Sunday, April 14

Indie Wrestling Matches That Broke Down Into Real Life Violence

The goal of pro wrestling is, to put it in basic terms, to attract and entertain spectators by simulating physical combat. That means that the two (or however many there are) alleged opponents in the ring are actually working together to put on the most exciting match they can in order to make the people in the crowd happy and want them to come back for more. However, sometimes that cooperation doesn’t go as planned.



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7 WCW Matches That Broke Down In Real Life Violence

Unexpected things can happen during a match that can lead to some unplanned violence, as fans saw in these WCW bouts.

Jerry Jarrett’s famous office sign read ‘Personal issues draw money.’ While it certainly helps to create controversy based on real-life animosity, the line can be crossed fairly easily in a pro wrestling environment. Personal issues can spill out into the ring and turn a worked match into a shoot. It happens on big stages – albeit not often – and especially on smaller independent shows with less money involved. The following are seven examples of independent matches that turned into real life violence – some of it quite disturbing.


The Mass Transit Incident

New Jack Almost Kills A Teenager In The Ring

  • Mass Transit Incident Almost Got ECW’s First PPV Cancelled
  • Kulas Died In 2002 From Complications Of Gastric Bypass Surgery


New Jack is a name that will repeatedly pop up on this list. Having made a name for himself in Smoky Mountain Wrestling as part of the Gangstas, the team decided to move to ECW, which could still be considered a regional promotion at the time. The company’s more violent style seemed to suit the Gangstas and they became notorious for their bloody brawls involving many weapons.

On November 23, 1996, the Gangstas were supposed to take on Axl Rotten and D-Von Dudley. However, Rotten missed the show due to a family emergency and his spot was given to 17 year-old Eric Kulas. Kulas was a large teenager who looked older than his age and lied about being a trained wrestler named Mass Transit. New Jack proceeded to cut Kulas forehead – as previously agreed – accidentally severing an artery. While clearly an accident, the incident was gruesome to watch and put ECW’s first PPV (and the company) in jeopardy.


Rick Steiner Gets Schooled

The Dog-Faced Gremlin Faces An Experienced MMA Fighter

  • Steiner Is A Member Of The Cherokee County School Board
  • Made Headlines For Transphobic Comments At WrestleCon Last Year

Some wrestlers have a reputation to ‘rough up’ newcomers as a form of weird initiation ritual. Hardcore Holly and JBL were two examples, as were Rick and Scott Steiner. During a show for Southeast Championship Wrestling in 2005, Rick was teamed with Erick Stevens against Dustin Rhodes and Vordell Walker. During the match, Steiner decided to take liberties with the inexperienced Walker.

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The history of pro wrestling is full of moments where things go off-script and something unexpected happens – even from fans in attendance.

However, what Steiner didn’t know was that Walker was a trained MMA fighter. Walker quickly turned things around and put Steiner in a choke. Years later, both men apparently met again at another independent show – with similar results.


New Jack Stabs His Opponent

Incident Leads To Multiple Felony Charges

  • New Jack Died In 2021 At The Age Of 58
  • Lane Dropped Charges And Started Training With Jack

The second New Jack incident on this list took place at a Thunder Wrestling Federation event in Jacksonville in 2004. Jack was wrestling local talent William Jason Lane who worked under the name Hunter Red. According to Jack, Lane was clumsy and a lot of his shots landed. Jack began giving Lane receipts – in an effort to make him slow down – but Lane began punching Jack for real. Jack then proceeded to take a blade he had hidden in his outfit and began stabbing Lane repeatedly with it. The result of the incident were multiple felony charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault to commit murder.


Former WCW Heavyweight Champion Gets Neck Sliced Open

Eighteen Years After His Title Run, David Arquette Runs Into Trouble At GCW Event

  • Incident Was Rumored To Be Planned For David Arquette’s Wrestling Documentary
  • Arquette Later Apologized For The Messy Finish

Often cited as the worst WCW World Heavyweight champion of all time, David Arquette made a late move into the wrestling business in the mid-to-late 2010s. In 2018, this journey brought him to GCW and in the crossfire of Nick Gage. The two proceeded to have one of Gage’s typical death matches until a piece of glass from a light tube stabbed Arquette in the neck. Arquette began to bleed profusely. The actor freaked out and left the arena before returning minutes later to finish the match quickly in awkward fashion.

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The Mass Transit Incident & 9 More Unscripted Wrestling Disasters Outside WWE

There were plenty of miscues, misunderstandings and dangerous moments when things went off script during these wrestling shows!


An Easy Day At Work Turns Into A Shoot For Jim Duggan And Matt Borne

Old Mid-South Partners Run Afoul

  • Matt Borne Passed Away In 2013 From A Drug Overdose
  • Jim Duggan Beat Kidney And Prostate Cancer

Matt Borne and Jim Duggan had met in Mid-South Wrestling where they formed the Rat Pack stable, alongside Ted DiBiase. In 2010, the two were booked in a match against each other at an independent show in White Plains, New York. As the story goes, Borne wanted to use weapons, including Duggan’s 2×4 while Duggan suggested to keep the match simple given the small crowd. During the match, Borne hit a legit low blow on Duggan who yelled at Borne, asking whether his opponent wanted to shoot or work. Borne eventually left the ring – and the building through the emergency exit.


Gene Anderson’s Son Turns Wrestling Match Into Assault

Like Father, Like Son

  • Brad Anderson Appeared On WCW TV As A Jobber In The Mid-90s
  • His father Gene Anderson is best known for being one-half of the tag team the Minnesota Wrecking Crew

Gene Anderson was part of the original Minnesota Wrecking Crew alongside Ole Anderson and a legit tough guy. In 2019, Gene’s son Brad Anderson wrestled on an independent show in North Carolina against a rookie named Jacob Ryan.

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10 Unscripted Wrestling Moments That Were Totally Embarrassing

Anything unscripted can happen when the cameras go live, and in professional wrestling, it’s often embarrassing.

During the match, Anderson suddenly began to shoot on Ryan and put him in a choke hold. The situation escalated to a point that other wrestlers entered the ring to break up the situation. Anderson was subsequently asked to leave the building.


Vic Grimes Almost Plummets To His Death

New Jack Tries To Murder His Old ECW Rival

  • Vic Grimes Briefly Wrestled As Key In WWE
  • Some Believe This Incident Was A Work As Grimes Seemed To Cooperate In The Fall

In March 2000, New Jack and Vic Grimes had faced each other at the ECW Living Dangerously PPV. During the match, both men fought onto a balcony and were supposed to fall through a table underneath. Grimes had second thoughts but Jack decided to drag Grimes along anyway, resulting in Vic landing on Jack’s head. The bump caused Jack permanent damage, including blindness in his right eye. New Jack never forgave Grimes – and he never forgot. When, for some reason, XPW thought it was a good idea to book both men in a scaffold match in February 2002, New Jack had a plan. During the match, Jack pulled out a taser and shocked Grimes. He then proceeded to throw Grimes off the scaffold, aiming for the ringpost. Thankfully, Grimes landed on the ropes instead and survived without significant injuries.


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