12 Wrestlers Who Cheated Death

Balcony dives, heart attacks and...torn anuses!?

Professional wrestling is a tough gig. It's not only the physical side of the industry that makes it so challenging, it's also the endless travel schedule and lack of adequate time off that makes wrestling one of the most legitimately difficult jobs in the entertainment industry. Just ask Brock Lesnar, who was so sickened by the grind that he decided to leave WWE in 2004 and pursue a slim chance of entering the NFL. For Brock, anything had to be better than constantly being herded around like cattle on next-to-no sleep. The physical side of wrestling is the most obvious, but it's not the only danger that the men and women involved in the entertainment medium face day-to-day. Of course, physical injuries are extremely common. From there, wrestlers are faced with a decision. Do they ask for time off to heal up, and risk losing their spot (if not their job), or simply self-medicate with pills and alcohol to dull the pain and plod on? That kind of reality is prevalent in this article, one that explores 12 different wrestlers who were considered close to death at one point. There's a lot of variety on offer throughout, but one aspect is heavily consistent. Namely, all 12 of these people are still very much alive. Some have even turned their lives around for the better.

12. Taz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWQc7-qIE68 Younger wrestling fans will only really remember Taz as the portly announcer with an extra 'z' at the end of his name from WWE. For years, he was known for his comedic commentary style on Smackdown, forming an excellent duo with Michael Cole. Long before he'd retired from the ring however, Taz was dubbed the 'Human Suplex Machine', and forged a reputation as a hard man. Making his name in the original ECW, Taz was one of the hardcore promotion's biggest names. By 1995, he was starting to gain some momentum, but that was cruelly halted by a extremely serious neck injury. During a tag-team match, Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio nailed him with a Spike Piledriver. The impact came too suddenly for Taz, who couldn't protect his neck in time. The result was a broken neck, but that's not the real story here. Tommy Dreamer accompanied Taz to hospital, and says the injury was so severe that there were fears Taz might lose his life. Indeed, hospital staff were stunned that the wrestler was able to walk out of the building after receiving treatment, because he had been in agony.

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Lifelong wrestling, video game, music and sports obsessive who has been writing about his passions since childhood. Also a pro wrestling commentator and former manager with a love of sparkly jackets.