These Wrestlers Ruined Their Career In A Matter Of Seconds
Pro wrestling is a business built on a foundation of controversy. More often than not, it’s all manufactured for storyline purposes and to get the OMG factor from the audience, but there are also moments when the lines are blurred between fact and fiction and people don’t know what’s real and what isn’t. With that being said, there are times when performers tank their careers through specific actions that have serious and wide-ranging consequences. Sometimes, the wrestlers understand the magnitude of what they do in the moment and choose to go ahead with it anyway, while there are instances where they don’t get how it will impact them later on.
Well, Doc Brown has just pulled up and offered us the services of the DeLorean to go back in time and find out about the wrestlers who set fire to their careers in a singular moment — whether it’s through their own fault or not. From Vader’s catastrophic misinterpretation of "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels’ diving elbow at SummerSlam 1996 to Juventud Guerrera performing like a character from a PlayStation wrestling game in a match against Paul London, let’s dive right into these unfortunate instances where wrestlers went Rambo on their own careers.
As Alundra Blayze, Debrah Miceli had a successful run in the then-WWF’s women’s division. In December 1995, Blayze departed the company for WCW. Appearing on "Monday Nitro," Blayze debuted as Madusa with the WWF Women’s Championship in tow. She proceeded to dump the title in the trash on national broadcast television — a major no-no in the wrestling business and something that irked the WWE as she failed to reappear in the company until she was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2015.
Speaking to WWE.com, Miceli explained why she chucked the title in the trash on live television. "Well, I was under contract and [former WCW President] Eric Bischoff told me to do it. It was either that or I was out the door," she said, adding she was a dubbed "a disgrace to the business" because of the stunt.
Bischoff disputed Miceli’s version of events on his podcast, "83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff" (h/t Sportskeeda), saying it was her idea in the first place. "Oh yeah, she is not opposed at all of making money off of it, but she wants to put the heat on me because she doesn’t remember anything the way it actually happened," he said. "She is delusional."
When Leon White, also known as Vader, debuted in the then-WWF in 1996, the expectation was high for the bona fide wrestling monster to make serious moves in the company. As a former WCW champion and a certified mega-hit in Japan, many expected the big man to slot right into the WWF’s main event slot. That’s how the Mastodon was presented in the early stages as well, even scoring a pinfall victory over WWF Champion Shawn Michaels in a three-man tag match at In Your House 9: International Incident.
The following month at SummerSlam 1996, Michaels and Vader had their big match-up for the title. Unfortunately, the bout didn’t go according to plan, leaving a visibility irritated Michaels screaming at Vader for failing to move when he was supposed to after HBK went for the elbow drop. After the match, Michaels reportedly approached Vince McMahon and stated he didn’t want to work with Vader anymore, which impacted the plans for Survivor Series 1996 where Vader was scheduled to win the title. Instead, it was Sycho Sid who beat Michaels for the gold.
On the "Grilling JR" podcast (via 411MANIA), Jim Ross admitted Michaels all but killed Vader’s push in the company. After the disastrous SummerSlam 1996 match, Vader’s stock within the promotion plummeted, resulting in him being released in 1998 — without a single championship gold reign to his name in his time with the company.