Wrestling is dangerous. Lives have been lost inside the ring, and career ending injuries are sadly too common in professional wrestling.
Due to this, some of the more dangerous moves have been banned by the WWE. WWE banned moves over the past 30 years due to a variety of reasons, also the bulk of them relate to the cause of injuries inside their rings.
However, there are a few different reasons as to why WWE banned some of their most brutal looking finishing moves.
Some moves have been banned in the WWE in the past, but reinstated later on.
Seth Rollins‘s curb stomp was banned for a time in 2015, soon after he used it to win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 31. However, years later when he turned face, the move was brought back.
The curb stomp was said to have been banned due to the ease of which children would be able to injure themselves using it.
However, any wrestling move can hurt kids with ease, so the logic there was not quite as sound as WWE would have hoped.
Banned WWE Move List
The move used by Shane Helms in WCW, the Vertebreaker is banned by the WWE due to how complex and dangerous the move can be.
The move has the recipient basically dropped on their head, neck and shoulders and could result in paralysis if performed incorrectly.
The margin for error and the timing for the move are crucial, so it is clear why it tops the list of banned moves in the WWE.
One of the most devastating looking moves in wrestling is the piledriver. Basically, it involves one wrestler dropping another straight on top of their head, from an elevated position.
The move was banned after Summerslam 1997, following a match between Steve Austin and Owen Hart. During the match, Hart dropped Austin with a piledriver, but messed up the move and dropped him directly on his head, driving it into the mat.
This broke Austin’s neck and cost him years of his career. The injury forced him to retire years later in 2003, and cost him and the company millions of potential dollars.
A variation of the move is not banned, but only for two men. Only The Undertaker and Kane are allowed to do the Tombstone Piledriver, due to their years of proving they could do it safely (don’t ask Hulk Hogan about it, thought).
Randy Orton’s Punt
While used sparingly, the punt in one of the most dangerous moves in WWE (in Kayfabe).
The move involved Randy Orton standing in the corner, with his opponet lying on his front in the middle of the ring. He then runs and kicks them squarely in the had, in something that in real life could cause concussions, or even death.
While it is completely safe in wrestling because he barely grazes them, the real-life danger was enough to ban the move completely.
It has not been seen for a number of years and with Orton’s potentially career-ending injuries, we may never see the banned move again in the WWE.
Chairshots To The Head
This one is one of the most fair. While not strictly a “wrestling move”, the chair shot to the head became one of the most common sights to see during the Attitude Era.
The sound of steel hitting skull is still uncomfortable to listen to. This became a huge no-no in wrestling and was banned for good in WWE years later.
The main turning point was the death of Chris Benoit. With concussion linked to his death, banning them completely seemed to be a smart move by the WWE.
Other promotions still use chair shots to the head, but thankfully use “gimmicked” chairs to lessen the impact.
One of Kevin Owens’ to be banned by the WWE is the infamous Steenalizer.
Used on occasion on the independent scene, and in Ring of Honor, the Steenalizer is one of the most potentially dangerous moves in wrestling.
The move sees Owens (then known as Kevin Steen) pick up his opponent in power bomb position, facing away from the corner of the ring.
He then grabs the head and neck of his opponent, pulling his head toward his body. Kevin Owens then falls backwards, throwing the victim head-and-neck first into the corner, with no way to shield themselves from the impact.
The move looked brutal, because it was. It has not even been teased in the WWE due to how dangerous it could be. The move was banned by the WWE rightly and it is impossible that it will be absent from his canon of moves for the rest of his WWE career.