Remember WWE’s 'don’t try this at home' PSAs where they featured WWE Superstars being injured during a match? These are clear reminders of the dangers these talented performers face whenever they step into the squared circle.
They will have to look over each other’s welfare inside the ring, hence their moves will have to be as calculated as possible. But even when being extra cautious, it cannot be helped that accidents may still happen. In some cases, these injuries have resulted in the untimely end of a superstar’s career.
WWE Superstars who hung up their boots due to injury have been documented over the years. Here are just five of them.
#5. Former WWE Superstar Jason Jordan's neck injury
Former WWE Superstar Jason Jordan had an awesome run in the company as one of its talents. For the uninitiated, he holds the distinction of being the first wrestler to hold all three of WWE's tag team titles for RAW, SmackDown and NXT.
During these title reigns, he fought alongside Seth Rollins and Chad Gable, whom he thinks of as a brother. Jordan also got involved in what could be one of the wildest storylines in the promotion by revealing that he was Kurt Angle’s illegitimate son.
Everything was going smoothly until 2018’s Royal Rumble. Jordan would participate in a tag team match together with Rollins as they were scheduled to fight Sheamus and Cesaro.
He would suffer a serious neck injury during the match, and this caused his in-ring career to end abruptly. His kayfabe dad revealed that Jordan underwent surgery and would be out of action for quite a while. Unfortunately, Jordan hasn't stepped foot inside the ring since the injury. He did make sporadic appearances, but that’s it.
#4. Tyson Kidd
Another talented wrestler whose career was cut short was Tyson Kidd. The former WWE Superstar had an illustrious run in and outside the McMahon-run promotion. He and his fellow Hart Dynasty tag partner David Hart Smith were even hailed as the final recipients of WWE’s World Tag Team Championship.
During a dark match on RAW in June 2015 against Samoa Joe, Kidd's spinal cord was seriously concussed after Joe delivered his Muscle Buster finisher. His injury was deemed by medical professionals as one of the worst that a talent like Kidd could suffer.
Another neck/spine-related injury happened to WWE wrestler Droz. His brief run within the company saw him perform as part of a storyline involving members of the legendary tag team Legion of Doom/The Road Warriors.
That alone may seem to suggest that the company had some plans for Droz if it weren’t for that fateful day in October of 1999.
Droz’s budding wrestling career came to a sudden halt during a taping of SmackDown. His opponent at the time – D’Lo Brown – tried to deliver his running powerbomb move, but had a poor grip on Droz. This resulted in the wrestler landing on his head and breaking a couple of the vertebrae in his neck.
Since the incident, Droz has repeatedly highlighted that he has no ill will against D’Lo, and the two have remained friends ever since.
#2. Bret Hart
Former WWE Superstar and Hall of Famer Bret Hart’s career also ended in injury through a move delivered by a fellow superstar.
The rivalry between Hart and Goldberg is one of the most intense wrestling feuds there is. It happened not in a WWE ring, but at WCW's Starrcade pay-per-view in 1999.
During the match, Goldberg would deliver a devastating mule kick to Hart’s head, which resulted in a serious concussion. The Hitman would still wrestle, but not as often as he had previously. This continued until he finally hung up his boots in 2000.
Hart sat down with Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions in 2020, where he revealed that he had talked to Goldberg prior to their match. He said that both of them could do anything while they were inside the ring provided that he (Goldberg) didn't go nuts.
#1. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Bret Hart’s interviewer also suffered a grievous injury in the ring, but it was at the hands of his guest’s younger brother – the late, great Owen Hart.
The Attitude Era produced several of the company's most famous wrestlers, including Stone Cold Steve Austin. Like Bret, the WWE Superstar was also injured at a pay-per-view: SummerSlam 1997.
The two had talked over their scheduled match as Owen suggested using a so-called sit-out piledriver. Austin insisted that he instead use a piledriver similar to that of The Undertaker’s Tombstone. However, Owen pushed for the former, and the rest, including The Rattlesnake’s in-ring career, was history.
Stone Cold was able to rehab his neck enough to continue his career for several more years, but the nagging injury eventually put a halt to The Rattlesnake's historic run.
Stone Cold has made several appearances over the years and even faced off against Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 38, which could be his final match.