During Dean Ambrose’s long convalescence from a torn triceps, he apparently had himself a serious brush with death. According to The Lunatic Fringe, in the midst of having two separate surgeries to fix his injury, he contracted MRSA, a life-threatening staph infection that required months worth of antibiotics to run out of his system. In Ambrose’s words: “I nearly died.” What looked to be the repair of a routine injury was complicated by potentially-grave circumstances.
Professional wrestling is, at the very least, a gruelling vocation, and injuries are a certainty. Bumps, bruises, cuts, muscle tears, and broken bones, to varying degrees, are part of the norm. But sometimes, the injuries are much more serious, and the afflicted wrestlers find themselves in unenviable spots. It can be a risky bump that imperils the wrestler, or even the most routine of textbook moves. And it’s not just less-experienced wrestlers that are susceptible – experienced veterans (like Ambrose) can find themselves in a bad position in the blink of an eye.
This list will look at 10 notable wrestlers whose lives were almost compromised as a result of bad luck, a risk gone bad, or otherwise. Let it serve as a reminder that the men and women on your TV screens that entertain you every week are taking unimaginable risks for your entertainment.
10. Sean Waltman (1992)
Through his decades in the business, Waltman’s sustained his share of notable injuries, from the neck issues that plagued him in the mid-nineties, to the torn anus sustained at Jerry Lynn’s retirement show, from a Bronco Buster gone bad. When Waltman was a fresh-faced 20-year-old working the indies in the early-nineties, he suffered an injury that would sideline him for more than three months, and had potential to do worse.
While working an indy show in New Jersey in November 1992, Waltman was outside the ring when he caught a diving opponent (that had overshot him), and the collision caused Waltman’s head to be sandwiched into the concrete floor. Waltman was rendered unconscious, though the opponent managed to pull him into a finishing sequence. Waltman suffered a blood clot near his brain as a result of the move, would be hospitalized for several days, and was actually advised to retire.