10 Incredible Stories Of Wrestlers' Dedication To Their Character

1. Mr. Wrestling No-Sells A Plane Crash

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WWE.com

Better known as the masked Mr. Wrestling, Tim Woods was part of one of the sport's most infamous disasters in 1975. A plane carrying himself, Ric Flair, Johnny Valentine, and a host of others ran out of fuel and crash-landed just short of the intended destination, with only promoter David Crockett emerging unscathed.

Valentine, Flair, and fellow wrestler Bob Bruggers broke their backs, with only Flair returning to the ring afterwards. The pilot died in hospital, and Woods was badly hurt himself, suffering a number of broken bones on impact.

Mr. Wrestling was a top babyface at the time, however, while Valentine was a hated villain. Woods didn’t want the public to know that faces and heels had been travelling together, so he gave a fake name when he was admitted to the hospital, and returned to work just two weeks later, though clearly struggling from the accident.

Woods chose to maintain his character by effectively no-selling a life or death situation, which epitomises the “protect the business at all costs” mentality that existed in those days. He stayed active in wrestling until his eventual retirement in 1983, and denied his involvement in the crash for decades, before Ric Flair eventually revealed the truth in his 2004 autobiography.

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Andy has been with WhatCulture for eight years and is currently WhatCulture's Wrestling Channel Manager. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.