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5 times WWE stars avoided a disaster in the ring

AJ Styles gives James Ellsworth a Styles Clash on SmackDown.
AJ Styles gives James Ellsworth a Styles Clash on SmackDown.
Akash Roy
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Wrestling is a serious sport. WWE superstars are highly trained individuals who master this art with years of sincerity, practice, and commitment. Skeptics argue whether wrestling is fake, which undermines the seriousness of the sport. Injuries often sustained by the performers are not something that a fake sport would be able to yield.

Wrestling is a form of choreographed, visual storytelling where the performers stride around the ring displaying spectacular moves in a well-orchestrated wrestling match. The chemistry between performers is of paramount importance. A lack of focus, a minor inaccuracy even at one instant, could severely impact their lives. It is equally crucial for the company to look after their talents as well.

We take a look at five incidents where wrestlers avoided severe consequences.


#5 Taker saves Big Show at WWE SmackDown

The Undertaker is a seasoned veteran in the world of WWE. The man had a career that lasted three decades. The Deadman has earned respect from wrestlers and fans alike. The Phenom is always two steps ahead when it comes to his unmatched wrestling senses. During the Invasion storyline, Taker was able to save "The World’s Largest Athlete" from a severe head injury.

The incident took place during an episode of WWE SmackDown. Pandemonium ensued when several superstars from both The Alliance and WWE engaged in a brawl. Amidst the craziness, "American Badass" Taker was taken out by Kurt Angle with an Angle Slam. Soon it was the Big Show's turn to take Kurt Angle's finish. But unbeknownst to both men, a steel chair was lying where Angle would drop the Big Show with an Olympic Slam.

However, the crisis would be countermanded by the Undertaker, who very subtly dragged the steel chair away from the spot, sensing danger. In retrospect, we can all agree how important it was for Taker to be there only to save the Big Show from such a dangerously impacted crash.

#4 Bret Hart saves the historic match at WWE SummerSlam

Bret Hart and British Bulldog at SummerSlam 1992.
Bret Hart and British Bulldog at SummerSlam 1992.

The WWE SummerSlam 1992 main event featured The British Bulldog challenging for Bret Hart's Intercontinental Championship. It was an anticipated clash between the real-life brothers-in-law. Davey Boy Smith was married to Bret's sister, Diana Hart.

Unknown to many wrestling fans, Davey Boy Smith had spent several days before the match indulging in vices. It was a rough time in Smith's personal life. He had allegedly stayed up the previous night under the influence. He was mentally and physically exhausted for the biggest match of his career. Finally, in the ring, Smith confessed to Bret that he had no clue how to stage his performance.

The Hitman told Smith to follow his lead, and Bret carried The British Bulldog in a magnificent wrestling spectacle. Neither the audience at Wembley Stadium nor the people around the world could tell that The British Bulldog was out of his wits. Bret Hart is not called "The Excellence of Execution" for nothing. Had it not been for the Hitman, the night would not have ended with argubly the best match in history for the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

#3 Lawler suffers a heart attack during WWE Raw

Lawler being attended by the EMTs.
Lawler being attended by the EMTs.

WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler suffered a heart attack during the live telecast of Raw on September 10, 2012. Michael Cole and Lawler were calling a match when suddenly Lawler began to snore. Cole realized something was off when he looked over to find Lawler had collapsed on the announcer's desk.

Cole would be quick to turn off his microphone and call upon the immediate attention of the WWE medical team. Luckily for him, Doc Sampson was at ringside and he rushed in with his medical expertise to handle the situation. Lawler was taken away backstage where EMTs attended to revive him.

"So I'm screaming for the doctor, 'Doc, doc, Jerry needs you,' and I hit the mute switch I think out of instinct but I'll never forget. I remember doing it because I knew something serious was happening. I knew that his family watches the product and I didn't want them to know at that point what was going on because I thought that if it was me I wouldn't want my wife or anybody in my family to learn about what was happening from live television."- Michael Cole H/T Bleacher Report.

Some WWE backstage reports specifically recounted an event where Lawler was allegedly clinically dead for around 20 minutes with no response. It's a miracle that the EMTs were able to resurrect him from this horrific situation. The way Michael Cole handled the situation was commendable.

#2 AJ Styles' quick wit saves Ellsworth's neck in WWE

AJ Styles performing an abdominal stretch on Ellsworth.
AJ Styles performing an abdominal stretch on Ellsworth.

During a storyline, WWE Champion AJ Styles feuded with James Ellsworth and Dean Ambrose. The matches were booked comically so that the underdog Ellsworth was able to steal a victory right under AJ's nose. In one of those matches, AJ was about to finish the match with his finisher to pin Ellsoworth.

The Styles Clash can be a pretty straight forward and relatively safe finisher. However, when the WWE World Champion was getting ready to hit it in the center of the ring, Ellsworth decided to tuck his chin. If it wasn't for AJ's quick assessment of the whole situation, Ellsworth's neck would have surely snapped.

Over the course of the motion, Styles managed to shift the momentum in a fraction of a second by landing on his knee, thus reducing the impact on James' head and consequently saving the man's neck. Ellsworth still had to still wear a neck brace in WWE for kayfabe reasons.

If Styles did not manage to see Ellsworth's mistake in time, we can only imagine the devastation that could have shortened Ellsworth's career and seriously threatened his life.

#1 Seth Rollins saved from getting impaled on WWE Raw

The Authority beats down Roman.
The Authority beats down Roman.

This incident is by far the scariest one on this list. The incident happened in 2014 on an episode of WWE Raw. The context here was that the Authority would hijack the match between Roman Reigns and Randy Orton.

Seth Rollins rushed to the ring along with Kane by his side and ambushed Roman Reigns. After they inflicted punishment onto the Big Dog, Rollins got out to grab a steel chair to finish the job. Meanwhile, the steel cage, which was used earlier in the night, was being lowered to trap Roman for the second round of a beatdown.

While getting back inside the ring in the nick of time, Rollins was dangerously close to getting impaled on live television. Roman foreseeing the danger, called out, β€œGet out!” which quickly made Rollins assess the whole situation he was in. Kane also noticed the criticality and reacted by pulling Rollins out of the ring by grabbing his leg off camera.

If not for Roman and Kane's quick decision-making, Seth could have had one of the worst injuries ever on WWE's live television. Seth owes a big one to his Shield brethren.

Edited by Ryan Droste
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