Pro Wrestling Injury Bug: Wrestlers Who Have A Checkered History Of Injuries

By michael
Feb 23, 2024
Edge - SmackDown Farewell

Professional Wrestling careers tend to be long for the performers who are great at it, but they all come at a price. The Pro Wrestling injury bug causes interrupted momentum, cuts careers short, and can even end a career early. We’re going to look at some wrestlers who have had careers interrupted, cut short, or stopped far too early because of injury.

We want to be clear that this is a brutal sport and that just because someone is not missing time with an injury doesn’t mean they aren’t hurt or dealing with constant aches and pains. We know that the best wrestlers in the world work nightly with nagging injuries to their bodies. We’re only here to discuss the wrestlers who have had to miss time due to those injuries and how it affected them.

Some of the people on this list also dealt with injuries mostly as they reached an older age, while others have had a long history of injuries since coming into the business. That said, the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug does not care about your age. It eventually comes for everyone at some point, even if the injuries are minor compared to some on this list. With that said, let”s discuss some of the wrestlers who know the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug better than most.


Edge - SmackDown Farewell
  • Worst Injuries: Neck, Spinal Stenosis

While on the subject of spines, necks, and forced retirements, let’s keep this happy party going. Edge was WWE’s most decorated wrestler before a neck/spinal injury forced his retirement in 2011. He revealed that a spinal stenosis diagnosis meant that his next terrible fall could be his last.

That was enough to keep Edge out of in-ring action for nine years. What brought him back? Funny enough, it was a fall in the woods on a bike while filming a segment with Shaemus for his “Celtic Warrior Workout” YouTube Channel.

That led to a spot against Elias at WWE SummerSlam in 2019 where he speared the man we all walked with. That led to one of the most emotional returns we’ve ever seen when Edge entered the 2020 Men”s Royal Rumble match.

While Edge’s return to WWE didn’t go as seamlessly as WWE would have liked, we got a Royal Rumble win and incredible matches against Seth Rollins. We”d also see the formation of The Judgement Day and a main event spot against Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania. Not bad for a guy who was confident he’d never wrestle again.

Edge is now going by his real name, Adam Copeland, in AEW. While he claims to only have a few years left in him, we’re savoring every moment he has left. Let”s hope that the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug does not watch AEW matches.


CM Punk - AEW Entrance
  • Worst Injuries: Torn Tricep, Broken Foot, Fractured Skull

The Chicago City Saint made his debut for All Elite Wrestling in 2021. To start, the run was pretty stellar for CM Punk. Great promos, solid feuds, and good matches. All good. Until it wasn’t.

Following his match with Adam Page at AEW Double or Nothing in May of 2022, Punk announced that he would have to miss time with an injury to his foot. Though it only sidelined him for a few months, it was enough to stall what was clearly a lot of momentum and his spot as AEW’s biggest star.

He would come back in September of 2022 to face Jon Moxley and win the AEW World Championship for a second time. It was revealed after that match that he had torn a tricep and would have to miss over nine months. Of course, that injury was a bit overshadowed by his inflammatory press conference, the ensuing brawl in the back, and his suspension from the promotion.

Punk would return in June of 2023 and wrestle injury-free until he was fired from AEW. He would appear again in WWE after a 10-year absence but only wrestle three matches before tearing his tricep again, forcing him under the knife. This time, he”d have to miss his chance to main-event WrestleMania.

It”s unclear how long Punk will be out, but we hope that when he makes his return, he’s able to do so injury-free for quite some time.

Punk also sustained a hip injury and torn meniscus during his initial WWE run. It should be noted that this is just his AEW and WWE injury history. The Pro Wrestling Injury Bug came for Punk a lot on the independent scene. In 2002, he actually fractured his skull!


Ken Anderson
  • Worst Injuries: Dislocated Shoulder, Concussion

Best known as Mr. Kennedy during his run in WWE, Ken Anderson also had his battles with the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug, and it probably stalled his momentum as much as anything.

From his first run on the main roster of WWE, it was plagued with issues. In December of 2005, he tore his latissimus dorsi, and it sidelined him for six months. He came back, but even that run was short-lived. In July of 2006, he was busted open on steel steps requiring 20 stitches. This didn’t keep him sidelined for long, but it was a small setback.

In 2007, after Kennedy had won the Money In The Bank briefcase, doctors thought he had torn his tricep. That forced WWE to run an angle where Kennedy lost the briefcase to Edge. It worked out great for Edge but it turns out that doctors misdiagnosed Kennedy. He only ended up missing 5-7 weeks. That’s three years and three injuries that forced him to miss time.

In 2008, Anderson dislocated his shoulder and had to be kept off television for three months. He would return in late November, and then about 18 months later, he would be gone from WWE.

Even upon his arrival in TNA, he would end up suffering a concussion that would sideline him for weeks. To be fair, this was not so much a problem on Ken”s side but actually due to the recklessness of Jeff Hardy.

Anderson stayed pretty healthy after that point in TNA. Yet he had many stops and starts in his career. With momentum mattering so much to the success of a wrestler, who knows what his career would look like today if he did not get hurt so often?


Triple H - Interview
  • Worst Injuries: Quad Tears, Neck Injuries

While Triple H had one of the best careers of any professional wrestler, it didn’t come without missing significant time. Of course, when you last as long as he did, it might not feel like it, but let’s go ahead and count this up.

In 1998, our guy won the Intercontinental Title off The Rock and then had to give it up a few days later due to a legit knee injury that would sideline him for months. Not off to a great start trying to carry the company.

He comes back and wrestles without issue for a couple of years. Then in 2001, he tore the quad right off the bone. Bonus points for Hunter for getting put in the Walls of Jericho with a full-blown torn quad. Not all heroes wear capes, people.

In 2002, he gets his throat jumped on by Rob Van Dam. Still finishes the match in the Elimination Chamber despite the swelling and the “having trouble breathing” thing.

Yes, he gets a groin injury in 2003 but manages to wrestle through it, and then in 2005, he gets another neck injury (can we all agree that we need to stop hurting people’s necks?)

In 2007, it was another quad injury.

Think we’re done yet? Nope! In 2010, Sheamus gives him a neck injury from the Celtic Cross. Not ideal but our guy powers through it. Then, in 2010, he tore his bicep, and he missed months.

We haven’t even discussed a face injury in 2011 and the torn pec from 2018. While not an injury, we should mention that in 2021, he had a massive heart attack and almost died. Apparently, for Trips, this was no big shake. This guy is an honest-to-goodness warrior.


Samoa Joe - AEW World Champion
  • Worst Injuries: Head, Knee

Samoa Joe was essentially healthy in the early part of his career. Wrestling since the late 1990s, he’s been around seemingly forever. Of course with that comes the risk of injury. His first injury came in 2006 while in TNA, where he tore his PCL but only missed a few weeks.

It was reported in 2008 that Joe suffered a back injury in a match against Sting at TNA Bound for Glory IV. The Wrestling Observer claimed Joe was “never the same” after that bump, yet he still managed to work for years before the injuries would accumulate.

It seems like Joe saw the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug a lot during his WWE tenure.

In August of 2016, Joe suffered a dislocated jaw in a match against Shinsuke Nakamura. In late 2017, at a house show, Joe ended up with a knee injury that would sideline him and kill his momentum.

Then in January 2018, Joe tore his plantar fascia, which would sideline him again for a few months.

He”d stay healthy for about a year and then in September of 2019, he broke his thumb. During a commercial shoot in 2020, Joe ended up hurting his head and would be off for more than a year.

He would get cut by WWE and then brought back to NXT, where he became NXT Champion again. Then, he had to give the title up after testing positive for COVID-19. After that, he was released from WWE again.

This is how the story for Joe went in WWE. Every time he”d get started, he had to stop due to injury. He never got the momentum he needed to show the WWE audience why he”s considered so great. Thankfully, he”s stayed healthy in AEW.


Mick Foley - Winning WWE Championship
  • Worst Injuries: Concussions, Ear Ripped Off,  Torn ACL, & Second-Degree Burns

When you talk about wrestlers who were injured a lot, one cannot forget Mick Foley. These are the injuries Foley was confirmed to have dealt with:

Eight concussions, Two-thirds of his Ear Ripped Off, Two Nose Breaks, Broken Cheekbone, Four Teeth Knocked Out, Broken Jaw, Dislocated & Broken Shoulder, Separated Shoulder, Second-Degree Burns on Arm & Shoulder, Broken Right Wrist, Broken Left Thumb, 54 Stitches on Left Arm, Bone Chips in The Elbow, Bruised Kidney, Two Herniated Discs, Torn Abdominal Muscle, Five Broken Ribs, Torn ACL, & a Broken Toe

Two words to describe that: Good God!

The man spent his life just being beaten up by professional wrestling. What might shock you is that he did not miss nearly as much time with these injuries as you”d think.

After the second-degree burns from C-4 Explosions in his match with Terry Funk in Tokyo, he did not miss any time. Imagine the pain of wrestling with these burns still fresh!

We cannot forget the infamous 1998 Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker. The planned throw off the top of the cell onto the table did damage, but not very much. The fall through the cell to the ring below was unplanned and he landed hard with a chair colliding with him, knocking Foley out. This did the worst.

This took place in June 1998 and he was competing soon after.

During the “I Quit” match with The Rock at the 1999 Royal Rumble, Rock hit Foley repeatedly in the head with a steel chair. It was amongst the nastiest sights people have ever seen in a live WWE event. Foley suffered a concussion and needed stitches but did not miss any time.


Bryan Danielson
  • Worst Injuries: Concussions, Neck Injury

We’re going to call him by his WWE name, but the Daniel Bryan injury history is evident and unfortunate because it didn’t just keep him out of action for some time. It nearly ended his career forever.

In 2013, Bryan had a legit nerve injury in a match against Randy Orton, so much so that the referee had to stop the match. Technically, this was just a stinger but it made WWE freak out.

In 2014, after the incredible “Yes!” Movement, Bryan had to take time off due to a neck injury that had caused him to lose all strength in his right arm.

He would return to the ring in January of 2015. There, he would go on to win the WWE Intercontinental Title and then stay injury-free for about a year. He was pulled in April of 2016 for “a precautionary measure” and then an MRI would reveal that he had another concussion. WWE wouldn’t clear him and he was forced to retire.

He wouldn’t stay retired forever,  as he was finally cleared to wrestle in 2018 after getting several doctors to prove he was fit to return to the ring. Yet this was a big 2 years to lose in the prime of his career, especially with as hot as he was in the industry at this point.

This makes the Daniel Bryan situation one of the biggest “what could have been” stories. Who knows where he would have been if he was never bitten by the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug?


Bret Hart
  • Worst Injury: Concussion

Bret Hart was long known as one of the safest workers on the planet. Unfortunately for Bret, Bill Goldberg had not earned the same reputation. Don”t believe us? Just listen to any of the 500,000 interviews Bret Hart has given about just how unsafe Goldberg was.

Let’s go back to his run in WCW. Hart was the hot new free agent who came into the company with an injury. He had a broken hand after punching out Vince McMahon as a result of the Montreal ScrewJob.

He started his feud with Goldberg in February of 1999 and then had to take time to repair a groin injury. Then he took additional time off to mourn the loss of his brother, Owen Hart. Hart returned to wrestling eight months later, in September 1999. He competed against Goldberg in some early contests without issue until the 1999 edition of WCW Starrcade (WCW”s WrestleMania).

According to Hart, he was concussed three times in that match and ended up never really recovering. Is Bret bitter about it? Oh, we don’t know. Hard to say. You’d have to check out the interviews he has done where he runs Goldberg”s name right into the ground. Otherwise, there is no sign whatsoever of animosity between Hart and Goldberg. To be fair, Hart believes these concussion issues are what led to his initial stroke a few years later.

While this was one major encounter with the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug, you could argue that it left a lasting impact.


Saraya - AEW Women
  • Worst Injuries: Neck/Spinal Stenosis

Similar to Bryan, we’re glad to see someone as talented as Paige (or Saraya now) is back in a wrestling ring. However, it was a long road to get there again. Saraya had started wrestling at 13 for her parent”s promotion in the United Kingdom.

Those bumps take a toll on anybody, especially one still developing. She ascended to the top of the WWE Women’s Division and captured the fan”s attention, but even her runs would be short-lived thanks to injuries. In 2016, she had surgery on her neck and didn’t return to the ring for almost a year.

When she finally got back in the ring, her return was short-lived. At a house show, Paige was kicked in the back by Sasha Banks. The spot with Banks was fairly routine as well, and would not have injured anyone normally. The problem was that Paige missed so much time that she ended up losing a lot of weight. That included muscle too, where she otherwise never would have struggled with such a spot.

Banks merely caused what is known as a “stinger.” Yet it freaked WWE out enough to pull her from in-ring competition. It did not help that she could not regain proper feeling in her arms for a while afterward.

This forced WWE to cut her career short, and she officially retired from in-ring action in December of 2017.

She was eventually cleared to return in 2022, but it took nearly five years of her career. Her health is the most important part of the story, but it would have been nice to see what WWE looked like with an injury-free Paige. Today, you can see Saraya competing in AEW.


"Stone Cold" Steve Austin
  • Worst Injuries: Neck, Knees

More neck talk, you say? No problem. “The Rattlesnake” is up next. WWE Legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was one of the hottest tickets in WWE when he had his WWE SummerSlam match against Owen Hart in 1997. Hart, one of the better technical performers in the business then, made a near-fatal error when he executed a piledriver to Austin without protecting his head.

The piledriver dropped “Stone Cold” directly on his head, and it is still one of the gnarliest injuries we’ve ever seen. Austin lay there motionless, then determined to finish the match, executed one of the worst rollups of all time (we’re not blaming Austin here, but even he claimed it was terrible).

The initial fear was that Austin would have suffered some paralysis. Luckily, at the time, it only kept him out of action for weeks, and not permanently.

WWE was smart and used it as part of a larger storyline between Austin and McMahon. Nonetheless, Austin could only delay the surgery, not avoid it altogether. He would eventually have to go in and get it taken care of, which would force him off TV for over a year.

Again, this injury could have been far worse but it still helped to ultimately cut short one of the most remarkable careers in wrestling history. On top of this, Austin had numerous knee issues pre-dating his WWE career and even during it. This is why he wore those braces on his knees during matches. Ultimately, his knees were also a big reason he ended his career. Austin did return to work a “sort of” match against Kevin Owens a few years ago, and he has not ruled out working others.


Christian Cage - TNT Champion
  • Worst Injuries: Concussions, Ankle

Just like his real-life best friend Adam Copeland, Christian Cage had to go into early retirement. He could hang on a few years longer than Copeland did then, but it wasn’t without its own set of issues.

Not long after winning his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship twice, Christian was gone for some time with an ankle injury. He returned in early 2012. From there, he would only wrestle for a few months, then leave for another ten months.

Christian comes back but for only a few months and then very unceremoniously retires. It’s not that he ever announced it to the world. He just stopped. Because we guess that’s what you do when you have legit head injuries. You’re just gone. It should be noted that this took place during WWE”s big issue with a Concussion Lawsuit, meaning another wrestler retiring due to concussions wouldn”t look good.

If nothing else we’re glad Christian is back in the wrestling world because that would have been a terrible way to go out. A performer as decorated as Christian would have deserved the same fanfare as any legend.

Christian returned to the ring for WWE in 2020, just months after his friend Copeland came back. Yet the match was not much of a match. It was during the 2020 period where WWE could work almost action-scene matches. It was not until 2021 when Christian worked the Royal Rumble that we saw him actually work a true match, but WWE did not want to re-sign him to a wrestling contract. Allowing Cage to end up in AEW, where he”s arguably on one of the best runs he”s ever had.


Corey Graves
  • Worst Injury: Concussions

One of the better “what ifs” in WWE history is “What if Corey Graves never got injured?” Graves has long been a supremely talented talker. He has been an incredible color commentator for every WWE brand, yet he”s now the play-by-play man for the Smackdown brand. Before this all started, he was part of WWE developmental (NXT & FCW).

In September of 2013, Graves suffered his first concussion in developmental during a feud with Neville. He’d be sidelined for a few months and return in early 2014. He would only wrestle for a few more months until he suffered a second concussion in a 6-man tag team match.

That would be the last time anyone would see Graves wrestle. He retired and then accepted his commentary deal with NXT. The move turned out to be great for Graves. We don’t know how far he would have gone in WWE as a performer, but as a commentator, he’s become one of the best in wrestling today.

Graves confirmed recently that doctors had cleared him to get in the ring again. Graves said he”d consider a one-off return. Here’s his quote from a podcast appearance on Steelers Takeaways:

“I have a clean bill of health now, thanks, I got medically cleared a couple of years ago to perform in the ring again. I flirted with the idea and await a potential opportunity if it presents itself. More of a one-time thing like [Pat] McAfee has done – not as a full-time in-ring performer.”

It’s unclear if this is a burning desire for Graves or more about him getting peace of mind about the future of his career. The option to get back in the ring must make him quite happy.


  • Worst Injury: Neck/Spine

It’s impossible to have an article about injuries that hampered the careers of WWE superstars and not talk about Droz. The injury didn’t just hamper his career; it changed the entire trajectory of his life.

Darren Drozdov only wrestled professionally for a little over a year. Debuting for the WWE in 1998, he would wrestle as the third member of Legion of Doom. After that, he would venture out on his own as a singles wrestler, and he was beginning to pick up steam. Unfortunately, that was all cut short.

On October 5, 1999, at a WWE Smackdown taping, Droz was injured in a match against D’Lo Brown. A powerbomb gone wrong resulted in Droz landing on his head and fracturing two vertebrae in his neck. Despite every effort to help him, he could only regain movement in his upper body and arms. This injury effectively ended his professional wrestling career. It also resulted in severe paralysis, making Droz a quadriplegic for the remainder of his life.

Droz tragically passed away in 2023 at the age of 54. His family said after his passing that Darren:

“maintained a championship mindset and lived every day to the fullest, even though he was unable to move from the neck down for the past 24 years.”


Kurt Angle - Winning WWE Championship
  • Worst Injury: Neck

Not sure if anyone knows this, but Kurt Angle won a gold medal with a broken freaking neck? It’s true, it’s damn true.

Kurt is one of the most decorated professional wrestlers of all time….and sadly one of the most injured. His neck issues at the 1996 Olympics never really went away, and instead, he would suffer several more injuries. Angle admits a lot of his issues came down to returning far too early.

In 2003, in a match against Brock Lesnar, Angle broke his neck again. Unbelievably, he was only sidelined for a few months before returning to the ring by June 2003. The surgery was unique and didn’t require the typical long layoff.

In 2004, Angle suffered yet another neck injury. Despite working the main event against Eddie Guerrero, he would have to take time off from in-ring action.

In 2008, if you guessed yet another neck injury, you’d be correct. How long did he miss, you ask? Don’t worry because this guy doesn’t care how hurt his neck is. He’s going to keep wrestling.

What happened in 2014, you ask? It”s not a neck injury. Could this be cause for celebration, as Angle only injured his knee? This one kept him out for eight weeks. One could argue that this was too short and left him vulnerable to a recurrence. Like clockwork, two months after his return, he injured it again forcing him to miss 7 months of in-ring action.

In 2015, Angle had to get a tumor removed from his neck. Then, another surgery shortly after to remove spinal fluid buildup.

You”d be hard-pressed to find many wrestlers with as storied a career as Angle while having to endure such incredible injuries.


Shawn Michaels
  • Worst Injury: Back (Herniated Discs)

“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels lost nearly four years of his prime thanks to a nasty back injury. Despite a torn ACL in the early 1990s, Michaels was a relatively healthy performer. He avoided major injuries for the bulk of his career. Then 1997 rolled around.

This ended up being a knee injury that meant more to the storyline than it did for the future of his wrestling career. It forced Michaels to vacate the WWE Championship after he admitted to “losing his smile,” but then he was back just a few months later in time for the Montreal Screwjob.

In 1998, The Undertaker threw Michaels onto a wooden casket, where he herniated three discs. This left him essentially unable to perform for months. He would muster up the ability to face “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at WrestleMania 14, but even watching the match now, it was clear that this was not the same HBK.

Michaels would exit stage right and wouldn’t return for nearly four years. One of the great in-ring performers of any generation was out of action in the prime of his career. Luckily for Michaels and the rest of the wrestling world, he was able to return to WWE in 2002. From there, we saw some of the best work of his career, including matches against Kurt Angle, John Cena, Ric Flair, and two of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all time against The Undertaker.

Thankfully, the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug did not keep us from seeing the Michaels Renaissance.


Randy Orton
  • Worst Injuries: Shoulders, Back, Broken Collarbone

Randy Orton has a checkered past with injuries. After his debut in 2002, Randy Orton was sidelined for months following a shoulder injury. He would return, team with Evolution, and become the youngest WWE Heavyweight Champion in history.

In 2008, Orton suffered a broken collarbone that sidelined him for nearly five months. To make matters worse, during the time he was out rehabbing his collarbone, he ended up getting into a motorcycle accident and re-fractured the collarbone.

“The Viper” would wrestle fairly injury-free for three years until December of 2011 when he hurt his back. There, he ended up with a mere four-week recovery. Not so bad, but back injuries would accumulate throughout his career, and he’d pay the price later on.

In 2015, Orton was feuding with the Wyatt Family when he suffered a shoulder injury that took him out of action for about eight months.

We aren’t even talking about the numerous concussions that took him out of action for weeks at a time. The worst of those happened thanks to Brock Lesnar.

Then in May of 2022, he would finally need to take extended time off for almost 18 months due to now needing a spinal fusion. Orton returned at the 2023 WWE Survivor Series PLE, marking the longest absence of his career.

As a 13-time world champion, it hasn’t hindered his ability to be a top star for the company. However, it’s likely to take years off the end of his run. Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of the injuries to the Apex Predator. Let”s keep that Pro Wrestling Injury Bug far away!


Tegan Nox
  • Worst Injuries: Torn ACL, Torn MCL, Patellar Dislocation

Tegan Nox moved around the indie circuit early in her career and became a notable performer. In 2017, she was signed to WWE’s NXT brand and was scheduled to perform in the Mae Young Classic. WWE had big plans for her in the event but unfortunately for Nox, she would have to miss the event due to a torn ACL. This would keep her out for an entire year.

When she returned at the Mae Young Classic the following year, WWE felt Nox was ready to go and had planned to have her go pretty deep in the tournament. However, she made it to the second round before she hurt her knee in the quarter-final match against Rhea Ripley. What many fans hoped would be a slight setback proved to be a big one. In the match, Nox claimed to have torn her ACL, MCL, and Meniscus. She also had a patellar dislocation. Other than that, she was doing great.

Then, just as Nox was gaining momentum and had a good run of injury-free wrestling, she announced in September 2020 that she would have to miss time with another torn ACL. She would return in July of 2021, but her run wouldn’t last long as she was released in November of 2021.

While WWE eventually brought her back, and she has since been performing on the main roster, Nox has failed to gain any real momentum. It’s hard to know what she would have been before the knee injuries. If Nox can stay healthy, the girl with the shiniest wizard could become a top talent in WWE. We say we should shoot the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug on sight if it gets near Nox again!!


Tyson Kidd & Natalya
  • Worst Injuries: Knee, Spinal Cord

Tyson Kidd was a talented wrestler and a rising talent in WWE when he suffered his first major injury in 2012. He tore his meniscus and was required to sit out for six months. He would return to WrestleMania 30 and compete in the Andre The Giant Memories Battle Royal.

Kidd would head back to NXT, where he had been before his knee injury. He would eventually come up to the main roster and work with Cesaro. While he experienced some success, it was ultimately short-lived. On June 1, 2015, in a dark match with Samoa Joe, Tyson Kidd suffered a spinal cord injury. According to all information, it’s the kind of injury that renders a person paralyzed, usually from the neck down.

The fact that Kidd is not only active as a person but seems to be thriving outside the ring is about as good news as you can hope for. Kidd has been an incredible asset as a producer and agent for WWE since he effectively retired from the ring. He and his wife, WWE Superstar Natalya, have been featured on the WWE reality series, Total Divas, as well. You can arguably thank Kidd for a lot of great matches you”ve seen involving women in WWE. At one point, that was mostly what he was working on.

Today, his fingerprints are all over WWE throughout all three brands. Most recently, he was one of the producers for the notable women”s Rumble match.


Jason Jordan
  • Worst Injury: Neck 

Jason Jordan signed with WWE in 2011. He ended up performing in NXT as early as 2012. Jordan was most famous for being one-half of the American Alpha tag team with Chad Gable. They were NXT Tag Team Champions and later won the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.

Jordan and Gable eventually went their separate ways after only a short time together on the Smackdown brand. Jordan was then featured as Kurt Angles”s “son” in a storyline and began getting more on-screen time as a solo performer.

Then in 2018, Jordan was written off television abruptly as he needed to have surgery for a severe neck injury. How he hurt his neck is still unclear, but according to Kurt Angle, it still gives Jordan problems. Angle said on his Podcast:

“You know what’s crazy? He has problems to this day. His motor skills and his hands are on and off all the time. He just can never get right. I’m not sure why that’s occurring with him because with me at least I got relief at times. With him, he’s never gotten relief. He has been really struggling with it for years.”

Angle claimed that your vertebrae have discs in-between, so when you injure your neck, discs will slide. It”ll slide to the side, effectively sticking out of the vertebrae. Nerves are blocked by the disc, causing a loss of feeling in your arm and terrible motor skills in one arm or sometimes both. It is usually just one way though. That is Jordan”s issue, his disc slid and blocked the nerves going to his arm.

Jordan’s wrestling days are over now. However, he’s a producer for WWE and has been since his injury in 2018. Let’s hope he can eventually live pain-free.


Kevin Nash
  • Worst Injuries: Knees & Neck 

A tall guy with a knee issue? No way. It turns out that’s just what has hampered Kevin Nash’s career. Despite being a pivotal part of one of the wrestling industry”s most prosperous times, Nash hasn’t always been able to enjoy it injury-free.

For most of Nash’s important run from the mid-90s NWO run to the early 2000s when he returned to WWE, he stayed off the sideline. However, the age and abuse on his body would catch up with him. That made him an easy victim for the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug to target. Just like a mosquito in the southern United States during the Summer, Nash was perfect for the injury bug.

By 2002, he suffered a bicep injury. In 2002, after returning from the bicep, he tore his quad in a match on WWE RAW. That would take him out of action for months.

In 2003, he had a neck injury that, coupled with an expired contract, effectively ended his run in WWE.

What else? I”m glad you asked. He had staph infections in 2005 and 2008. He then had more neck injuries in 2003 and 2006. For most of this time, he had been working with TNA Wrestling. Often still working through the injuries in segments, rarely wrestling. Nash, who says he’s always had bad knees, has been hit with many additional issues. He’s effectively retired from in-ring competition and now hosts a successful podcast.


The Undertaker - WrestleMania Entrance
  • Worst Injuries: Fractured Orbital Bone, Hips, Knees, Burns, Torn Pecs/Biceps/Triceps

Good Lord, where do we start with The Deadman? The Undertaker has been a staple in the lives of wrestling fans for 30 years so it might be surprising to realize that he’s had several injuries that have sidelined him during his illustrious career.

Let’s start with 1994. First, Taker has to take seven months off to heal from a back injury. Then, our guy gets his orbital bone injured by King Mabel. He only misses a couple of months. When he returned, he wore a really cool Phantom of the Opera-inspired mask.

Then, in 1998, at the infamous Hell in A Cell match against Mankind, Undertaker fractured his ankle.

In 1999, he tore his groin. While he was rehabbing his torn groin muscle, he tore his pectoral muscle, and that forced him out of action for eight more months.

He then worked for a while without major injuries that required time off, but time would catch up with The Phenom. He ended up with major hip and knee injuries in the late 2000s and through the 2010s. You could, unfortunately, tell in some of his later matches.

Most notably, his WrestleMania main event match with Roman Reigns. It was a tough watch. Many would describe the match as one they were happy to see end. Not exactly because of Taker’s poor performance, but because they were sad to see such an immense talent struggle so much.

We did not even discuss the severe burns he suffered at the 2010 Elimination Chamber PPV.

The Deadman has retired from his in-ring career. We’re just lucky that his countless injuries didn’t hinder what is one of the greatest wrestling careers and characters of all time.


  • Worst Injuries: Shoulder, Neck

Known to the world as Kenta Kobayashi, he’s a member of NJPW and member of The Bullet Club. He was once known to WWE fans briefly as Hideo Itami. Hardcore wrestling fans were excited to see KENTA join the WWE. Unfortunately, injuries made it a short and disappointing affair.

Only after a year on the NXT payroll, Itami suffered his first major injury. A legit shoulder injury would require Itami to miss six months. This took place in training, but WWE ran an angle to have someone do it to him off-screen in the parking lot. A setback to the same shoulder in recovery would force him to extend his absence another six months.

He would return on June 30, 2016, but that wouldn’t last long. A power slam gone wrong from Riddick Moss in October would result in a neck injury that would keep him out of action for another six months.

He would return, stay healthy, and eventually become part of WWE’s 205 Live roster. That run wouldn’t last and Itami would request and be granted his release. He is one of the more talented performers in wrestling. It would have been interesting to see where he would have gone with his WWE run had injuries not kept him on the sideline for so long.

KENTA would return to New Japan where he has essentially remained healthy. One would think with the rougher Japanese style that he”d run a higher risk of being hurt there than in WWE, but we guess not. Maybe the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug does not frequent Japan for fear it”ll be beaten up too much.


Rey Mysterio
  • Worst Injuries: Torn ACL, Torn Biceps, Torn Triceps, Shoulder

The greatest luchador of all time, Rey Mysterio, has suffered a variety of injuries. His first knee injury goes back to 1997. The injury was significant enough for him to vacate his WCW Cruiserweight Title and take time off.

He saw the knee injury issues flair up again in 2006. This time, it would sideline him with a surgery that would keep him on the shelves for nine months.

Rey wouldn’t come back for long. In 2008, it was a bicep injury that would result in three surgeries to repair the damage to his arm.

In 2013, he had yet another knee injury, which would be his last with the WWE for quite some time. On top of that, he’d have a wrist injury, another bicep injury, and a shoulder injury before 2019.

In 2020, it was a torn triceps, and another leg injury in 2022. It seems like Rey has endured a ton of small setbacks in his career. We’re lucky that the times he’s been in the ring, he’s been one of the most exciting ever to lace up a pair of boots.

Rey has had many battles with the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug. This is why it is also crazy to see that he still moves so well at over 40 years old, with so many knee injuries he has dealt with. The man is nothing but incredible.


Magnum T.A.
  • Worst Injuries: Shoulder, Neck

We’re going in the way back machine here. Magnum T.A. started his professional wrestling career in the early 1980s for National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). He would go on to win championships in places like CWF and Mid-South. At the time, he was a rising star and considered the next big thing in the industry.

Magnum returned to NWA in 1984 and wrestled for a couple of years before a car crash in 1986 changed his life forever. He hit a telephone pole driving just a couple of miles from home. The crash exploded his C-4 and C-5 vertebrae.

The results were devastating. Despite surviving the crash, he was unable to walk for months.

Magnum is still alive but hasn’t been involved in wrestling for a couple of decades. The most important thing is that he has lived to tell the tale, but we’ll always wonder what could have been. This was not a case of some sort of Pro Wrestling Injury Bug entirely, as much as a horrific incident. We”re just happy he”s still alive after the accident.

What is so wild is that the potential Magun had was immense. This is perhaps the greatest “what if” story in pro wrestling history.


  • Worst Injuries: Torn Triceps, Torn Biceps

A huge talent from the moment he debuted in Ohio Valley Wrestling, Batista seemed destined to be a main-event performer. However, his injury history threatened to halt his momentum several times.

In 2003, he joined the heel stable Evolution. However, not long after he joined, he tore his tricep and was sidelined for almost all of 2003. He would have been back sooner, but he re-tore his triceps training for his comeback.

Then, he becomes the World Heavyweight Champion, but not long after, he has to vacate the belt due to a tear in a back muscle. He would regain the title but must vacate it after tearing his right triceps in a house show match.

In 2009, he tore his bicep, which forced him to take more time off. Batista would then wrestle injury-free for the remainder of his career, but those early stops and starts could have halted what has turned out to be a Hall of Fame career. It helped that Batista”s time after this was limited, so he would not be overworked too much. He then took several years off where he gave Hollywood a try, landing some big roles in major movies out of Marvel Studios and even a 007 appearance.

We think the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug must love his movie work. Considering Batista has yet to suffer any real injury even after he returned to the ring a few times since his jump to Hollywood.


  • Worst Injuries: Subdural Hematoma, Concussion

Katsuyori Shibata is a decorated wrestler, to be sure. He has been the NEVER Openweight Champion on three separate occasions. He also won the New Japan Cup and became the ROH Pure Champion. Shibata has done so much, but an injury nearly threatened to derail his career and his life.

In April of 2017, right after his match with Kazuchika Okada, he collapsed backstage and was rushed to the hospital. The reported cause of the injury was his use of the headbutt. While Shibata was known for his headbutts, both he and Okada exchanged several headbutts to the point that it was hard to watch. It was not shocking Shibata would suffer a concussion but that was not even the worst of it.

He was actually diagnosed with a subdural hematoma, essentially this is when blood leaks into the brain. If not treated quickly, it is life-threatening. After the issue, Shibata dealt with partial paralysis. Most thought his in-ring career was over after this.

He wouldn’t step inside the ring for physical competition for over two years. He has since wrestled relatively injury-free, but we’re all reminded that it could have been much worse. While he has gotten back in the ring, he does not wrestle as often. This is due to now operating as the Head Coach for the NJPW Dojo in Los Angeles, California. Thus far, the Pro Wrestling Injury Bug has stayed far away from Shibata…as it should!

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