Top Five Angles Booked Due to Real Life Injuries

Brian Damage

Injuries are a natural part of the pro wrestling business. When a wrestler suffers a legitimate injury they are taken off the road and or TV to have time to heal up. In some cases, a storyline or angle is created to explain their extended absence from the ring. Today’s Top Five looks at the top segments or angles explaining a wrestler’s legitimate injury.

Randy Orton

In May of 2022, Randy Orton was attacked by the Bloodline faction. The result had Orton being helped to the locker room by WWE officials. The truth of the matter was…Orton had been suffering with a serious back issue and this attack was a way to write him off TV. It also may very well be the last we see of Randy Orton in the company as an active wrestler, as his back problem is very serious according to reports.

Andre the Giant

In 1991, Andre the Giant was at the very tail end of his wrestling career. After a few years a s a heel, Andre returned to being a babyface and was set to be involved in a feud with Jimmy Hart and the Earthquake. Unfortunately, Andre’s health was deteriorating quickly and was in a great deal of pain with his legs and back. An angle was sent up where Earthquake low-blowed Andre with Hart’s megaphone and then delivered a series of splashes to cripple the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Andre would never wrestle another match in the WWF again and the last time we saw Andre was at WCW’s Clash of the Champions XX. The next time Andre was mentioned on WWF TV was in January of 1993 when he passed away.

Chief Billy White Wolf

In the WWF in 1977, Chief Billy White Wolf squared off against Ken Patera in a televised match. During the contest, Patera locked in his full nelson maneuver and proceeded to swing White Wolf around and refused to unlock the move “injuring” White Wolf in the process. In reality, Billy White Wolf had a legitimate neck injury that required surgery. This angle was a way to get him off TV for a few months to recover and begin a feud with White Wolf’s tag team partner ‘Chief’ Jay Strongbow. According to Patera, White ‘Chief’ Jay Strongbow did not like Billy White Wolf and politicked him out of the promotion while he was recuperating.

‘Chief’ Billy White Wolf would not return to the company until 13 years later under the moniker of ‘General Adnan’ the manager to the heel Sgt. Slaughter in 1990.

Gorilla Monsoon and Vader

In January of 1996, on the Monday Night Raw debut of Vader, WWF fans witnessed the mastodon attack then WWF President Gorilla Monsoon. The attack left Monsoon stretchered out and Vader suspended indefinitely. Both Vader and Monsoon were taking time off for different reasons. Vader had a shoulder injury that required surgery and Monsoon was dealing with some health issues and needed time to rest. The entire angle was covered in greater detail here.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

At Survivor Series in 1999, the WWF’s top star Stone Cold Steve Austin was rundown in the parking lot by an unknown driver. The angle was made to write Austin off television for several months to recover from a neck injury.

7 thoughts on “Top Five Angles Booked Due to Real Life Injuries

  1. Eddie Gilbert having his neck broken by the masked superstar in 1983. He had a car accident in real life. I remember that well as I started watching wrestling earlier that year.

    Sting being attacked by the four horsemen after kicking him out of the group. Having Luger turn face was directly because of that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember that very well. I was at a house show in Pittsburgh when they announced that Gilbert had been in a car accident and would not be appearing at the show.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A shame Andre went out like that. A yes, Pro Wrestling, where an Iraqi and a Italian American can be Native Americans. Strongbow sticking it to Adnan does not surprise me. He was always an ass. Funny how Adnan years later managed Patera.

    Liked by 2 people

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