10 Most Ridiculous Oversells In Wrestling History

Pinball Wizards.

123 Kid Chris Hamrick
WWE Network

There's a slight misnomer in the title of this article.

Unquestionably, every item in this list is patently ridiculous. Pro wrestling, and the suffering it inflicts upon the human body is by its very nature ridiculous. Going above and beyond in this inhuman physical suffering is ridiculous. Portraying a kick, punch or throw as if a foe has just imbibed a superpower is, of course ridiculous.

It's the 'oversell' that requires further examination.

Suggesting the performers enclosed 'oversold' theoretically damns them with faint praise. This is categorically not the case. The wrestlers featured have given their bodies to the cause; to the story within the match, to the career of their colleague and to the audience getting the best view of their moment of madness.

Wrestling is a bizarre and brilliant artform - every bit as dangerous as the 'Don't Try This At Home' PSAs suggest and every bit as heartfelt as the apologetic adoration uttered by Shawn Michaels before he put his bullet boot through Ric Flair's head at WrestleMania 24.

These men took bumps where only a gentle drop to the ground was needed. Took pratfalls where a only a bump was required. Defied death when the pratfall would have sufficed. These are ridiculous oversells, but these are also masters at work. The following bumps command just as much awe as the requisite shock.

Well, with one glaring exception. But more on that later...

10. Curt Hennig (Vs Chris Benoit, WCW Nitro)

123 Kid Chris Hamrick
WWE Network

Curt Hennig could fill ten of these lists with with bumps to spare after a career spent donating his body to the fists and fury of his foes.

There was something of a subverted grace to the ugly fashion Hennig's body contorted and twisted in the aftermath of a particular punch or kick. His first retirement in 1991 bore the scars - his back was completely shot after a decade of reckless and futuristic abandon.

This particular effort sold the severity of a Chris Benoit knife-edge chop. 'The Crippler' had one of the hardest in the game at the time, with particular ferocity ordinarily saved for beating some 'respect' into newcomers or getting into needlessly aggressive competitive chest-slap fights with his best mate Eddie Guerrero.

It's a typical Hennig feast with a devastating desert. Rattled into a zombiefied state by a Benoit punch after his pathetic windmill attack failed, Curt soars into the air at the force of the whipped hand.

A glorious dive follows, in which Hennig heads for the deck headfirst before realising that the steel steps are about to break his fall. Even Benoit appears to briefly break character when he clocks the conclusion.


Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back over 30 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz", Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 50,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett