WWE programming is scripted—for the most part.
But make no mistake, WWE superstars take big risks every time they go out to the ring and perform. Sometimes accidents happen even before getting to the ring.
On Youtube there are tons of videos on superstars miscalculating their maneuvers and either injuring themselves or their opponents.
And it is no laughing matter. But it seems human beings just cannot seem to look away from the car wreck.
Pro wrestling is no exception.
In this piece, I will look at WWE's biggest botch moments. I define biggest as most well-known as a result of news coverage or viral videos.
Uh oh, here we go!
Although probably not the most famous of botches, Sin Cara's Raw debut set the tone for the majority of his WWE career.
It is no secret that many fans unofficially name Sin Cara the "botch king".
Although a gifted athlete with a good amount of success abroad, Sin Cara has made a name for himself by repeatedly miscalculating jumps, spins, twirls, and other high-flying maneuvers.
On his Raw debut, Sin Cara ruined his main entrance pop by fumbling over the top rope flip.
Fortunately, Sin Cara did not get injured.
Some have attributed Sin Cara's mistakes in the ring due to the fact that WWE changes the lighting environment for all his matches—a dim, purple glow. We will never know.
But since Sin Cara's latest return, he has actually been on top of his game. I cannot recall a recent botch, but the pace of his matches have suffered for it.
Oh, and it seems WWE made him change his patented rope flip entrance into an in-ring slide followed by springboard somersault.
So far so good. But you just never know...
Randy Orton has been one of the top WWE superstars for quite some time.
Although rarely known for botching in the ring, this particular instance was quite a shocker.
Randy Orton's RKO has a special flare because it can be executed quickly with enough surprise and impact to get a good pop from the crowd.
As such, when Orton attempted the RKO on a distracted Chris Jericho, he missed. But he kept flying.
At first, I did not know what happened because it was so fast.
But then it sank in: "Oh man, he missed that RKO, lovely."
Orton, however, did not give up. He ran back to the rope for momentum and delivered the RKO successfully on the second attempt.
Fans debate who was at fault, but I think Jericho gets most of the blame for this one.
This botch makes the list because of how painful it was executed.
When I first saw this, I thought Albert was done. I could have sworn his neck was snapped in two.
Brock Lesnar is known as a powerhouse in the ring, performing feats that made him famous very quickly.
One of his most well-known gimmicks became F-Fiving large opponents—Rikishi, Mark Henry, and Big Show to name a few.
As such, it is no surprise that not all the big guys would be used to being man-handled like rag dolls.
Before Albert became Tensai, he was F-Fived by Brock Lesnar.
WWE made this botch even more infamous by repeatedly using it in their "Don't Try This at Home" campaigns.
I do not know if that worked, but one thing is for sure—you would never want to get "pedigreed" onto a table.
The pedigree on the announcer's table was a Triple H hallmark. We did not really get to see it that much anymore after this stunt failed.
But if there is a bright side to anything, this botch made me believe that you do not mess around with the announcer's table.
Anytime any wrestler gets ready to perform a high impact maneuver onto a table, I always flinch. Because you just never know if the table is going to break before impact.
Although Kurt Angle is not currently on the WWE roster, he made a huge impact on pro wrestling when he was there.
He has a long list of legendary matches with Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Brock Lesnar, The Rock, Undertaker and many others.
And Kurt Angle was a technical machine in the ring. He rarely botched anything.
But when he got on the top turnbuckle in this match with Hardcore Holly, the moonsault would prove a very dangerous maneuver.
Kurt Angle performed the moonsault with such grace, hoisting himself up in the air like a gymnast and landing with full force—enough to break Holly's arm.
Holly would show his inner strength by continuing the match; losing to an Olympic Slam.
But since that crashing moonsault, I cannot recall any WWE superstar who did not roll out of the way when Kurt came flying.
In fact, Kurt Angle missing the moonsault became a hallmark moment in many of his matches from that point on.
It is not often that a WWE superstar gets injured in the ring to the point of not being able to continue the match.
And this was no different.
Despite being delivered a devastating tilt-a-whirl piledriver and getting his neck broken, Steve Austin managed to have enough energy to perform a roll-up on Owen Hart and get the win.
Austin was not easy to forgive either. In interviews, thereafter, he would voice his resentment over Owen's botch.
Whether it was scripted or not, I do not think you ever want to cross the rattlesnake.
Had his neck not been broken, I would have expected Austin to deliver several "thank you" stunners to Owen for the mistake.
But we will never really know who was at fault.
This match was incredible.
If you have never seen it, please do.
Shane McMahon made a name for himself with his death-defying stunts. As a result he gained a lot of respect from fans—and probably wrestlers backstage.
Some even want to see Shane go at it one more time. But I do not know if he still has it in him.
In this particular clip, Kurt Angle attempts a belly-to-belly suplex through the glass panel. On the first attempt, the glass does not break—and Shane comes crashing down onto his own head.
But what is crazy is that they attempt it again. Luckily, Shane breaks through.
But it is not over.
They move on to the next glass panel with another belly-to-belly suplex. But it is déjà vu—it does not break on the first attempt either. So they try it again.
Still no dice.
Kurt Angle loses his patience and just throws Shane through head-first.
The match was filled with a ton of other picture perfect moments, but this one takes the cake.
Originally, I wanted to put a different Mick Foley botch moment on this slide—the WrestleMania 2000 elbow drop attempt onto the announcer's table.
But it will never have the notoriety that this match does.
This match was filled with two huge, unforgettable moments:
Undertaker throwing Mankind off the cell onto the announcer's table and Undertaker choke-slamming Mankind through the cell.
The first has always gotten the bigger pop and was not really a botch. Although Mankind incurred some unplanned injuries. But what do you expect? The announcer's table can only take so much.
The choke-slam was the real botch because the cell was not supposed to break.
Although, granted, it is debatable whether it was planned or not.
But Mankind hit the ring mat with such force that I'm inclined to believe it was a real botch.
I do not know how he does it.
This botch making the list should be no surprise to anyone.
And it should be on this list for the simple fact that it occurred on the grandest stage of them all—WrestleMania.
Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle—you just cannot ask for a better match than this. These two had a tremendous rivalry that went back and forth throughout its run.
But I think it is safe to say that Brock won in the end.
Nonetheless, when Brock climbed the turnbuckle, the world was stunned. Mainly because Brock was not known for performing high flying maneuvers.
I, like most fans, probably expected just a body splash or leg drop.
But for Brock Lesnar, that was not good enough.
Brock must have had an out-of-body experience because it seems he was possessed by the wrestling spirit of Billy Kidman.
On that night, Brock Lesnar attempted the shooting star press—a notoriously difficult move to perform.
And Brock showed us why by completely botching, missing Kurt Angle, and landing on his head.
He suffered a concussion, but somehow managed to finish the match with an F-Five to Kurt Angle and win.
You just cannot make this stuff up.
I debated putting this tragedy on my slide because it is a touchy subject. And I did not want to re-open any wounds.
Also, it was not the result of a wrestling move but of a poorly planned and executed stunt in Hart's entrance. Owen Hart, himself, did not feel fully comfortable doing it.
He was supposed to be lowered to the ring through a harness as the Blue Blazer. But the harness was not fully secured and the quick release mechanism was triggered too early and Owen Hart fell to his death as a result of blunt chest trauma.
The Over the Edge PPV was allowed to continue, controversially.
In the aftermath, the Hart Family sued the WWF for the catastrophic botch and settled out of court.
Fans who did not attend will never see what happened that night—and for good reason.
This botch makes the list because it highlights the risks that superstars take everyday to entertain the fans. This risk resulted in a superstar's death.
And it is no laughing matter.
It deserves to be No. 1 as a tribute to the risks superstars take everyday.
Owen Hart was a great wrestler. And he should be remembered as such.
This slideshow highlights what, in my opinion, are the biggest botches in WWE history.
The purpose, however, is not to focus on mistakes but rather on the fact that WWE superstars, and all professional and amateur wrestlers, take great risks to entertain fans.
They get injured, sometimes very seriously.
It shows how difficult some of these maneuvers and stunts are to perform.
So when you are on Youtube watching the botch compilation videos, just remember they took the risk for you.