5 Wrestling Careers That Ended Too Soon
Some wrestlers are able to compete for 50 years and others catch an unfortunate break, having to retire too soon. Down below are five wrestlers that had to retire before they were ready. Please note, we went with wrestlers that were forced to retire and did not tragically die at a young age.
Edge was vocal that he planned to retire by 40 years old, but he fell a bit short of that goal. WrestleMania 27 opened with Edge retaining his World Heavyweight Championship over Alberto Del Rio and then destroying the challenger’s car alongside Christian. It seemed like WWE was looking to keep the Del Rio program going or start one with Christian. Then about a week after WrestleMania and there were rumors of a major announcement coming from Edge. He told the fans that he could not be medically cleared to compete anymore and would vacate the title. After a commercial break, we saw Edge leaving the arena and it was clear this wasn’t a storyline.
Daniel Bryan was labeled a B+ player by The Authority and he was originally penciled to wrestle against Sheamus at WrestleMania XXX. Then something unique happened as fans started to takeover WWE with the Yes! Movement. WWE eventually had no choice but to put Bryan in the main event of WrestleMania, where he won the title. He would vacate it due to injury only months later and at the following WrestleMania, he captured the Intercontinental Championship. The same thing happened and Bryan relinquished another title. Fast forward about 10 months and Bryan tweeted that he was forced into retirement due to concussions. We were witnessing one of the hottest stars of the time, who got over on his own, have to leave his life’s dream behind because he couldn’t be cleared to wrestle.
Looking back at WWE’s biggest stars, many could easily argue that Steve Austin was one of the top four greatest of all time. Before Austin ever claimed the WWE Championship, he suffered a scary moment in his career. He took a tombstone pile-driver from Owen Hart and landed right on his head, resulting in Austin being unable to move for several moments. He barely finished the match with the worst rollup in the history of wrestling to win the Intercontinental Championship. He had to give the belt up and eventually underwent neck surgery. The damage was done and Austin was on borrowed time. He lost to The Rock at WrestleMania 19 and quietly retired from competing inside a ring.
Magnum T.A. was seen as a future star and had been groomed to become the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. That never occurred as everything changed on a rainy October day in 1986. Magnum crashed his Porsche and two of vertebrae exploded, leaving the rising star paralyzed. He would only make a few appearances since the accident, mostly appearing ringside for someone. In 2007, Magnum made his first and only appearance on WWE TV as he sat ringside during Night of Champions. If it wasn’t for the accident, there’s no telling how far Magnum would have gone as he was adored by fans of that generation.
Darren Drozdov was a second rate football player who landed a spot in WWE. Beyond the Mat filmed Drozdov getting hired by WWE and really highlighted the dangers and unpredictability of professional wrestling. During a taping of SmackDown, D’Lo Brown went for his running power bomb and something went wrong. Drozdov landed on his neck and became a quadriplegic. There’s still some debate if the botched move was someone’s fault or one of those very rare moments where something bad simply happens. He wasn’t even with WWE for 18 months and now he faces a lifetime of depending on others to help with everyday routines. It’s a moment that shows the dangers of wrestling.