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Top 5 WWE wrestlers who suffered severe neck injuries

FEATURED COLUMNIST
Top 5 / Top 10
43.12K   //    Timeless

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but word is making rounds backstage that not only is Daniel Bryans recovery taking more time than expected, but the injury has also taken its toll on the current WWE World Heavyweight champion. Neck injuries are by far the most severe that a superstar can suffer, and weve seen many superstars retiring from professional wrestling due to the severity of their injuries. As fate would have it, our current champion has been the latest victim, and it will be sensible on WWEs part not to rush him back. With the Money in the Bank PPV approaching us at the rate of knots, the WWE has to take one final decision concerning the main event and the status of the WWE World Heavyweight championship.To WWEs credit, theyve done everything they possibly can to keep the title on Daniel Bryan. Bryan has worked his tail off for the past two years, and has earned the right to be the top guy in the company. The hard work and success also came with a price, as Bryan had to undergo what was considered a minor surgery about a month ago, and as every performer can vouch, neck surgeries can be very tricky. Since then, Bryan has been losing strength in his arm instead of gaining strength a sign of concern which has rightfully set off the alarms in the WWE. We will have more information on the next episode of Monday Night RAW regarding the status of the WWE World Heavyweight championship and what WWE plans to do with Daniel Bryan.In the past, many WWE superstars had to take a considerable amount of time off due to severe neck injuries, similar to Daniel Bryan. If anything, the fans should be happy that Daniel Bryans injury isnt as bad, and the recuperation time is just a month or two; at least thats the general feeling backstage. Many other wrestlers had it worse, and had to take a year off to recover after their surgeries.In this article, we take a look at 5 other WWE superstars who suffered a similar fate as Daniel Bryan.

#5 Hardcore Holly

Bob ‘Hardcore’ Holly is considered to be one of the toughest superstars in the history of the WWE, which was the reason he was given the nickname of ‘Hardcore’ in the first place. Holly was a veteran in the WWE, and although he was respected for his contributions to the company, he wasn’t exactly liked backstage, as he was considered a bully. The WWE superstars used to follow the tradition of ‘initiating’ a new superstar in the locker room by doing various degrading acts, and superstars such as Holly and JBL used to actively participate in such rituals.

During his match with Brock Lesnar on Smackdown!, Holly wanted to teach the newbie a lesson. It was at a time when Brock was relatively new to the WWE, but was in the midst of his meteoric rise in the company. Brock took less than a year to win the WWE championship on the main roster, and hence was relatively new in the locker room. Holly wanted to teach Brock a thing or two about respect, and sandbagged him when Brock tried to get him up for a powerbomb.

Brock wasn’t known for being a sweetheart either, and he was one of the most legitimate tough guys backstage. So Brock dropped Holly on his neck, resulting in Holly suffering a broken neck! Holly had to take a year off to recover from the surgery, which resulted in Holly’s career ending sooner than expected.

#4 Chris Benoit

This is the part of the list where all the superstars suffered severe neck injuries. Chris Benoit was known as one of the greatest technical wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling. He was also known for wrestling stiff, and taking a lot of risks with his style of wrestling. Benoit got the nickname of Crippler while he was in ECW, and ironically, he was involved in an incident with Sabu which saw Sabu breaking his neck, after falling on the back of his head and neck when he was supposed to do a flip and take the bump on his back.

When Benoit came to the WWE, he immediately impressed the management and was thrown in the main event scene against the likes of Rock and Jericho. He then faced Steve Austin for the World title, as Jericho won the WWF championship and the duo was on top in the WWE, but unfortunately, Benoit suffered a neck injury during a fatal 4 way TLC match, and was out of action for a year. This effectively ended Benoits hot run in the WWE, and he did not play any part in the Invasion storyline which happened during his absence.

#3 Edge

Edge made a name for himself as a part of the Edge and Christian tag team. The duo is considered to be one of the greatest tag teams in the history of the business, and they are also seen as the pioneers of TLC matches in the WWE. Edge was known for his high – risk moves and offense, and in the end that cost him dearly.

In 2003, Edge suffered a legitimate neck injury and had to go under the surgeon’s knife. Edge had to take a year off to recuperate, and returned to the WWE in 2004. Sadly, in 2011 Edge was forced to retire due to the complications stemming from the injury, as the doctors had warned him that one more bump could land him in a vegetative state or worse. For the first time in a decade, the WWE fans understood the severity of such injuries, as Edge retired from professional wrestling.

#2 Stone Cold Steve Austin

Perhaps the greatest name in the history of the business had to call it a day after suffering neck injury years ago. ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin faced Owen Hart at SummerSlam, and Owen legitimately injured Austin when he went for the spike piledriver, resulting in a broken neck. Austin was paralyzed in the ring for a few seconds, but he managed to get on his own two feet as the referees assisted him to the back. Austin was sidelined for a period, but returned to in – ring competition sooner than expected, as he was in the midst of a monumental push, which in the end changed the landscape of professional wrestling and the WWF.

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Like Edge, Steve Austin was forced to retire due to the complications of the neck injury, as he reportedly lived in constant pain. The doctors advised Austin to call it a day, or end up in a wheel chair, and Austin made the right choice by hanging up his boots for good. Since then, Austin has been relatively pain free and managed to avoid any more complications.

#1 Darren Drozdov

The most unfortunate incident of them all happened during the taping of an episode of Smackdown! in 1999 when DLo Brown took on Darren Drozdov. DLo tried to execute his signature finishing move the running powerbomb, but for some reason, couldnt get the required elevation as Droz landed on his head and neck, and fractured two disks in his neck. Some claim that DLo slipped on ice or a drink that a fan threw in the ring, while others claim that Droz slipped out because of his loose shirt. DLo himself rubbished both the theories, and said that it was an unfortunate incident that couldve happened with anyone.

Droz has been paralyzed since that incident, leaving him quadriplegic - Droz had no movement below his neck, but has since regained some movement in the upper body region. The unfortunate incident was also a reminder to all the fans and superstars that all it takes is one wrong move for the performer to end up in a wheel chair for the rest of his life, and sometimes, the injury can be fatal. It also makes us appreciate them more for what they do inside the ring, and how they put their health and safety on the line every time they go out to perform for the fans.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
MMA/UFC/professional wrestling fan. A Manchester United fan through and through. Might also be seen cheering on Nadal and Djoko.
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