8 Wrestlers Who Were Nearly KILLED By Fans

Good heels get booed. Great heels get shot.

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Listen to Greta Thunberg: there really is such a thing as 'too much heat'.

Admittedly, the Green Queen of Sweden's entreaties revolve around scientifically substantiated theory (not a hypothesis!), and are more pertinent to a dangerously overcooked world than they are a wrestling ring, but still, the maxim holds true for the latter.

Today, we lament the fact that in the post-caring era, generating legitimate rancour as a heel is a thankless task. Once over, the fine art was sharpened to such a point it could sometimes prove double-edged. The price of making people really hate you is that, well, they really hate you. And, as the previously intimated climate change deniers prove, this is not a world short of a few Ted Loons. These two facts combined make the proverbial recipe for disaster.

It's almost impossible to imagine now, given the last clear example of 'nuclear heat' is a kid's upturned face at The Miz, but there was a time when the villains of the squared circle would whip up such a fervour that'd they had to be secreted out the arena. Hanging back for autographs was off the table; it was all they could do to get to their car without being punched, kicked, or otherwise maimed with a variety of homebrew weapons.

Some weren't so lucky - but at least they lived to tell the tale.

8. Sabu

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Most wrestling fans are familiar with the extreme path Sabu paved with broken bones in ECW (many his own, admittedly), but a run-in with a rather different 'extreme path' in the early-'90s almost precluded a decade of shiny sirwals and wince-inducing botches.

Like many Japanese promotions of the era, Atsushi Onita's blood-and-guts group FMW courted the patronage of the yakuza. Japan's tattooed toughs would frequently buy out whole sections of the floor, often with the intent of scalping, though they'd also attend events en masse themselves. Such was the case at one show featuring Sabu, before which all talent was expressly warned by Onita not to let the promotion's typically violent output spill into the area reserved by the 'chivalrous organisation'.

Sabu, in typically dependable undependable fashion, ignored the edict, not only brawling in the ninkyō dantai's domain, but diving into it. The underworld didn't appreciate the intrusion, and immediately set upon the interlopers. What can only be described as a riot ensued.

The show fell apart as the melee spread to the locker room, where things rapidly turned ugly. Just as one thug was preparing to make mincemeat out of Sabu's head with a steel chair, brave future ECW colleague Mike Awesome jumped in and fought the literal mob off. Future politician Onita's diplomacy skills were given a true test as he tried to diffuse the febrile situation afterwards.

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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.