As Bob Ross once said; ” We don’t make mistakes; we just have happy accidents.”
No one likes an accident, right? Whether it be a car, a trouser related one of the one you’ve had at work, lately.
However, when the end result of those accidents is positive, you look back, laugh and wipe your brow that those things worked out. You’d hope that accidents in wrestling, in terms of in-ring, are far and few between but if they do, you’d hope that the aftermath is beneficial for either the company or for the performer.
1. Failed Spoilers
The date is January 4th 1999, the Monday Night Wars are in full effect. WWF pre-recorded a show the week prior, which involved Mankind winning his first World Championship, not on PPV which was unseen at that time. As the show was pre-recorded, and WCW Nitro was live, WCW decided to ruin the ending of the match by having commentator, Tony Schiavone, announce the result live on air. He even added the sarcastic remark “That’ll put a lot of butts in the seats”, and it did! WWF won the ratings war on that night, despite the fact WCW had Hogan vs Nash in the main event, which lead to the reformation of the NWO. This failed attempt by WCW seemed to have a domino effect, two years later losing the Monday Night Wars and being bought out by Vince McMahon. If WCW hadn’t accidentally reversed their lead in the ratings war with a stupid tactic, the Monday Night Wars could’ve ended very differently.
2. Swiss Lisp
Okay, so in-ring accidents are not good. But, if they are beneficial in any way for the performer, they can be classed as happy. Cesaro had an incident that he could consider ‘happy’. After being thrown into the corner by Dean Ambrose, he overshot the move and instead of hitting the padded corner (like routine) he hit the corner post, smashing his two front teeth on the post. The original images of the accident at No Mercy 2017 were quite graphic, but the images he took and posted on social media, alongside Sheamus, were quite amusing. He did have his teeth fixed, braces put in and now wears a mouthguard, but it’s that mouthguard that makes him look even more menacing than he ever did. Plus, WWE put out those awful t-shirts with his face on it and the words ‘THWITH THYBORG’ written on it, I’m not sure how well they sold but I don’t believe they would be the first shirt people would buy.
3. A Push from a Push
Royal Rumble 2014, we saw the return of ‘The Animal’ Batista, entering the namesake match at entrant number 28, winning the match after last eliminating Roman Reigns. It seemed like WWE were going to push Batista back to the top and crown him WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania XXX. There was a slight stumbling block for him between the Rumble and Mania, and the stumbling block was Daniel Bryan. With the WWE Universe backing Bryan to the hills, WWE was seemingly pushed into a corner with the only way of getting out being Bryan as the main event. Which happened, after ‘Occupy Raw’ and beating Triple H in the opening bout, Daniel Bryan was WWE World Heavyweight Champion by the close of Wrestlemania XXX. Batista was definitely the original winner, but due to the immense popularity of Daniel Bryan, he hijacked that push, took it for his own and lived his dream of winning the main event of a Wrestlemania.
A Big Oopsie
Chair shots are really out of wrestling, whether its the WWE or the indies. The link to concussions makes them not worth the hassle for the company. However, Shawn Spears sort of went against this at the recent AEW show, Fyter Fest. After Cody’s match with Darby Allin finished, Spears came out with a chair in hand and swung for Cody’s head. Cody seemed to turn his head to the side slightly, which caused the chair to catch the back of his head. Reportedly, the chair had been manipulated and cut at the top, which caused the laceration on Cody’s head. With Cody being blonde, we got a throwback to Ric Flair as his hair went from blonde to bright red. He required 12 stitches to close the wound but did look quite badass. The upside was Cody didn’t receive a concussion or any after effects, and it created a pretty awesome vision to make Shawn Spears the biggest heel in AEW.
5. A Shocking Debut
Possibly, the most famous one of the bunch involving a wall, some pyro and a glittery stormtrooper helmet. Yeah…that one. During a segment of ‘a Flair for the Gold’ in 1993, Sting and Davey Boy Smith were confronted by Sid Vicious and Harlem Heat to hype up the forthcoming War Games Match. Fred Ottman was behind the mask of the Shockmaster as he came crashing through the wall, not realising the piece of lumber on the floor causing him to trip and lose his helmet. You can hear various wrestlers on the set exclaim different comments, as Shockmaster gets to his feet and donning the helmet once again. WCW tried to salvage this problem by portraying the Shockmaster as a klutz, having the character without his mask even though the angle generating no reaction from the fans. The clip has lived in infamy for 26 years and will continue to be known to wrestling fans because it is just that funny. They tried to keep the story going beyond this, with Offman portraying the nephew of his own character, but again, it just fell on its face. He did return to WWE as Typhoon, extending that legacy, and putting the Shockmaster behind him.
Accidents happen, but if it’s like the above five, the aftermath is something to laugh at and look back on in a gleeful way. I’m sure the wrestlers involved in these entries, and the other ‘happy accidents’, are laughing as well.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @George_Geal_. Thanks for reading!