1. NAILZ USES A NIGHTSTICK TO PICK BOSS MAN APART

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Maybe it’s the backstory (Big Boss Man worked as a prison guard where Nailz was incarcerated and would routinely beat the prisoners for fun), or maybe it’s that it looks impossible for Boss Man to not be taking a legitimate choking with that nightstick, but whatever it is, it’s not the easiest sight to take in.

The massive convict caught Boss Man off guard following his squash match with a jobber, handcuffing him to the ring ropes and attacking him with a nightstick. You can hear the thuds of the (hopefully lightweight) prop knocking against his legs, and  Ray Traylor sold the hell out of it with some truly guttural screams.

It only got worse from there, with Nailz handcuffing the Boss Man’s hands behind his back, shoving him onto his stomach, and choking him with the nightstick. The way his tongue hangs out of his mouth ,coupled with the uncomfortable way his body is positioned, makes it look like he’s legitimately having his airway cut off.

The fact that Kevin Wacholz, who portrayed Nailz, would be accused of choking Vince McMahon until he passed out over a payment dispute adds an extra layer of uneasiness to this scene.

Side note, but does anyone else think those slaps to the head of the defenceless Boss Man sound a little rougher than they should?

 

2. EDDIE GUERRERO LOSES WAY TOO MUCH BLOOD

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Depending on which category of wrestling fan you ask, blood is either a vital part of the entertainment that should soak the ring in every conceivable instance, or it’s a somewhat cheap device that should only be used in the rarest of occasions to elevate the drama of a match.

But it’s say to presume that 99 percent of those watching JBL and Eddie Guerrero go at it in the main event of 2004’s Judgment Day were a little put off by the amount of claret pouring out of Latino Heat’s head that night.

After taking a particularly surly shot to the head with a steel chair, Eddie bladed his forehead and when he got up, it was clear that way too much blood was streaming down his face. Eddie had hit a vein, evidently, and was bleeding a gusher.

Rather than quicken the pace of the match to limit the blood loss, however, JBL proceeds to take his sweet time pounding away on Eddie. It really looks as if he’s relishing in all the blood, even smearing it around his person at various points before punching the exact spot Eddie cut himself open.

The crimson mask Guerrero sports may not compare to the epic bloodiness Mick Foley and Ric Flair are known for, but it’s damn painful to watch, especially knowing the health issues he was having around this time.

Immediately following the match, Eddie begins to bust JBL open in equal measure, and the brawling bloodbath that ensues is nauseating, even if you’re into that sort of thing. Eddie was so weakened by the blood loss that he went into shock backstage after the match, by the way.

 

3. UNDERTAKER BEATS THE HELL OUT OF DAVID FLAIR

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If you’ve ever wondered which version of The Undertaker’s ever-evolving gimmick is the most inhuman, let us put that debate to rest for you right now. It’s not his initial Mortician gimmick. Nope, it’s not the Lord of Darkness cult leader thing, either.

The Undertaker at his most cold-blooded is, ironically, exemplified not in any of his supernatural gimmicks, but in his post-American Badass heel turn as Big Evil.

Big Evil is the one who mercilessly beat David Flair within an inch of his life after Ric Flair refused to accept Undertaker’s challenge for a match at WrestleMania. Big Evil is the one who provided the most cringe-worthy beatdown in his decades-long history with the company.

Sure, most of the brutality is heightened/hidden with carefully structured camera angles (oh the magic of tape), but goddamn the two of these guys sell each hit so realistically. David’s wheezing and coughing throughout it make it sound as if he’s actually choking on the blood running down his face, and ‘Taker knows how to let each strike linger, giving the audience just enough time between blows to wonder if this was the night WWE would boldly show a brain hemorrhage, up close and personal, on their broadcast.

Also – and this is pure speculation – but doesn’t it seem like there was an uncomfortable sexual element to the way that all went down in the bathroom stall? Taker’s final monologue to the camera could have ended with him telling the camera crew to leave so he could “finish the lesson in private” and it would have made sense thematically.

 

4. TRIPLE H & STONE COLD ASSAULT LITA

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Before we get into just how brutal this attack was, it should be mentioned that the pairing of Triple H and Stone Cold – dubbed The Two Man Power Trip – was one of the greatest things to come out of Austin’s heel turn. Those guys had some incredibly entertaining matches alongside each other, and their match with The Hardy Boyz helped elevate Jeff and Matt to new heights.

But their assault on Lita following the match was, quite frankly, supremely disturbing. It’s never a joy to watch two men beat up on a woman (even if that woman is typically the most horrible type of person, as you’ll see further down the list), and they made damn sure that anyone watching was going to wince their way through it. At the bare minimum.

Triple H stomps her like she’s a piñata filled with quad-strengthening serum, while Austin lays into her with the most unabashedly brutal series of chair shots to the back that anyone, male or female, has ever taken. But just in case you were able to get through all that without shielding your eyes, they continue dragging her around the ring by her hair and choking her with the ridge of the chair.

For some small sense of comfort, you should know that this was actually Lita’s idea to help Austin get more heat (since crowds were still universally cheering him after his heel turn). Needless to say, it worked.

Almost too well.

5. THE ROCK PUMMELS MANKIND WITH A CHAIR

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The I Quit Match between The Rock and Mick Foley at the 1999 Royal Rumble is as close as the WWE has ever come to delivering a snuff film to the public.

The Behind the Mat documentary famously undercuts the brutal series of chair shots that The Rock gives Foley near the tail end of their match with reactions from Foley’s wife and children, who grimace their way through the first couple, and absolutely lose their s–t after it goes into double digits.

Which is the most rational response to that unnecessarily hardcore display. She probably had images of having to spoon-feed her husband for the rest of his life by number 6.

Most wrestlers take a chair shot by throwing their hands in front of their faces at the last second, and with good reason: GETTING HIT IN THE HEAD WITH A STEEL CHAIR IS NOT CONDUCIVE TO LIVING A FULL LIFE.

In order to give The Rock a more sadistic bent going into his feud with Stone Cold at WrestleMania XV, Foley came up with the idea to basically sacrifice his personal health in some extremely misguided martyrdom. Reportedly, Mick blacked out after the first couple shots (or went into some kind of shock that left him unable to just stay the f**k down for God’s sake), and that’s why The Rock just kept swinging, trying to get Foley over to his mark.

But to paraphrase The Brahma Bull, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF HE DOESN’T HIT HIS MARK! Just stop trying to end his life!

 

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