Here’s another time a pro wrestling event went so far off-script the careening disaster impaled the showman’s ego and bruised up his career. But it wasn’t on purpose. Fred Ottman, better known as Tugboat and Typhoon, two names he earned fighting for WWF from 1989 to 1993, was getting ready to premiere his new gig. He was to be “The Shockmaster.” As such, he joined the WCW to fight in a 4-man tag team.
To reveal his part in the tag-team, a major gimmick was planned. Ottman, dressed as The Shockmaster, was ready to reveal his identity. Dressed as The Shockmaster and disguised by a silver-painted stormtrooper helmet, he came barreling through the wall, right on cue. Except that he tripped and fell. The other wrestlers broke character and laughed. Long story short, not only Ottman was humiliated, so was the network. WCW cast him as a stumbling oaf until he was finally let go.
Triple H vs. Steve “Stone Cold” Austin
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Triple H met up in Germany for a WWE live event. Stone Cold won, as per the storyline. The end. Or not. That’s when a fan broke through the barricade and began throwing punches at the victor! The fan may have fared better jumping into a cage of lions. As soon as Triple H spotted the fan, he tore him off Stone Cold, threw him to the mat. After several rounds of punching, the ref jumped in too and started kicking the fan in the head area while Triple H took a break.
Once the ref had his shots, Triple H resumed his attack and continued hitting the downed fan until security came into the ring to drag him off. Apparently, the fan, who was from Germany, did not like the outcome of the fight. Both outcomes, one would imagine! The footage from the 1990s, complements of Complex, only recently surfaced. Enjoy.
Sting vs. Jeff Hardy
The matchup between WCW legend, Sting and Jeff Hardy for the TNA title was the main event at the 2011 TNA Victory Road PPV production. The audience, waiting in wild excitement for a fight that had been plugged and promoted for months, howled in protest after Sting ended it abruptly when Sting gave Hardy a crushing Scorpion Death Drop blow. Hardy just lay there. So, in less than a minute and a half, the event concluded.
The backstory: Jeff Hardy showed up intoxicated. He was stumbling and swaying and in no shape to be performing. As the match kicked off, Eric Bischoff told Sting, “Just squash him.” This would prevent any embarrassing footage of Sting’s drunken behavior televised worldwide. In retrospect, Hardy says it was an eye-opener that forced him to see his addiction issues had gotten the best of him. It made him change his ways. This, after two drug and alcohol-related arrests.
CM Punk vs. Fan
At this Monday Night RAW Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event, WWE champion CM Punk challenged Mickey Gall to an MMA battle. Losing to Gall, the defeated CM Punk got berated by Vince McMahon. He ran out into the fans to flee McMahon, but his bad guy act instigated the crowd. While he was among the swarm of fans, he ended up punching one in the head! Total chaos ensued. CM Punk said, following the fight, that it was a terrible and unfortunate situation. His statement included the following description and apology.
"I got hit in the ribs three times. I was getting shoved and I was getting punched. . . Then I started getting tagged in the back of the head. Unfortunately, I lashed out in the heat of the moment and I apologize. I’m really just glad nobody was hurt. For their part, the WWE’s response regretted that security measures failed. The fan who was hit did not press charges but filed a report and claimed his innocence. He reported that his sunglasses were broken in the altercation. All of this was definitely not part of the act!
Hulk Hogan vs. the Rock
No one got injured in this unscripted match, but the story-line got flipped on its back. The epic battle took place at WrestleMania X8 when the returning WWE great Hulk Hogan faced off against the young WWE champion The Rock. Billed as “Icon vs. Icon,” the highly anticipated clash aired on March 17, 2002, at the Toronto SkyDome. It was Hulk Hogan’s first return to the stage since 1993. And in Canada, he was a crowd favorite who they were ecstatic to welcome back.
The Rock, who was supposed to be the good guy, took the crowd’s cue and played the heel. Hogan gladly played along, flexing his guns to the thundering applause. Never in the history of WrestleMania had an audience impacted on a match that match.