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.
Fred “The Shockmaster” Ottman vs. The Wall
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.
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!
Jericho vs. The Man That Gravity Forgot
The injury in this match went to Adrian “The Man That Gravity Forgot” Neville when he fought Jericho at a 2016 taping of a RAW match. Jericho however seemed to take on someone else... the referee. Jericho accidentally broke his ankle. The ref really took it like a champ and allowed the match without complaint. Until Jericho realized he was hurt.
Robinson screamed. He was so angry about the confrontation that he let the F-word drop on a live broadcast as he furiously shot back at Jericho. At the end of the day, Jericho was disqualified, and the win went to Neville. The entire match went off-script in the process. Jericho was supposed to be the champ in this one. It just proves to show, that no matter how much animosity fighters show between each other, they will always back up a colleague whether it’s in defense of a fan or a ref.
Shane McMahon vs. Kurt Angle
Shane McMahon (yes, he’s related) nearly broke his neck in a 2001 bout with Kurt Angle in King of the Ring. Dad and WWE owner, Vince McMahon, became infuriated when he found out about the exploit. The match, characterized as a street fight, played on WWE, naturally. But too many risks in the script led to serious injuries. Both men were injured; Angle with a battered tailbone, and McMahon with a concussion. The fight was scheduled to conclude with McMahon getting thrown through a plate glass window.
The problem? When Angle threw McMahon against the wall of glass, it didn’t shatter. Instead, slid down on his head and landed neck-first on the concrete floor. Part of the problem was that Angle’s sore tailbone robbed him of the strength to finish the move. So, once McMahon shook the stars out of his head, they did the stunt again. This time he went careening through the glass, as planned and landed among the shattered mess. On top of the concussion, he required many stitches that left scars.