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6 times WWE Superstars suffered broken necks during matches

WWE Superstars have braved through many injuries.
WWE Superstars have braved through many injuries.
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Ali Akber

WWE Superstars go through extensive training before making it to the ring for professional matches. However, things can go wrong while competing in the ring, and several superstars have learned that the hard way.

Over the past several decades, fans have seen superstars suffer some gruesome injuries. Many of those injuries have been career-threatening.

Many superstars have also suffered broken necks due to botched moves or spots. A broken neck can be extremely dangerous for any individual, and many superstars have had to pay a heavy price.

With that said, check out the six WWE Superstars who suffered broken necks during matches.


#6. Big E is the latest to suffer a neck injury in WWE

It was just another night for Big E, who was ready to take on Sheamus & Ridge Holland with Kofi Kingston by his side. The New Day member went through his routine on March 11, 2022, episode of SmackDown, when disaster struck.

A scary ringside spot seemingly injured the big man who fell on his head during a belly-to-belly suplex from Holland. E remained motionless at ringside while the other superstars ended the match in the ring.

He was stretchered away by medical professionals while the wrestling community prayed for the best. Later on, Big E confirmed through a video message on Twitter that he had broken his neck:

"I can't thank all of you beautiful people enough for all of your concerns and messages, it's very heartwarming. I can move all my digits, you see that? That's nice, that's always a good thing. Strength feels fine, but unfortunately, right now, they tell me my neck is broken, so there's that. But once again, thank you everybody, I'll be alright. I'll be good, don't worry, go to sleep. Don't worry about me, but for real, thank you. And I appreciate all of you."

While the larger-than-life star was positive, the WWE Universe continued to pray for the best. It's heartbreaking to know that he will likely not be able to perform at WrestleMania 38.

The former WWE Champion has braved through many storms during his career. The Sportskeeda community wishes him a speedy recovery and hopes to see him back in action soon.


#5. Bob "Hardcore" Holly broke his neck during a match against Brock Lesnar

Hardcore Holly fought through many injuries.
Hardcore Holly fought through many injuries.

Once seen as one of the most brutal men in WWE, Bob "Hardcore" Holly competed in big matches. He went up against the most prominent men in sports entertainment, including the mighty Brock Lesnar.

The two faced off in a match on SmackDown in March 2002 that didn't go as planned. A botched powerbomb against Holly broke his neck during the contest.

Holly was away for thirteen months following the injury. The former superstar clarified that the injury was not Brock Lesnar's fault:

“I did break my neck during a match with Brock but he called me all the time whilst I was in the hospital checking up on me. People say that he did it on purpose and I got what I deserved. Let me tell you something; no one deserves to get a broken neck, number one, and he didn’t do it on purpose!"

Holly competed in his first match back in the ring against John Cena in 2004. He's been going strong ever since and has featured in several promotions since leaving WWE in 2009.


#4. Charlie Haas blames a former WWE Champion for his broken neck

Shelton Benjamin (L), Kurt Angle (C) & Charlie Haas (R)
Shelton Benjamin (L), Kurt Angle (C) & Charlie Haas (R)

Charlie Haas was part of one of the best tag teams in WWE. He twice won the tag team titles in the company, once with Shelton Benjamin and again with Rico.

The former member of Team Angle spent over ten years in WWE across two tenures. In 2009, Haas suffered a broken neck during a match against Drew McIntyre.

The Scottish Warrior delivered a Future Shock DDT to Haas that allegedly broke his neck. The injured star got released from WWE soon after the injury.

The former WWE Superstar appeared as a guest on UnSKripted with Dr. Chris Featherstone and touched on several topics. He gave details on his injury in 2009:

"I mean, I broke my neck, Drew McIntyre broke my neck, it's on YouTube. It was supposed to be me and Ron Killings, and they brought him out instead and... it was an interview and he cut me off and he hit me with a DDT with my hands behind my back, never let go. I heard it crack.”

The former tag team champion still blames Drew McIntyre for the injury that ended his WWE career. He recently competed in a match for IMPACT Wrestling in 2022.


#3. Paige's WWE career came to an end at a very young age

Paige hasn't returned to the ring since breaking her neck.
Paige hasn't returned to the ring since breaking her neck.

At one point, Paige was the fastest rising star in WWE. However, a freak injury ended her career at the young age of 25.

Paige competed in a six-woman tag match at a house show on December 27, 2017. She took a kick from Sasha Banks that broke her neck. The referee had to stop the action and call medical professionals to tend to the injured superstar.

In an interview with GiveMeSport, The Anti Diva explained what happened in the ring on the night that ended her wrestling career:

"The thing is with me, right, that move where she kicks me in the back, I had taken that so many times previously that I was so stubborn and I thought 'I can still do these kind of things' and I thought my neck was just as strong as it was before, but, unfortunately, it's not.”
"So I called this move and I told her to do it and so she did it, and unfortunately, my neck wasn't strong enough and it snapped all the way back and it was essentially the same as having a really bad car crash – the whiplash was.”

The former Divas Champion repeated that Banks wasn't to blame for her injury. She continued to stay in touch with the wrestling world and has appeared for WWE in different capacities over the years.


#2. Edge suffered his first major neck injury in 2002

"I bumped on the ladder, and I heard a crack...and I thought it was the ladder." - @EdgeRatedR #WWENetwork #BeyondTheRing https://t.co/TqKHStk7Ev

WWE Hall of Famer Edge has had his fair share of neck injuries over the past two decades. However, he has continued to come back better and stronger after each injury and has inspired numerous other wrestlers in the process.

The Rated-R Superstar suffered his first major neck injury on SmackDown in 2002. He took on Eddie Guerrero in a ladder match in which a spot broke his neck.

He took a bump and landed on a ladder during the match, breaking his neck in the process. He "heard a crack" but continued to fight. The injury worsened when he took a sunset flip powerbomb from the top of a ladder that damaged his neck.

After the second spot, the Hall of Famer felt numbness in his neck and arm but finished the match. The Ultimate Opportunist retired from the ring in 2011 after suffering many injuries.

He went through several neck surgeries and made a miraculous return to the ring in 2020. The former WWE Champion is a true inspiration to many young stars battling injuries.


#1. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin suffered a broken neck during a championship match

Stone Cold's career came to an end due to neck injuries.
Stone Cold's career came to an end due to neck injuries.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin suffered arguably the most well-known neck injury in sports entertainment. His career nearly came to an end after a match against Owen Hart for the Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam 1997.

Hart tried to hit Austin with a Piledriver late in the match. However, Owen botched the move and dropped The Rattlesnake on his head, resulting in a broken neck and temporary paralysis.

Owen stalled the audience as Stone Cold got some feeling back in his limbs and crawled his way to pin him for the three-count. He relinquished the title soon after the injury.

Austin got carried to the back, where it took time for him to get to the hospital. He made a surprisingly quick recovery and returned at Survivor Series. The legend continued to compete for a few more years but retired after more neck injuries threatened his health and career.


Did you know a major backstage fight erupted during WrestleMania 32? More details right here.

Edited by Abhinav Singh
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