10 Wrestling Matches That Turned Into Real Shoots

Sometimes the fists start flying for real...

In a business where trust is paramount and performers must help each other and cooperate in order to create the illusion of actual competition, it is very rare for one person to shoot on another and turn the choreographed combat into something far scrappier. 

But it does happen from time to time, often when ego and backstage politics are involved. 

It can last the entire duration of a bout or be a split-second thing, but whenever fantasy and reality mix in the squared circle it makes for gripping (if not sometimes uneasy) viewing. 

Here are ten of the best examples of when wrestling matches turned into shoots. 

10. Rick Steiner & Erick Stevens Vs. Vordell Walker & Dustin Rhodes

Rick steiner wcw

Rick and Scott Steiner had reputations for being a handful in the ring, both when tagging together and working as singles. With their amateur experience and hardman auras, there were few who were willing to fight them back when things got rough in the ring. 

Rick actually went on something a mini shooting spree (pardon the expression) in the dying days of WCW, testing Kwee Wee, Konnan, Hugh Morrus and Lash LaRoux on separate occasions (without reprisal). 

In 2005, the Dog-Faced Gremlin was at it again, this time at a Southeast Championship Wrestling 'Day of the Legends' show, an event which drew around 2,000 people and was headlined by Dusty Rhodes versus Jerry Lawler. 

The match most people were talking about after the show, however, was Steiner's - for the wrong reasons. 

Rick teamed up with Erick Stevens to take on Dustin Rhodes and Vordell Walker and, during the bout, threw a couple of shoot kicks at the relatively inexperienced Walker, before trying to wrestle him to the ground. 

This was a mistake, as Vordell was trained in martial arts, judo and submission wrestling and easily handled the situation, throwing a couple of kicks of his own, before wrestling Steiner down to the ground and neutralising him with a choke. 

The match continued to fly off the rails, with Walker refusing to go up for a powerbomb off the apron through a table, before Steiner and Rhodes brawled to the concession area and left Walker and Stevens to salvage the match.

Eventually, Rick and Dustin returned and finished the bout while their partners wandered off backstage.  

According to an interview Vordell gave after the show, Steiner had refused to cooperate and plan anything with him before the match took place and was apparently nonchalant after the bout, too. 

Reports stated that the former WCW US Heavyweight Champion claimed he just wanted to 'rough the kid up' a little and didn't expect retaliation. 

Two years later the pair crossed paths once again at an independent show and got into another fight, which Walker also got the better of before police were called to the scene. 

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Lewis Howse

Written by Lewis Howse

Features journalist for and script writer for the Cultaholic YouTube Channel.