Tuesday, April 23

Botches That Show How Wrestling Is Scripted

Highlights

  • The WCW Chamber of Horrors match was a farce due to an electric chair botch.
  • Sting and Kurt Angle had a botch at TNA’s Bound For Glory in 2007.
  • Randy Savage’s Rumble elimination mistake led to a rule change by WWE.



It’s a classic conundrum to try to classify wrestling. Is it a sport? Is it drama? Is it a farce? In the end, wrestling is a little of all of these things, and undeniably incorporates elements of being live performance art. As such, it’s only natural for mistakes to happen as even seasoned veterans are prone to making mistakes. With so much major wrestling being broadcast live these days, it’s to be expected that some of these flubs would go viral as fans dissect what happened.

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10 Wrestling Moments That Were Ruined By Botches

Botches in the ring are inevitable, but these ones ruined some pretty important wrestling moments over the years.

As much as errors are only human, there are some that stand out on account of their humorous implications or how obvious it is that something went wrong and the performers’ responses only made matters worse. These are the botches that take on lives of their own, highlighting the degree to which wrestling is a work.



10 The Electric Chair In WCW’s Chamber Of Horrors Only Works Sometimes

This Spectacle Of A Halloween Havoc Gimmick Match Clearly Wasn’t On The Up And Up

  • WCW featured the highly unusual Chamber of Horrors match at Halloween Havoc 1991.
  • The match featured a cast of stars.
  • The lever controlling the electric chair made this whole match look like a farce.

WCW Halloween Havoc featured an infamously bad Chamber of Horrors Match. This unconventional cage match saw Sting, El Gigante, and the Steiner Brothers square off with a heel squad featuring Big Van Vader, Abdullah the Butcher, Cactus Jack, and The Diamond Studd. Despite the depth of marquee talent and the impressive look of the structure they did battle in, the rules of the bout set it up for failure. After all, this match wasn’t about pins, submissions, or escaping the cage but rather electrocuting a member of the opposite team to secure victory.


Indeed, the electric chair the match centered on was pretty hokey. A classic botch made the whole scene iconic, though, when the lever to trigger the chair accidentally fell down mid-match, yielding no effect. This mistake highlighted the scripted nature of the match—that the chair had no connection to the lever, but rather the modest special effects would be set off only when the right wrestler—Abdullah—was in place to lose, and the supposed electrocution would be all about his sell job.

9 A Swing And A Miss Between Kurt Angle And Sting

Even Hall Of Famers Aren’t Above A Botch Here And There

  • Sting and Kurt Angle faced off at TNA Bound For Glory 2007.
  • Sting is famous for using a bat, but it was Kurt Angle on the offensive this time.
  • Sting failed to catch the bat the way he and Kurt Angle had planned.


Kurt Angle and Sting are both widely respected legends of the wrestling business. By the time they clashed in TNA, though, neither were the best versions of themselves. While Angle was still performing at an extremely high level, his chemical dependence had become a liability. Meanwhile, Sting was quite arguably a decade past his physical prime—still capable, but main eventing PPVs more based on the name he’d built for himself in WCW than his abilities at the time.

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Kurt Angle and Sting clashed on many occasions in TNA, often for the World Title, and sometimes they were even partners and stablemates.

The match between the two at Bound For Glory 2007 featured a spot in which Angle swung a bit at Sting, only for The Icon to catch it and go on the offensive. The botch saw the bat slip right through Sting’s hands and hit him on the head. Sting proceeding as if he had caught the bat underscored that the spot wasn’t exactly on the up-and-up. Of course, The Stinger was bloodied, so despite not registering the foreign object blow the way he ordinarily would, the hit did have consequences.


8 Randy Savage Forgets He Shouldn’t Go Over The Top Rope

Randy Savage Got Caught In The Heat Of The Moment

  • The 1992 Royal Rumble was an instant classic.
  • Randy Savage had to make the final four to make sense of the storyline to follow.
  • Randy Savage forgot the rules in the heat of pursuing arch-rival Jake Roberts and jumped over the top rope.

The 1992 Royal Rumble is widely respected as the one of the—and perhaps the single—greatest Rumble of all time. It featured a star-studded field, including Randy Savage, who had been reinstated despite losing a match with his career on the line to The Ultimate Warrior. Savage was back in the game to pursue revenge against Jake Roberts, and true to form focused his attack on The Snake in this match.


The Macho Man got caught up in the heat of the moment and leapt over the top rope to pursue Roberts. WWE ruled that Savage wasn’t eliminated because he had propelled himself off the top rope. This ruling would not help wrestlers in the years to follow, as acts ranging from Mil Mascaras in 1997 to Pat McAfee in 2024 would eliminate themselves. In reality, it’s clear Savage flubbed the moment, but the company still needed him in the final four to justify his WrestleMania destiny to come.

7 A Rare Gaff In A Match Between Eddie Guerrero And Rey Mysterio

A Great Match Was Undermined By An Unfortunate Miscommunication

  • Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero worked a ladder match for custody of Dominik Mysterio at SummerSlam 2005.
  • The match was great on the whole.
  • A miscommunication led to Eddie Guerrero having to stall at the top of the ladder, tarnishing the late stages of the match.


SummerSlam 2005 saw Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio square off in a Ladder Match for custody of a young Dominik Mysterio. The match was largely excellent, as one would expect given the talents involved. However, things went awry at a key juncture when Guerrero went to fetch the briefcase and fumbled for what seemed like an eternity trying to unlatch it, before Mysterio finally got up to continue the match.

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10 Things You Forgot About The Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Rivalry

Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio had an epic rivalry that was featured in both WWE and WCW. What details did fans forget about this feud?

For quite some time, fans blamed Vickie Guerrero for the awkward scenario, but she took to Twitter in 2022 to correct that notion. While there was an intention for her to cost Eddie match—as she eventually did—Vickie clarified that given where Mysterio was positioned under the ladder, the agents backstage called an audible, deeming it unsafe for Vickie–inexperienced at that point, and far from the celebrated wrestling character she’d become–to work the planned spot when they’d originally intended.


Though Vickie was not at fault, the scenario itself was a botch. Within storylines, it could only be explained by Eddie’s character not knowing how to work the hook above the ring, or Mysterio being so badly beaten down he was ready to let his opponent win and take his son from him. Of course, given what fans know now about Dirty Dominik Mysterio, it becomes more realistic that maybe his father did want to get away from him.

6 Christian Cage Gets A Little Overzealous Selling For Scott Steiner

Fans Watching Closely Couldn’t Make Sense Of This Moment

  • TNA Victory Road 2006 featured a big time four-man match.
  • After dispatching of Samoa Joe, Scott Steiner went after Christian Cage.
  • Christian Cage appeared to throw himself against the ring apron.


At Victory Road 2006, Christian Cage, Scott Steiner, Sting, and Samoa Joe battled in a four-man match for a title shot. A memorable spot saw Big Poppa Pump pummel Cage. Just as Steiner was about to slam his head into the ring steps, Cage broke off and smashed his own head into the ring apron.

In reality, it seems Cage was overselling or got a little ahead of himself, but there’s really no rational explanation at all for why someone would do this to himself in the middle of a match.

5 Jinder Mahal Sells A Missed Whisper In The Wind

Jeff Hardy Missed The Move, But Jinder Mahal Made The Moment Much Worse

  • The Greatest Royal Rumble event from Saudi Arabia was not very well received.
  • Jeff Hardy and Jinder Mahal worked a match for the United States Championship.
  • Jinder Mahal sold a Whisper in the Wind from Jeff Hardy, despite the move clearly missing.


The Greatest Royal Rumble was an unusual show. One of several lowlights emerged when Jeff Hardy defended the United States Championship against Jinder Mahal. The Charismatic Enigma went for his signature Whisper in the Wind move off the top rope and totally missed his opponent.

Misses happen, and the broadcast team reasonably enough could have sold that a fatigued Hardy miscalculated, or else that Mahal had subtly moved out of the way. However, Mahal sold the move as if it had been a direct hit in a comical moment that could only be understood as The Modern Day Maharaja sticking the script.

4 Randy Orton Misjudges A Kick On WWE SmackDown

Fortunately, Randy Orton Wasn’t Hurt On This Botch


  • As WWE Superstars often do, Kand and Randy Orton had the announce desk cleared off to work a table spot.
  • Randy Orton stood on the desk to kick Kane, but fell through a monitor hole.
  • Randy Orton and the announce team couldn’t help themselves from laughing.

In modern times, it’s become quite common for wrestlers to clear off expensive or potentially damaging equipment from the announce desk before someone goes through the table. Such was the case on an episode of SmackDown when Kane attempted to choke slam Randy Orton through the desk, only for The Viper to rise up and kick away The Big Red Machine.

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Top 10 Biggest Botches Of Randy Orton’s Wrestling Career

While Randy Orton is a tremendous and safe performer who’s enjoyed a long wrestling career, he has botched quite a few times.

Unfortunately for Orton, he plugged his leg straight into the hole left behind by one of the broadcast monitors and wound up falling over, taking the whole desk with him. The announce team could be heard stifling laughter while Orton visibly laughed at himself and the situation before regaining his composure and selling that he was hurt. One can only the assume that, in a real fight scenario, no one would approach this fall with such levity.


3 Bobby Lashley Had One Job

Bobby Lashley Didn’t Understand What His Teammates Wanted Him To Do

  • Drew McIntyre wanted Bobby Lashley to join him in throwing Kurt Angle into the ring steps.
  • When Bobby Lashley didn’t understand the cue, everyone stalled.
  • The spot finally happened, but it was awkward because of the delay.

In early 2019, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin joined forces to, among other things, challenge The Shield. The heel trio got their signals crossed on a memorable spot on Raw, though, when Corbin held up the steel ring steps for McIntyre and Lashley to throw Kurt Angle into them.


Lashley looked a bit confused, only for McIntyre to call the spot and Lashley to nod, but clearly not understand what his partners were going for as he continued to wander aimlessly. Finally, Lashley got the cue and joined in the planned spot after an uncomfortable period of everyone standing around waiting for him.

2 A Trip Undermines Braun Strowman’s Monster Return

Braun Strowman Recovered Well After The Misstep

  • Braun Strowman returned to WWE in 2023.
  • Braun Strowman worked a signature spot, running around the ring and shoulder blocking enemies.
  • Braun Strowman tripped on his way to hit Chad Gable.

Braun Strowman returned to WWE Raw in 2023 and, in his first appearance back, looked to make an impression. He embarked on his signature exercise of running around the ring and mowing over everyone in his path. Things took a turn, though, when he tripped en route to hitting Chad Gable.


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The Monster Of All Monsters can be quite a polarizing figure in the sport with some fans loving him, while others have the opposite feeling.

To Strowman’s credit, he picked himself up quickly and resumed his run, plowing Otis through the ringside barricade. Nonetheless, one has to imagine if this weren’t all planned, Gable or Otis might have gone on the offensive The Monster Among Men fell at their feet.

1 The Shockmaster Makes His WCW Debut

The Shockmaster’s First Appearance May Be The Most Infamous Moment in WCW History

  • The Shockmaster famously tripped upon his entrance to the scene in WCW in 1993.
  • The Shockmaster’s overall presentation was questionable at best, even before his botch.
  • WCW talents had to act like the botch hadn’t happened.


There may be no more famous botch in wrestling history than The Shockmaster’s catastrophic WCW debut. The whole seen was laced with absurdity as, even if everything had gone to plan, Fred Ottman looked ridiculous in a sparkling storm trooper helmet and Ole Anderson cutting his promo in an over-the-top voice just came across as silly.

Things didn’t go according to plan, though, and Ottman tripping over a misplaced board, falling and losing his helmet immediately undermined any sense of credibility around the debuting super heavyweight. The fact that everyone on the scene—once they’d stopped laughing—still sold him as a serious threat speaks to the scripted nature of the scene.

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