10 Times WWE Were Shamelessly Exploitative

10. Eddie Gilbert's Broken Neck

WCW

Eddie Gilbert was nothing more than a jobber during his early-'80s spell with WWF, but just as he was breaking into the mid-card, his career received an unusual, unexpected boost via the most bizarre of circumstances.

Gilbert was travelling home from a house show in Allentown, PA, when he was involved in a near-fatal car crash. The wreck wracked him with serious injuries. 'Hot Stuff' grew out his distinctive beard to conceal scars from reconstructive surgery, whilst he was left plagued by back and shoulder issues which for years encouraged his ultimately fatal painkiller addiction.

Worst of all, he broke his neck in the accident. But it wasn't all bad news - at least in the eyes of Gilbert's employers. When he had fully recuperated, he returned to WWF screens as Bob Backlund's new protégé ahead of a renewed push - with the neck injury fully publicised.

This being wrestling, it wasn't long before The Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie under a white hood), feared for his use of neckbreakers, cracked Gilbert's vertebrae afresh to the absolute horror of concerned fans. Backlund broke down in tears as his charge was hauled away in an ambulance.

Oddly, the whole scenario resulted in a programme for Backlund himself, not Gilbert, who shortly after left the company. At least his broken bones were worth something.

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Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know). He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.