean we still can’t take a hugel level of enjoyment from the video footage, even Ottman himself these days does.
1. Hart 3:16 I Just Broke Your Neck: Owen Hart is a firm favourite of writers on here. A great career sadly cut short in its prime by a heinous injury. One of the most entertaining WWE acts during the 90s, particularly his feud with his older brother Bret and his tag team run with the British Bulldog. However, while his work was 99.9% crisp and tight in the ring, the 0.1% was the moment at SummerSlam 1997 when attempting a sit out piledriver, Austin’s head was too low and his neck was broken when it impacted with the canvas.
Incredible, Steve Austin would recover slightly to make the pin to win the match but was soon stripped of the Intercontinental title he won as a result. Hart, who would capitalise on the notoriety of the injury by wearing a parody of Austin’s own t-shirts of the time, stating “Owen 3:16 – I Just Broke Your Neck”. Stone Cold would still go on to have a Hall of Fame-worthy career inside the squared circle, becoming one of the most popular wrestling acts of all time. It’s also fair to say that this incident sadly shortened the length of that career and also, according to rumours, meant Austin, as WWE champion, was less than willing to work a programme with Hart. In 1999, Owen Hart’s career was sadly cut short at ‘Over the Edge’ PPV. In 2003, Stone Cold’s in-ring career came to a premature end.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.