WWE Superstars are highly trained professionals who work hard for years so they can safely perform each move in the ring. But even the best Superstars end up botching a few moves, and these mistakes often lead to injuries.
Fans have watched several matches end abruptly due to an injury. Championship matches are affected the most if one of the contenders is legitimately injured.
Over the years, fans have watched several champions and their challengers fight through the pain to bring their matches to conclusive finishes. Here's a look at five WWE Superstars who completed championship matches after they sustained in-ring injuries.
#5 'Stone Cold’ Steve Austin
‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin is one of the most iconic stars in WWE history. Though his career was cut short, he was lucky to make it as long as he did. He suffered a serious injury early in his WWE career.
Austin was at the peak of his career in the late 1990s, and it seemed like nothing could stop "The Texas Rattlesnake." At SummerSlam 1997, Austin faced Owen Hart for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The match stipulation stated that if Austin lost the match, he would have to kiss Hart’s butt.
Stone Cold almost broke his neck at SummerSlam 1997
While Austin did not lose the match, he almost lost his entire career when he landed awkwardly during a piledriver. Hart botched the move, and Austin landed on his head. He almost broke his neck, and "Stone Cold" was temporarily paralyzed.
Austin recovered just enough to move a few inches and roll Hart up to make the pin and win the title. After the match, "The Texas Rattlesnake" had to go to the hospital. Jim Ross made the following statement regarding the mood backstage.
"A lot of concern. And it’s gonna sound bad if I don’t say this the right way, but you’ve gotta be first and foremost concerned about a man’s health. But at the same time, you’re looking at the guy that you see is going to be, unless injuries bite him in the a**, is going to be the biggest we’ve ever had. And now that may be over just as he got started. Took him seven years to get to WWE. Territories, missed booking, underutilized in WCW. We all remember all those stories. But you know, you just thought, ‘Well, this poor son of a b***h is not gonna live his dream," said Ross.
While many fans believed that the injury would end Austin’s WWE career, "Stone Cold" persevered. He continued to wrestle until 2003, but the severity of the neck injury forced him to retire at a much younger age than most of his fellow WWE Superstars.