“GOOD GOD Almighty, they’ve killed him.”
Those are the iconic words of WWE’s legendary commentator Jim Ross as he watched The Undertaker put Mankind through hell at King of the Ring 1998.
Vince McMahon’s Superstars have often faced derision for the smoke and mirrors aspect of professional wrestling where the finishes are pre-determined.
But WWE also has a history of real-life pain and suffering that requires stretchers for bone breaks and concussions rather than part of a storyline.
During that famous Hell in a Cell match, Mick Foley cemented his standing forever among the fans while risking his life in the process.
The hardcore veteran suffered a dislocated shoulder, multiple puncture wounds, a hole in his lip, and a dislocated jaw during one of WWE’s most brutal bouts.
Here are seven other times wrestlers should have heeded JR’s warning to “stop the damn match”…
The Undertaker’s Orbital Bone
Despite the vast difference between their height and size, it was the Deadman who ended up with a broken nose, broken orbital bone and a concussion following a match against Rey Mysterio.
During a SmackDown taping on May 25, 2010, the Master of the 619 overhit a seated senton that smashed The Phenom’s face in.
Stone Cold’s Neck
Steve Austin had shocked the world by returning to wrestling just three months after breaking his neck in the ring, but he later admitted the injury would cause him to retire prematurely.
The Texas Rattlesnake was temporarily paralysed following a botched piledriver in his match against Owen Hart at SummerSlam 1997.
Stone Cold’s head had been too low when the move was delivered meaning his neck became compressed and broke as he awkwardly hit the mat.
Realising Austin was legitimately hurt, Owen stalled for time by playing up to the crowd.
Once Stone Cold was able to regain some movement back into his body, he quickly rolled up his opponent for the win and was carried out of the arena by referees.
Eddie’s Bad Blading
It was the match against Latino Heat at Judgement Day 2004 that JBL credits with going on to cement a Hall of Fame-caliber career in WWE.
The man formerly as Bradshaw infamously struck Guerrero with a chair shot to the head.
Eddie then quickly performed a rushed blade job to produce some blood but he accidentally cut too deep and hit a major artery.
The bleeding was so severe that the WWE Champion, who battled on to earn a DQ win, later into shock and had to be rushed to the hospital.
John Cena’s Nose
The 16-time world champion memorably bounced back from tearing his right pectoral muscle in October 2007 to win the Royal Rumble just three months later.
But it was his sickening nose break against Seth Rollins in 2015 that was the more gruesome of his injuries.
Cena had been battling the Architect for the United States title on RAW when he was caught flush with a high knee that broke his nose.
Yet the Fast and Furious actor shrugged it off to score a submission win and later had surgery to fix his Hollywood looks.
Darren Drozdov suffered one of the most horrendous injuries in WWE history that left him paralysed.
Droz, wrestling under the ring name of Puke, fractured two disks in his necks following a botched powerbomb against D’Lo Brown at a SmackDown taping in 1999.
He was taken to the hospital where he underwent hours of unsuccessful surgery to reduce the swelling in his spine.
WWE withheld footage of the accident from its taping but shots of Droz being stretchered out of the arena was included in the company’s ‘Don’t Try This at Home’ video.
Cactus Jack’s Ear
Having already discussed Mick Foley’s horror injuries in WWE, it’s time to look at another time the 54-year-old was maimed inside a wrestling ring.
While performing as his Catcus Jack character during a match in 1994, the Hall of Famer attempted a hangman spot that would see his head tied up in the ropes.
The bout was held in WCW, who are known to use steel cables as their ropes, and Foley accidentally ripped two-thirds of his ear as he fought to free himself.
A stiff strike from Vader later in the match then caused the remaining part of his limb to detach itself from his head.
Joey Mercury’s Face
The former MNM member’s face exploded during the 2006 Armageddon PPV.
Mercury had been teaming with Johnny Nitro (John Morrison) in a fatal four-way ladder match against London and Kendrick, Regal and Taylor and the Hardy Boyz.
But after an errant ladder struck him in the face, the 40-year-old’s nose broke and blood seeped over his face.
Mercury was immediately removed from the match and taken to the hospital but he never seemed to be able to bounce back from the injury.