Pro wrestling is a complex sport. The results are pre-determined and the responsibility to carry each other in a safe manner falls upon the wrestlers in the ring.
This doesn't always happen though. There have been a string of instances in the history of professional wrestling when a wrestler hurt another wrestler for real in the middle of the ring.
Let's take a look at 7 instances of a wrestling match turning into a shoot.
#7 Daniel Puder vs Kurt Angle
Daniel Puder was the winner of Tough Enough 2005. In a segment on an episode of SmackDown, Puder locked in a Kimura Lock on Kurt Angle for real. The referee quickly realized the graveness of the situation and set up a fake pin, even though Puder's hands were not touching the mat.
After Angle got up, he looked visibly furious and seemed to have said something to Puder. The Tough Enough winner went on to feature in the Royal Rumble match and was brutally slapped on the chest by Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and Hardcore Holly as punishment for his actions on SmackDown. Puder was immediately fired from WWE after the incident. His stupidity in the ring against someone of Angle's stature got him blackballed out of WWE for good.
Puder hailed from an MMA background before his 'Tough Enough' stint with the WWE, which Kurt Angle failed to realize. The Olympic gold medallist was caught unaware of Puder's ability and almost ended up paying the price.
The runner-up, Mike "The Miz" Mizanin, went on to become one of the most decorated WWE Superstars in recent history, and main evented WrestleMania 27 against John Cena.
#6 Ryback vs CM Punk
After Punk left WWE in 2014, he went on to appear on Colt Cabana's "Art of Wrestling" podcast. Punk made some shocking revelations during the chat, shedding light on the backstage ongoings in WWE.
Punk mentioned how Ryback was a dangerous worker and he deliberately hurt Punk during one of their matches, dropping him on concrete when he was supposed to drop him on a table.
Ryback was allegedly known for having a huge ego backstage and was released from the company after jobbing to Kalisto on the pre-show of WrestleMania 32. After his exit from the company, Ryback bashed WWE and its employees on multiple occasions on his podcast. "Conversations with the Big Guy".
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#5 Michael Tarver vs John Cena
Tarver was one of the original Nexus members, but he failed to break out as a singles star and was released soon after the group disbanded.
Michael Tarver has since stated multiple times that John Cena had a beef with him. Tarver went on to say that Cena was threatened by the talent he possessed and purposefully fractured Tarver's arm during a WWE PPV.
John Cena never made a comment on these accusations and Tarver soon fizzled into obscurity.
#4 JBL vs The Blue Meanie
The Blue Meanie was one of the ECW originals, and a part of the group named "Blue World Order", a mockery of WCW's 'New World Order'. During the ECW One Night Stand PPV, the WWE and ECW wrestlers engaged in a chaotic fight at the end.
Meanie had been stating in interviews that JBL was a backstage bully and this didn't sit well with the former WWE champion. JBL decided to legitimately hurt Meanie during the chaos. Later, The Blue Meanie was offered a WWE contract for a brief run and he decided not to sue JBL.
Meanie, however, had the last laugh when he defeated JBL in a no disqualification match with assistance from fellow B.W.O member Steven Richards.
To put things in perspective, JBL has been known as a legitimate bully in the WWE locker room. Superstars both past and present have criticized the former acolyte for his brash mannerisms.
#3 The Mass Transit Incident
New Jack is regarded as one of the most dangerous wrestlers in all of pro wrestling. He was known for stiff shots and blading during his ECW tenure.
In an ECW show in Massachusetts, a 17-year old teen named Eric Kulas lied about his age and managed to take an injured wrestler's place in a tag team match. He also stated that he was a trained athlete named "Mass Transit". Jack took exception to this and decided to teach the guy a lesson. New Jack proceeded to cut open several arteries on the guy's head, leaving him in a bloody mess.
Kulas's parents decided to sue Jack for his actions, but the lawsuit was dropped after the court learned that Kulas had blatantly lied to get in the ring. Kulas died soon after the incident due to a medical condition, and New Jack went on to insult him again, after learning about his demise.
New Jack's high threshold for pain has translated into many bloody and gory matches in his wrestling career. He was never afraid to put his body on the line and choreographed plenty of high spots during his feuds.
#2 Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman
The two behemoths went at it in a triple threat match at the Royal Rumble 2018 PPV, with Kane being the third participant. During the match, Strowman accidentally hit Brock Lesnar with the knee, knocking The Beast almost on the verge of unconsciousness.
In retaliation, Brock went on to punch Strowman in the face, this time for real. Brock proceeded to tell Strowman to "Slow the **** down".
#1 Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton
During the buildup to their match at Summerslam, Randy Orton accused Lesnar of taking steroids, in a jibe taken at Chris Jericho's talk show.
This didn't sit well with Lesnar. Although the match was booked as a one-sided encounter from the beginning, Lesnar took it too far. Lesnar was supposed to open up Orton, but he ended up doing way more. The Beast kept hitting Orton with elbow shots in the forehead as the crowd watched in horror.
The match ended with Orton in a pool of his own blood as Lesner was declared the winner via technical knockout. It took plenty of WWE officials, including former SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon, to stop Lesnar's assault.
The Legend Killer received ten staples to close a laceration on his forehead owing to Lesner's brutality.
It is still unclear if the finish for this match went ahead as planned.
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