Top 10 WWE Wrestlers Who Almost
Died As A Result Of A Wrestling
10. Mass Transit (1996)
Remaining in ECW,
the Mass Transit incident now lives
in infamy as one of the most
in the company’s hardcore history.
When 17-year old Erik Klaus
wanted to become a wrestler,
he wouldn’t let anything stop him,
not even his age.
Telling officials he was 23
and trained by Killer Kowalski, the
same man who trained Triple H,
Kulas worked as Mass Transit,
a heel, who despite his villainous
acts, did not deserve what
happened to him.
Facing off against New Jack, the
kid told Jack cut him for drama,
though the Gangsta went too deep,
severing an artery, with Kulas
As fans, including Kulas’ own father
begged for the match to stop,
New Jack took things further, in a
hate-filled racist promo,
saying he didn’t care if Kulas died
because Jack hated all white people.
The incident led to ECW temporarily
losing their first pay per view,
Barely Legal, which was pushed
to April 1997.
Whilst New Jack was acquitted
of any wrong-doing,
since Kulas had asked him to cut him,
the moment nearly cost the young
man his life,
who died in 2002 due to surgery complications.
9. Marty Garner (1996)
Many fans will never have heard
of Marty Garner,
, but they’ll certainly know of his
opponent in the match
that nearly took Garner’s life:
In May 1996, Garner faced Helmsley,
still working as a snobby blue-blood,
during a taping of WWF Superstars.
During the match, the future-King
of Kings attempted a Pedigree.
Unfortunately, Garner had never
taken the move before,
and thinking it was some kind of
powerbomb or suplex, jumped far too
high, with Garner crashing on the top
of his head, suffering neck damage.
To make the injury more shocking,
the botched move was not edited out
of any broadcast of Superstars,
and was even featured as the
WWF’s Slam of the Week.
After close examination,
doctors concluded that Garner had
nearly been paralysed by the move,
but much like many stars on this
list, returned to wrestling not
8. Ken Shamrock (1997)
Whilst the WWF career of Ken
Shamrock may have been brief,
the UFC star left a lasting impression.
One of the toughest men to step
into the squared circle,
Shamrock was known for his
with the former Intercontinental
often foaming stage blood from
But Shamrock’s most unforgettable
bout of internal bleending was legit,
and could nearly have taken the
Appearing with fellow-WWF
Superstar Vader as part of
Shamrock worked the show with
both a lung infection and a bad rib.
These were made all the more worse
after he was powerbombed by Vader
twice during a brutal cage match,
which saw the UFC star’s lungs to
fill with blood.
Telling Vader not to do the proposed
Shamrock has said that brief
message saved his life,
as his lung had ripped open,
and doctors told him that
that any more hard bumps
could cause his lungs to fill
potentially drowning the Superstar
from the inside.
7. Buff Bagwell (1998)
On the April 22nd 1998 edition of
Buff Bagwell faced off against Rick
Steiner, in what should’ve been a
Instead, Bagwell suffered a horrible
injury, after taking a running Bulldog
from the Michigan-native, with
Bagwell’s head striking Steiner’s back.
The botch left Buff unable to move
with the 5-time WCW Tag Team Champion
wheelchair-bound for several months,
as his spine had taken the brunt
of the damage.
Amazingly, Bagwell was able to '
come back from the brink,
returning to WCW just a few months
later, in July that same year.
Whilst this miraculous return could
have led to a huge turning point
who would no doubt be seen as
a babyface from fans,
Bagwell returned to be insulted
by Hulk Hogan,
and quickly turned heel himself
not long after.
The heel turned halted any future
face-run Bagwell would have,
and in hindsight,
was a stupid decision by WCW,
but that’s a story for another day…
6. Gangrel (1999)
In folklore, there are only a handful
of items that can harm a vampire,
namely Holy Water,
But in a February 1999 edition
of RAW is War,
Gangrel nearly lost his life on
in the most horrific of ways.
After crossing The Undertaker’s
Ministry of Darkness,
Gangrel was to be hanged over the top
rope with a noose, though the
company erroneously tried to save face
by calling It a bull rope instead.
Speaking on Sean Waltman’s
podcast in 2016,
Gangrel revealed that after bouncing of
the ring-apron, the noose tightened,
with the Vampire certain he was going
to die, as the noose continued to crush
Thankfully, it was Mideon , who
thankfully wasn’t Naked Mideon
at the time,
who saved the day, noticing the
real danger Gangrel was in,
and allieved some of the pressure,
saving his life in the process.
5. Darren Drozdov (1999)
When NFL star Darren Drozdov
vomited on a football during a game,
he did not know how much his
life would change.
Joining the WWF in 1998,
Drozdov became ‘Puke’, who was
the unofficial member of the
Legion of Doom.
Whilst his first year in the company
was okay at best,
things went bad quickly in 1999,
during an October taping of
When his opponent D-Lo Brown
went for his running powerbomb,
Droz’s loose t-shirt caused things to
as neither man could
get the proper grip,
Paralyzed from the waist down,
Droz’s in-ring career instantly came to
an end, with the match being pulled
from the show.
According to Mick Foley who was
at the arena that night,
D-Lo Brown was distraught at
though Droz told him not to blame
himself, saying accidents happen.
Whilst his in-ring career has ended
Droz is now a permanent employee of
WWE, and has regained mobility in most
of his upper body.
To this day, he still considers the move
that changed his life, and still holds
no ill-will towards Brown, in a true
show of class.
4. Hayabusa (2001)
A legend of Japanese wrestling, the
death of Hayabusa in March 2016
sent shockwaves through the
even though the FMW star nearly died
over a decade earlier.
Facing Mammoth Sasaki in October
the match had a big fight feel to it,
with the stipulation
being that if Hayabusa won,
his friend Shoichi Arai would be
re-instated as FMW president.
Attempting a manoeuvre off the middle
rope, Hayabusa lost his footing,
crocking two of his vertebrae,
and leaving the legend wheelchair-
bound for years.
Shockingly, Hayabusa was able to
stand on his feet in 2015, with the
help of a cane,
which sadly makes it all the more tragic
when he passed away a year
later, at age 47.
3. Scott Steiner (2007)
After leaving WWE in 2004,
it was only a matter of time before
Scott Steiner brought his unique
and even more unique promos to
Appearing at a house show in
Big Poppa Pump teamed with
James Storm, to take on
Jeff Jarrett and loca star, Apollo.
During the match, Apollo caught
Freakzilla off-guard with a quick
kick to the throat,
which led to Steiner coughing up blood.
He was quickly rushed to hospital,
where the situation looked grim,
as he was diagnosed with a
and reportedly given less than six
hours to live.
Over the next month, Steiner would
face all sort of procedures to repair
including doctors having to cut through
his ribs and lungs to repair the wound.
As if that wasn’t enough, Steiner
wasn’t allowed to fly back to the
as the cabin pressure could’ve
caused his lung to collapse,
meaning the former WCW star
travelled back on boat,
on a trip that took a gruelling, painful
week for Big Poppa Pump.
2. Tyson Kidd (2015)
Tyson Kidd was one of WWE’s most
debuting in the company’s ECW
brand in 2009.
After a resurgence of his career
in NXT in 2014,
the Canadian star faced off against
a relatively new Samoa Joe,
who had used his signature muscle
buster for over a decade.
Unfortunately, in this dark match,
the move fractured Kidd’s neck,
sadly ending his in-ring career
just as Kidd was becoming a big
star once again.
The only upside to all this, if there
is that Kidd’s injury could’ve been
He underwent surgery that required
four scores and the insertion of a
rod into a neck,
an operation that according to Kidd,
only 5% of people survive.
In an interview, Dave Meltzer
compared the injury to
the horse-riding accident
actor Christopher Reeve suffered
which led the former Superman
paralyzed for life.
Nowadays, Kidd has transitioned
to a backstage role,
and appears regularly on Total Divas
alongside wife Natalya.
12. Sean Waltman (1992)
Whether it be as the 123-Kid in
Syxx in WCW
or X-Pac during the Attitude Era,
Sean Waltman has sustained his
share of notable injuries,
from neck issues in the 90s,
to a torn anus during Jerry Lyn’s
But in November 1992, the
nearly came to an untimely end, at
a show in New Jersey.
Waltman was outside of the ring,
where he was supposed to catch
his opponent’s suicide dive,
but the un-named star overshot him,
causing a collision, with Waltman’s head
crashing into the concrete floor.
Instantly knocked out,
Waltman later suffered a blood
clot near his brain,
and ended up in hospital for several
The former Intercontinental Champion
was even advised to retire,
but clearly did not take doctor’s
and won the Tag Team Champions
with Marty Jannetty just over a
11. Tazz (1995)
In the original ECW, Tazz was presented
as the ultimate fighting machine,
who mowed down each and every opponent.
A former football star and Judo fighter,
the New Yorker was a huge
favourite of the ECW crowd,
who respected his in-ring style,
persona and toughness.
But on July 15th 1995, that toughness
was pushed to the limit,
as Taz teamed with Eddie Guerrero
to face Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio.
Mid-match, the FTW Champion
was hoisted up for a spike piledriver,
but failed to properly brace for the
move, coming down on his forehead
at a slanted angle.
After the match, Tazz somehow
walked to the hospital,
to the amazement of the medical staff,
given the severity of the damage
to his neck.
Whilst he would return several months
later, the submission machine
would abruptly retire in 2002, due
to this and other injuries.
Like he’d say on commentary,
this ain’t ballet.
1.Dean Ambrose (2017)
n an interview with the Monitor,
Dean Ambrose recently revealed that
he was very close to death
due to a recent incident during
After going under the knife for a
triceps injury in December 2017,
a Staph infection was detected,
one that could’ve ended the former
WWE Champion’s life. Ambrose said:
“I ended up having two different
surgeries. I had this MRSA, Staph
infection. I nearly died. I was in the
hospital for a week,
plugged up to this antibiotic drip thing,
and I was on all these antibiotics for
months, that make you puke and crap
To go from not being able to eat my
Froot Loops, to being able to get back
in the ring and throw people around
and throw punches and do everything
back to normal, it was a very
Thankfully, Ambrose has been
able to return,
teaming with his Shield brother
before betraying him in one of the
greatest heel turns in recent memory.
Well guys that's our list, can you think of
any other wrestlers who almost died in the
ring? Please share your comments below
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