More like RoadKILL to WrestleMania! It always sucks to suffer an injury, but it had to sting more for these 9 wrestling stars who went down weeks before their chance to shine on WWE’s biggest show!
The life of a WWE star can’t be easy. You’re traveling every night and throwing your body around in unnatural way almost every day. It’s no wonder that injuries continue to happen, and while there’s no *good* time to land on the disabled list, every athlete knows the worst point to go down is right before the championship game. Just as it would suck to lose your playing power right before the Super Bowl, World Series, or Stanley Cup, WWE stars spend the entire year working up to WrestleMania, and losing the chance to shine on wrestling’s biggest annual event sucks.
Once January’s Royal Rumble concludes, most wrestlers have an idea of their WrestleMania plans (hence the time period being named The Road to WrestleMania), but a few stars had to pull out of ‘Mania due to injury mere weeks before their moment in the sun. Not only do they not get to wrestle in front of huge crowds, they also lose a chance at a big payday. With that in mind, we scoured our rasslin hivemind for folks who got hurt between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania and found these 8 Superstars and Divas witj the worst injury luck ever.
9 – Edge Misses A Show-Stealing Chance at WrestleMania 19
WrestleMania 19 was a show that rested on some very damaged necks. Kurt Angle was a maybe in the weeks leading up to the show (rumors had it that Eddie Guerrero would have been called into his main-event spot against Brock Lesnar), but he gutted it out and put his neck on the line against the master of the suplex in a very brutal show-closer. Unfortunately, Edge’s neck injury was just a bit more severe, which meant that the Ultimate Opportunist didn’t have a WrestleMania Opportunity in 2003 after ducking out to have surgery the month before Mania.
What relegates this injury to the bottom spot is that Edge didn’t have the same high-profile opportunity at the last teen WrestleMania. By most accounts, he was going to team with Chris Benoit to take on Los Guererros (Eddie and Chavo) and Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) in a battle for Team Angle’s tag team championship. While the match was still very good with Rhyno slotted in for Edge, having the maestro behind so many epic WrestleMania tag matches might have pushed this triple threat tag to an even higher level.
8 -Luke Harper Is Injured In An Untelevised Match Days Before WrestleMania 32
Luke Harper did pretty well for himself in his first WrestleMania match. After years of playing crony in the Wyatt Family faction, Harper struck out on his own in late 2014, captured the Intercontinental Championship, and had some great singles matches after years of top-notch tag battles. For that, he was able to compete in the 7-man Intercontinental Championship ladder match that opened WrestleMania 31 and had one of the show-stealing match’s signature spots where he powerbombed Dean Ambrose from the ring to the outside through a ladder.
While he wasn’t on tap for anything at WrestleMania, you can rest assured his smash-mouth style and lariat reminscent of 2016 Hall of Famer Stan Hansen would have been welcome as the reunited Wyatt Family (presumably) ran roughshod during the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Unfortunately, that did not come to pass as Harper suffered a knee injury during a post-Raw untelevised “dark” match (you can see him downed in the blurry photo below). The worst part is that it took place just two weeks before WrestleMania, which is the closest to the finish line we’ve ever seen a wrestler fall before the big show.
7 -The Undertaker’s First Streak Ends At WrestleMania 10
Yes this one is pushing it. At the 1994 Royal Rumble, The Undertaker was given the most over the top character writeoff match in wrestling history, as he was put in a casket by Yokozuna and other assorted WWE villains before ascending to the rafters much like an angel would. He needed to do so to rest a nagging back injury that kept him out of action until SummerSlam, where he fought an evil twin hired by The Million Dollar Man. Ahem.
It was, however, notable as the first time The Undertaker had to miss WrestleMania. Taker had been a staple of the mid-90s Manias, with victories at three consecutive shows. Unfortunately, Undertaker didn’t make the landmark 10th WrestleMania, but the bright side is that Taker only missed one other WrestleMania over the next 22 years.
6 – Candice Michelle Loses Her Tag Team Spot at WrestleMania 24
Candice Michelle has only one WrestleMania match to her credit; the Playboy Pillow Fight match (featuring the Miller Light Catfight girls). It was one of the worst WrestleMania matches, somehow performing below the already rock-bottom expectations. I mention that match, because the one that WWE’s original CM punk ended up missing sounds like Steamboat-Savage in comparison. Candice was slated to tag with Maria Kanellis in the Playboy BunnyMania Lumberjill match, as the two cover girls were set to fight anti-Playboy performers Beth Phoenix and Melina.
Unfortunately, Candice broke her clavicle in four spots two weeks before WrestleMania, and fellow Playboy covergirl Ashley Massaro stepped in as Maria’s new tag partner. Said match included the stadium lights turning off for half the running time and included Snoop Dogg making out with the Playboy tag team, so maybe Candice dodged a bullet here.
5 – Christian Suffers a Career-Ending Concussion Before WrestleMania 30
Admittedly, Christian did not have a plum spot on the WrestleMania 30 card. One month after main-eventing Elimination Chamber, Christian was one of 30 competitors set to compete in the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. In the weeks leading up to ‘Mania, Christian wasn’t even being treated as one of the favorites to win the over-the-top contest.
In fact, Christian’s removal from the ATGMBR wasn’t even announced, as he suffered a concussion two weeks before the show in what would be his last match. Much like how his absence wasn’t explained, Christian’s subsequent retirement was also extremely subdued; he never formally announced it, and it’s actually become a minor running joke on WWE Network show The Edge and Christian Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness.
A man who missed out on an Undertaker match and another who lost his chance to work in the biggest celebrity match ever await you on the next page!