Bret "Hitman" Hart (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)
Injuries That Destroyed Wrestlers Careers
Shinjiro Otani
The first-ever WCW Cruiserweight Champion, Shinjiro Otani, took a German Suplex from Takashi Sugiura into the turnbuckle in April 2022. He couldn’t move and was diagnosed with a cervical spine injury, and although he has since begun rehab, his in-ring career is pretty much over.
Rick Rude
Rick Rude was a classic heel who had won the Intercontinental title from the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania V before his in-ring career ended at Wrestling Dontaku 1994 in Japan. Rude hit his back on a small stage that was elevating the ring when his opponent Sting hit him with a suicide dive, and this severe injury forced him to retire.
Richie Steamboat
As son of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Richie Steamboat was making good progress in NXT until everything ended abruptly. During an NXT match with Kassius Ohno in 2012, Steamboat landed wrong while performing a Moonsault — something he described as “losing all feeling” in his body — which ultimately ended his wrestling career.
Bret Hart
As one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Bret “The Hitman” Hart faced Goldberg in WCW Starrcade 1999. In a reasonably routine spot, Hart took a dangerous kick from Goldberg on the side of his head that promptly concussed him, and soon afterward, Hart started having headaches and was told by his doctor that his career was over.
Sid Vicious
Multi-time WWF and WCW Champion Sid Vicious was asked to perform a “Big Boot” off the second turnbuckle during his WCW Sin match in 2001. Vicious attempted the spot and immediately snapped his leg in half, breaking his tibia and fibula, and even though he returned to the ring sporadically years later, his career never recovered.