Here is a list of memorable wrestling botches dating back from the 90’s.
* WCW wrestler Erik Watts attempted to perform a dropkick on “Dr. Death” Steve Williams during a tag team match that was part of the “Battlebowl” tournament at StarrCade ’92. Instead, Watts ended up landing on his stomach, much like a belly flop.
* Kevin Nash performed his trademark Jacknife Powerbomb on The Giant, but could not perform the move properly due to the Giant’s recent weight gain (and due to the fact that Nash was physically weaker after recovering from a knee injury). He dropped him on his neck.
* Japanese wrestler Hayabusa botched a springboard moonsault when his foot slipped on the second rope and he landed on his head, severely injuring his neck, and paralyzing him.
* Chris Benoit botched a flapjack on Sabu. The move was botched when Sabu attempted to change the move from a flapjack, which has the victim land face-first, to a back body drop, which requires that the victim somersault and land on his back. Sabu misjudged the height and time which he had in the air and attempted to flip himself over onto his back, but did not get enough rotation and landed almost vertically on the side of his head which broke his neck. This incident earned Benoit the nickname “The Crippler.”
* Triple H performed his finishing move, the Pedigree, on jobber Marty Garner. Garner thought Triple H was attempting a Underhook Suplex and assisted him by jumping. Triple H dropped him on his head almost vertically, in turn, making the move into a more dangerous version of a double underhook piledriver.
* Brock Lesnar botched a Shooting Star Press and landed on his head during the main event of WrestleMania XIX against Kurt Angle, for the WWE Championship.
* Sid Vicious botched a big boot off the second turnbuckle when he landed incorrectly and snapped his leg like a twig during a four corners match at WCW Sin.
* Sabu botched a moonsault off the ropes to the outside, to connect with a table leaned up against the guardrail that Shane Douglas was set up against. It is assumed that Douglas was to move away at the last second, and Sabu would go through the table, however on viewing it cannot be certain what they were attempting. Douglas did indeed move at the last second, but Sabu merely hit the table, which didn’t break, and he fell onto his head on the concrete, knocking him unconscious for the rest of the match. Douglas had to go back into the ring and pose to the crowd until Sabu’s condition could be properly determined. He didn’t regain consciousness, and after a few minutes, the match was called off.
* Owen Hart performed a Owen Driver, on Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin, mistakenly thinking that Hart would fall to his knees, took the bump improperly and broke his neck. This was the turning point of Austin’s career: the continuing pain from this injury eventually led to his current semi-retirement.
* Marty Jannetty, who was then one half of the tag team The Rockers, botched a Rocker Dropper on Charles Austin in December 1990. Austin was to face-plant, but instead tried to roll forward. As a result, he landed straight on his head, breaking his neck. In 1994, a Florida jury awarded Austin $26.7 million in damages.
* Jackie Gayda, winner of the Tough Enough 2 competition, in one of her first TV matches (a tag team match with Christopher Nowinski against Trish Stratus and Bradshaw on the July 8, 2002 edition of RAW from Philadephia), botched nearly every move, the most famous of which was a second-rope-bulldog by Trish, which Jackie sold two seconds too late. The match was felt by many fans to be one of the worst matches in pro wrestling history. Jackie was sent to OVW to get in-ring training, but when she returned on WWE TV, she took mostly ringside roles. Her terrible in-ring perfomance in the match, earned the match an induction to WrestleCrap.
* Steven Richards botched while being second-rope-bulldogged by Trish Stratus at WrestleMania XIX. Richards’ face was supposed to be slammed onto the chair he accidentally hit himself with, but he accidentally threw the chair to the outside of the ring.
* Trish Stratus botched a Butterfly DDT by Steven Richards. Stratus thought Richards was executing an Underhook Suplex, jumped, and landed vertically on her head.
* During the World Heavyweight Championship match at the 2003 Royal Rumble, Scott Steiner (due to fatigue) botched a double underhook powerbomb on Triple H, and fell down on the mat, nearly dropping Triple H on his head. This botch has since been nicknamed, “Stumble Bomb ’03”, by the smark community.
* During the 2001 King of the Ring, Shane McMahon fought Kurt Angle in a Street Fight match. During the match, the script called for Kurt to give a belly-to-belly suplex to Shane in front of the glass window set of the King of the Ring set. On his first attempt, Shane did not break the glass as scripted. He also was dropped nearly vertical on his head, resulting in Kurt waiting a minute for Shane to regain his bearings. On the second attempt, Shane successfully broke the glass as planned. However, the script called for Kurt to suplex Shane again from the inside of the set to the outside (again through another glass window set). After 2 failed attempts that saw Shane dropped almost vertically on his head again, Kurt improvised by throwing Shane through the glass window, rather than attempting anymore belly-to-belly suplexes and risking seriously injuring Shane.
* In a September 2005 match, Ashley Massaro, similar to Jackie Gayda, botched 60% of her moves in a match with Torrie Wilson, most memorably a sunset-flip.
* In one of her first times managing in TNA, Gail Kim attempted a diving Hurricanrana. The plan was for her to jump over her client’s opponent, and accidentally Hurricanrana her client. In the match, Kim jumped over her client’s opponent, landed on her client, but fell on the back of her head. It took her 10 seconds to finally get up.
* In a match that pitted Torrie Wilson & The Hurricane vs. Lita & Matt Hardy, the plan was to have Hardy attempt the Twist of Fate, but be low blowed by Torrie. When Hardy was about to do the Twist of Fate on the Hurricane, Torrie very slowly got into the ring, and took about 30 seconds to finally low blow Hardy.
* In the main event of StarrCade ’99 (a WCW World Title match between champion Bret Hart and challenger Goldberg), Goldberg nailed Hart with a superkick to the head. Hart suffered a concussion as a result of the kick, forcing him to retire from pro wrestling. He believes that the concussion was a causal factor in his suffering a stroke in 2002.
* At an Ultimate Championship Wrestling event on May 28, 2005, an indy wrestler named Dan Quirk (known as Spider) was killed when his opponent, The High-Lite Kid, hit him with a moonsault. The weight of which was too much for Quirk to handle. He went crashing to the floor and hit his head on concrete. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but had been killed instantly.
* At Survivor Series 2002, during the opening match between Jeff Hardy, Bubba Ray Dudley and Spike Dudley vs. Rosey, Jamal and Rico, the match was briefly exposed. Rico had climbed the turnbuckle and the plan was to have him be shoved off by Jeff Hardy. Hardy completely missed his cue (he was too busy brawling outside) causing a frustrated Rico to shout “Come on Jeff, goddamnit!”
* During a SmackDown! match, Brock Lesnar dropped A-Train on his head after botching the F-5 (his finishing move) since he couldn’t support A-Train’s weight.
* At Bad Blood 2003, Scott Steiner botched an Double Axe Handle off the apron during his match with Test. Steiner slipped off the apron and literally fell on Test.
* At SummerSlam 2003, Kane slipped off the turnbuckle after climbing it to prepare for an aerial move.
* At Royal Rumble 2005, Vince McMahon was walking to the ring, but as he was sliding under the ropes he tore his quad and when he tried to stand up, he stumbled to the ground causing him to sit down as everyone was talking to him.
* On the March 3, 2006 edition of SmackDown!, Mark Henry botched a move on The Undertaker. Henry interrupted a match between The Undertaker and Kurt Angle which The Undertaker was about to win. After a big brawl between the two, The Undertaker was laying on his back on the announce table while Henry climbed up on the Spanish announce table just beside it. After much consideration, Henry finally jumped down on The Undertaker and manage to hit him right across the throat. The referee noticed instantly that The Undertaker was hurt and raised his hands in an X formation.
* On the March 20, 2006 edition of RAW, Carlito attempted to hit Kane with a moonsault. Kane dodged the attack while Carlito tried to land on his feet. Carlito stumbled when he hit the mat and was forced to roll back onto his feet. But Carlito acted as if it was scripted and said “Ha-Ha” as if he tricked Kane.
* In a match between Simon Dean and Bobby Lashley at No Mercy 2005, Lashley was supposed to pull Dean up from the corner by his feet catch him on his shoulders to set up for the dominator, but Lashley caught Dean wrong, stumbled, and fell over.
* At Unforgiven 2004, Steven Richards and Tyson Tomko were brawling in the ring. At this point, one of the men was suppose to punch the other, but Richards and Tomko both thought they were suppose to get hit, causing both men to throw their heads back and act like they had just been punched in the face.
* On the March 30, 2006 edition of SmackDown! during the Last Chance Battle Royal match, Paul London and Psicosis were working in the corner of the ring. It came to the time when Psicosis was suppose to eliminate London from the match by flipping him over the top rope with his legs as he held on. But Psicosis accidentally lost his grip and fell to the floor along with London. London fell on his head and Psicosis landed on top of him, and you could clearly see Psicosis look shocked and was checking to see if London was ok. He then looked around and asked what to do next. Meanwhile in the ring, Tatanka (who Psicosis was suppose to fight after he eliminated London) was standing in the ring, not knowing what to do. He then carried on with the match and eliminated Paul Burchill.
* On the final RAW before Taboo Tuesday 2005, Batista was getting attacked by The Coach. Goldust and Vader then came to the ring to help The Coach. After the attack, the three men were leaving the ring. Goldust and The Coach got out of the ring with no problems, but as Vader was leaving the ring, he misplaced his footing and stumbled to the floor with some force. Goldust then helped Vader back to his feet and you could clearly see Vader say “Dammit!”
* During the WWE Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania 22 between Trish Stratus and Mickie James, the plan was to have James win the Women’s Championship by stealing Stratus’ finisher (the Stratusfaction). However, as James attempted the move, her feet slipped on the ropes, causing Stratus to fall to the mat and James landing right on top of her. Disappointment was clearly seen on both Stratus and James’ faces, which resulted in James quickly having to nail Stratus with a quick Mick Kick for the rushed finish.
* In a mixed tag team match from July 2001, which saw Lita and Matt Hardy face off against Trish Stratus and The Big Show, Stratus botched a Twist of Fate attempt by Lita by falling too soon before Lita even had the chance to hook her neck for the face plant. This resulted in Lita quickly having to come off the top with a Litasault for the rushed finish.
* At WrestleMania 22, during the World Heavyweight Championship match between Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, and Rey Mysterio, Mysterio hung up Angle on the second rope while he was on the apron. The plan was for Rey to perform a 619 by swinging around the ring post. Unfortunately, Rey lost his grip and fell to the mat outside. In an attempt to recover, he performed a poor 619 by using the bottom rope to the head of Angle. Ironically, moments later Mysterio used the 619 in the ropes on Orton and won the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time in his career.
* The night after WrestleMania 22, Chavo Guerrero faced Shelton Benjamin for the Intercontinental Championship. At the end of the match when Chavo missed the Frog Splash, he accidentally hit Shelton’s face with his knee. After the match, Shelton left the ring quickly, supposedly because of the pain.