10 Wrestling Stunts Which Nearly Went Very Wrong

Steve Austin, Randy Orton and Sting were lucky to escape with their lives.

Gangrel Being Choked
WWE Network

Wrestling, as has been tirelessly repeated in the earnest defences of the industry by countless wrestling fanatics down the years (not to mention list article intros), is a legitimately dangerous sport if performed improperly. That's why - and this isn't just to scare children and appease parent watchdog bodies - pretty much every performer you see in a major promotion is a highly-paid, professional athlete.

As far as their core craft goes, the best wrestlers take every precaution to protect themselves, and more importantly, their opponent. Taking liberties with a foe's body is a cardinal sin of the locker room, and the zanier - that is to say, f*cking stupider - aspects of the form are restricted to backyards and bingo halls.

But no matter what safeguards they employ in the ring, a grappler can never guarantee an overzealous booker won't approach them with an elaborate, televisually spectacular stunt that'll get the fans talking. The sort which, most of the time, should only be performed by - you guessed it - a highly-paid professional in that field.

Wrestlers put enough on the line as it is; they don't need to add risky amateur stuntwork on top of that. These following, harrowing near-misses prove that.

10. Balls Mahoney's 'Beeg Orange Thing'

Gangrel Being Choked

One of the great failings of the human body is that, unlike the awesome scaly plates of the otherwise ridiculous pangolin, our soft fleshy skin offers very little protection from, well, just about anything, whether it be the sharp edges of seemingly innocuous sheathes of paper or the burning UV rays of the very sun which sustains us.

Certainly, then, such flimsy epidermis is of little value against a billion fragments of razor tipped glass - something poor Ian Rotten found to his bloody detriment during a match with fellow hardcore legend Balls Mahoney at IWA's King of The Death Matches 2003 tournament.

At one point during the gruesome twosome's violent 'fans bring the weapons' quarter-final gorefest, the former Xanta Klaus was handed a very gnarly gift from the sickos in attendance: an enormous, un-gimmicked light tube, or as the excited announce team called it, a 'beeg orange thing'. Mahoney duly smashed it over Rotten's multi-scarred skull, only to realise it was in fact several solid glass tubes taped together like some sort of evil chimera of illumination. In an event known for extreme violence so constant it becomes meaningless, the pure remorse Balls' sells at his own actions as Ian staggers with a face full of shards says it all.

If you've the stomach for it, here's a clip of the full spot, courtesy of @HotdogHandshake:

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Randy Orton
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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.