How many times have you watched a professional wrestling match and thought, "that CANNOT be safe"? Well, most of the time those moves really are safe, believe it or not. After years of training, the performers in the ring know exactly how to execute each move to only look devastating, while making sure that both the inflictor and receiver walk away with all their bones and limbs intact. However, in the long history of pro-wrestling and, more specifically, the WWE itself, there are a few moves that have popped up that really aren’t safe at all. These moves can have a high-risk of real injury due to the precise timing needed to pull the maneuver off correctly. One forgotten tuck, one split second early or late, one missed cue can have real consequences in these dangerous moves. In this infographic, we show you nine of these banned moves that WWE has forbidden to be performed – tricks that have either been modified to be more safe or are completely banned from the ring itself. From kicks straight to the head to drops right on the head to chairs hit directly to the head, we urge you, don’t try this at home.
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Off the Mat: 9 Banned WWE Moves Transcript
Most WWE moves are created in a way to look as devastating as possible while actually being safe and (relatively) painless, as long as they're performed by trained professional wrestlers, a.k.a. not you and your little siblings in your backyard. However, over the years, there have been a number of these moves that were considered just too dangerous to be done in the ring, regardless of how much training and experience the performers have. Whether the moves have already caused serious injury (ask Mick Foley how his head felt after 1999's Royal Rumble) or they were too easy to botch that the liability was too high (see Triple H's original Pedigree), the WWE didn't want to risk anymore harm to their athletes. Here is our list of some of the most brutal and dangerous banned moves throughout the years.
- Banned In: 2015
- Performer: Seth Rollins
- Liability: The move was seen as too high a risk for head injury and concussion.
- Banned In: 2000
- Performer: Owen Hart, Bret Hart, Jerry "The King" Lawler
- Allowed to Perform: The Undertaker, Kane
- Receiver: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
- Liability: Owen Hart broke "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's neck during a botched performance of the move, eventually causing Austin to retire early.
- Banned In: 2012
- Performer: Randy Orton
- Liability: This move had a high risk of concussion-related injury.
Shooting Star Press!
- Banned In: 2005
- Performer: Brock Lesnar, Billy Kidman
- Receiver: Chavo Guerrero
- Liability: An easily botched move, Lesnar performed and injured himself at 2003's Wrestlemania XIX. Billy Kidman had also injured Chavo Guerrero while doing the move in 2004.
(The Original) Pedigree!
- Banned In: Undetermined Banning Date
- Performer: Triple H
- Allowed to Perform (Modified Version): Seth Rollins
- Liability: The original move was performed with the receiver's arms locked while their head was spiked into the mat, which was high risk for major neck and head injury.
Wings of Love!
- Banned In: 2008
- Performer: Michelle McCool
- Controversy: Deemed "too devastating for the WWE girls" by the WWE.
Chair! (Shots to the Head)
- Banned In: 2010
- Notable Receiver: Mick Foley (Received 11 Chair Shots to the Head From The Rock)
- Liability/Injury: Between the toning down of WWE's image and multiple wrestlers suffering from brain damage, safety concerns led this move to be banned.
- Banned In: 2003
- Performer: Shane "Hurricane" Helms
- Liability: If botched, Helms' move had a high risk of neck injury.
- Banned In: 2010
- Performer: Justin Gabriel
- Receiver: Randy Orton
- Injury: While there's controversy on who was to blame for the botched move, Justin Gabriel landed on and injured Randy Orton while executing the 450 Splash during Monday Night Raw.
Sources: Wikipedia, The Sportster.com, WrestleZone.com, PWTorch.com, WrestlingInc.com, Bleacher Report
There are many, many more moves out there in the world that, while specifically haven't been nixed by the WWE, are probably not too welcome in a professional ring for an event that plays on network TV for family viewing. A quick trip down the rabbit hole on Google and YouTube will take you where you wanna go if you're into that sort of thing! The Royal Rumble is coming up on Sunday, January 29th, this year, so you'll want to be prepared. Check out our infographic on Royal Rumble stats to study up. If you want to want to watch the event looking like a pro-wrestler, we have the WWE costumes for you. But, again, please promise not to try Wings of Love on your baby brother. Please.
Design Credit: Jacob Kuddes