Thursday, April 18

Joey Mercury’s Horrific WWE Ladder Match Injury, Explained

Don’t try this at home. WWE has hammered home this warning ever since its inception and for good reason. The competing athletes are trained professionals who do their utmost to make sure that they don’t inflict lasting damage on their co-workers. And when weapons are involved, the risk factor is increased several folds.




Wrestling isn’t as simple as it used to be. Nowadays, fans expect some sort of weaponry to be utilized on almost every show as simple maneuvers just don’t do it anymore. Over the years, we’ve seen some horrible mishaps involving steel chairs and tables but a certain incident involving a ladder and a former WWE road agent might just be the most gruesome of them all.

UPDATE: 2024/02/20 20:00 EST BY BENJAMIN VIEIRA


Injuries are an inherent part of the sport of professional wrestling. Throughout the years, fans have witnessed some truly gruesome moments take place in a professional wrestling ring. One that immediately comes to the mind of many is Joey Mercury’s 2006 injury. It was during MNM’s rivalry with The Hardyz. Taking place at the Armageddon PLE, it saw a botched ladder spot shatter Mercury’s nose and orbital bone. It is one of the worst injuries that has been seen take place on a live show in WWE. It’s hard to watch, and it had significant effects on Mercury’s health outside the ring.


Joey Mercury And John Morrison Were A Top Tag Team In WWE

MNM Were Multi-Time WWE Tag Team Champions


  • In their first main roster match, MNM defeated Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero to win the WWE Tag Team Titles.
  • They were managed by Melina.
  • Morrison and Mercury were three-time WWE Tag Team Champions.

Fans remember Joey Mercury as Seth Rollin’s lackey but in 2005, Mercury, alongside Johnny Nitro (popularly known as John Morrison), was a big deal in a thriving tag team division. Mercury and Nitro, with Melina as their manager, were known as MNM. They quickly rose through the ranks of the tag-team division and their arch-rivals were the Hardy Boyz.

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The two tag-teams feuded across all three WWE brands and at Armageddon 2006, MNM and Hardy Boyz took part in a fatal-four-way tag-team ladder match. London and Kendrick, and Dave Taylor and William Regal were the other two teams taking part, and as expected, ladders were brought in right at the start of the match.


Mercury’s Injury Comes During A Ladder Match

A Botched Move Led To A Major Injury

  • The injury happened at Armageddon 2006.
  • Mercury’s injury required 30 stitches.
  • The Hardyz and MNM continued to feud after the match.

Mere minutes into the contest, MNM and the Hardyz were brawling near the turnbuckle. Matt Hardy held Mercury and Nitro in place while his brother, Jeff Hardy, jumped off the turnbuckle and onto a nearby ladder. The legdrop from the top catapulted the end of the ladder, and it caught Mercury directly on the face.

His tag-team partner was able to mitigate the damage as he shielded his face with his arms a second before the impact, but Mercury took the ladder to his face. On a side note, Nitro later said that the ladder caught him on the throat, instead of his face. That’s also pretty brutal.


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Mercury immediately rolled outside the ring as his face was gushing out blood. The nose was clearly broken and he was taken out of the match. The remaining competitors kept brawling inside the ring, but the crowd was entirely focused on Mercury as he was losing an obscene amount of blood. Mercury was rushed to the back and then taken to a hospital where he got more than 30 stitches to close the laceration. His partner, Johnny Nitro, finished the match on his own.

In a post-match interview with WWE.com, Mercury appeared and spoke clearly, but his face was busted up badly and with a lot of swelling. He mentioned that his nose was fractured in four different places and nothing had ever come close to the pain that he was going through at that moment.

Mercury returned to the ring a few weeks later and WWE incorporated the incident into the storyline, as the feud with the Hardyz continued. MNM then started targeting the Hardyz and attempted to injure them on numerous occasions as payback.


Mercury’s Release And Return To WWE

Mercury Wrestled And Became An Agent For WWE

  • Mercury returned to WWE in 2010.
  • He became a member of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society.
  • He was a member of J&J Security for Seth Rollins, along with Jamie Noble.

Unfortunately, Mercury was released from the promotion just a couple of months later. WWE received quite a bit of heat for this decision when it was first announced, but in the long run the release was the best thing to happen to Joey Mercury.

The injury was brutal, and in order to cope with the agony, Mercury developed an addiction to painkillers. Even before the gruesome injury, Mercury had trouble staying clean and he spent about five months in rehab during the same year. WWE officials were already pretty concerned about his well-being. His troubles involved alcohol and drugs, and after the injury, painkillers became another vice for the young wrestler.


Vince McMahon intervened, and as told by Mercury himself, the boss sat him down and said that he was worried that Mercury was going to die. After this talk, Mercury was released from WWE and in the following years, he overcame his demons and returned to the industry. He worked as a backstage agent in WWE for many years. In addition, he was also a member of both The Straight Edge Society and The Authority,

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To reiterate, please don’t try this at home. It was a miracle that Mercury retained his consciousness as his face was shattered in more than one place. The injury left a mental mark on him for years, but fortunately, Mercury soldiered through the injury and the subsequent addiction, and came back to the sport as a mentor for the newer generation of wrestlers.

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