10 Wrestling Matches That Were Changed INSTANTLY (As They Wrestled)

11/15/2023 11:27 AM

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10 Wrestling Matches That Were Changed INSTANTLY (As They Wrestled)

10 Wrestling Matches That Were Changed INSTANTLY (As They Wrestled)

November 15, 2023 11:27 AM
10 Wrestling Matches That Were Changed INSTANTLY (As They Wrestled)

When things go wrong, WWE wrestlers have to step up...

No matter how much wrestlers prepare for a matchup, sometimes, things can go wrong, and they are forced to improvise.

Whether this be due to a serious injury, or an urgent audible change from management delivered to the wrestlers from the referee, the talent in the match must know how to react to unplanned situations - and deliver a satisfying conclusion to a matchup.

Most of the time, wrestlers can change the match on the fly without a hiccup, which highlights their utter professionalism, and their ability to perform when put under immense pressure.

So, with that being said, let’s look at 10 matches that were changed instantly.

10: Edge vs. Randy Orton (Over The Limit 2010)

One of the top matches on the 2010 Over The Limit PPV card was between Randy Orton and Edge. Going into the match, fans expected the match to steal the show, but unfortunately, the match was cut short due to a serious injury.

When Orton began to pound his fists into the mat, he somehow dislocated his shoulder. Looking back, it’s apparent that something was wrong, and Orton noticeably takes a few seconds to think of how to handle the difficult situation.

Due to Orton’s injury, Orton and Edge had to change the match on the fly, as it would have been virtually impossible for Orton to continue wrestling. The new improvised finish saw both men get counted out, and this was the best-case scenario for WWE at the time, as they needed to get Orton out of the match as soon as humanly possible.

9: Rey Fenix vs. Jon Moxley (AEW Dynamite 2023)

AEW is rather premature as a wrestling company, so when things go wrong, and matches are forced to be changed with immediate effect, not everything always runs smoothly.

In September of 2023 on AEW Grand Slam Dynamite, Jon Moxley was defending his International Title against Rey Fenix, and Moxley suffered a serious concussion in the match. Moxley was scheduled to win the matchup, yet due to Moxley’s concussion, the finish was changed, and Fenix captured the title.

The way AEW handled the situation received widespread criticism, and specific criticism was directed at the referee, Rick Knox who didn’t exactly handle the injury in the best manner.

Concussions are no laughing matter, and they must be taken seriously. When it was apparent that Moxley was heavily concussed, and basically out of it, the match should have been called off. Ultimately, the introduction of a new finish which saw Moxley take several more moves was completely reckless.

During the match finish, Fenix executed a fireman’s carry piledriver onto Moxley, and Moxley failed to kick out. Instead of calling the bell at this exact moment, Knox made the ridiculous decision to continue the match. Fenix then hit the piledriver once more, and Moxley failed to kick out again, and thankfully, this time, Knox declared Fenix as the winner.

8: The New Age Outlaws vs. The Radicalz (SmackDown 2000)

The February 3, 2000 edition of SmackDown was notable, as it featured the in-ring WWE debut of one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time. Eddie Guerrero would make his debut in a tag-match, as he teamed with Perry Saturn to take on The New Age Outlaws, and things unfortunately went badly wrong.

When Guerrero executed his frog splash, Guerrero dislocated his shoulder upon landing on the mat. An audible was then called, which saw Road Dogg immediately cover Guerrero to pick up the win.

Even though Guerrero and Saturn were booked to win the match, this was the safest outcome, and WWE and the wrestlers involved handled the situation incredibly well.

7: Chris Jericho vs. Neville (RAW 2016)

Chris Jericho has a reputation for being a ring-general, and in 2016, he showed the entire world why he is truly one of the best in-ring talents to ever lace up a pair of boots.

During a match on RAW with Neville, Neville fractured his ankle in a freak accident. It was obvious that Neville was unable to continue, and Jericho decided to change the match on the fly.

Jericho would begin to push the referee, Charles Robinson which led to a DQ. Jericho was supposed to win the match, but Y2J could care less about the victory, he just wanted to end the match as soon as possible so Neville could get to the backstage area.

On his Talk is Jericho podcast, the wrestling legend discussed the incident during an interview with Charles Robinson, and this is what he had to say:

"So I get up and I'm like 'this is really going south.' Because now people are going to start sniffing that something is wrong, so I push you... I'm thinking if I push you, you'll DQ me. Because at least we'll get a DQ. Because I"m thinking we have to get the spotlight off of Neville because I don't want this to be a really awkward moment where there's a guy down in the ring and the thing just kind of ends. I'm thinking 'If I push Charles, and he DQs me... then I can still keep this rolling.'…”

6: Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch vs. The Kabuki Warriors (TLC 2019)

It’s no secret that TLC matches are amongst the most dangerous matches a wrestler can compete in, and wrestlers have to be extremely careful when participating in them.

At TLC in 2009, the show was main evented by Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair taking on Asuka and Kairi Sane in a TLC match. At some point during the match, Sane suffered a serious concussion, and it goes without saying that keeping a concussed wrestler in a TLC match is a big no-go.

Lynch decided to step up, and take control of the situation, and Lynch proceeded to directly communicate with Sane about her injury. Lynch would smartly roll Sane under the ring, completely out of harm’s way. The match was then drastically changed with several spots being re-worked without Sane’s involvement.

5: Chris Jericho vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (WWE live event 2009)

Following a widely successful in-ring return at WrestleMania 25, and Backlash in 2009, the legendary Ricky Steamboat decided to wrestle on a number of live events for WWE.

On one particular live event, Steamboat was wrestling Chris Jericho, and the planned finish was to see Jericho win, but Jericho decided to call an audible, and allowed Steamboat to pick up the victory.

This is one of the rare times in which a wrestler has called an audible for something outside of an injury, and only a top talent such as Jericho would have avoided punishment for going off script.

Jericho went into detail on the audible call in a chapter of his autobiography, The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea, and this is what he had to say:

“I was scheduled to win, but South Carolina was one of Ricky’s old NWA stomping crowds and the crowd was going bonkers when he came to the ring… Eventually, Ricky hit me with the high crossbody and the fans were certain he was going to beat me, but just like at Mania, I kicked out in the nick of time and hit him with the Codebreaker for the planned finish. But as I covered him, I told him, “Kick out, you got it? No matter what, KICK OUT.” Then I whispered sternly to referee, Charles Robinson, “Ricky is going to kick out. Do NOT count to three!”…
“… I wanted to pick Steamboat up for a body slam and have him roll me up for the pin, the exact finish of his famous WrestleMania 3 match vs. Randy Savage, which is one of my all-time favorites. But my mind had gone completely blank, and I couldn’t remember the term roll up. I was flipping through my mental moves Rolodex, but the harder I thought, the less I remembered. The crowd was exactly where I wanted them and I didn’t have much time to waste, so I grabbed Steamboat by the hair and said under my breath, “WrestleMania 3 finish.” Of course, The Dragon knew exactly what I meant and rolled me up tightly. Charles counted to three and the crowd erupted.”

4: The Miz vs. Shane McMahon (WrestleMania 39)

A major surprise of WrestleMania 39 saw the WWE return of Shane McMahon. McMahon re-surfaced during night two of the show and challenged The Miz. Whilst this was supposed to be a fun showcase, and a return to pop the crowd, it ended terribly, as McMahon legitimately tore his quadriceps seconds into the match.

In an ingenious act of improvisation, Snoop Dogg would come into the ring to challenge The Miz, this was done whilst McMahon exited the ring so he could receive medical assistance.

Snoop Dogg would punch The Miz twice, before performing a People’s Elbow to win the impromptu match.

3: Trish Stratus vs. Lita (New Year’s Revolution 2005)

The 2005 New Year’s Revolution PPV is considered cursed by fans. The PPV featured several significant injuries, and the injury that Lita suffered during her Women’s Title match against Trish Stratus didn’t just impact the match, it impacted the direction of the entire women’s division.

During the match, reigning Women’s Champion Lita suffered a torn left ACL after executing a Thesz Press off the apron. An audible was called, and Stratus executed the Chick Kick to win the Women’s Title. Stratus winning gold was never planned for the PPV event, and it is believed that Lita was supposed to walk into WrestleMania 21 a few months later as Women’s Champion.

2: The Usos vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs (WrestleMania 38)

WrestleMania 38 didn’t get off to the best of starts, as Rick Boogs suffered a torn quad during the opening matchup. Boogs would team with Shinsuke Nakamura to take on The Usos, and during the match, Boogs attempted to lift both members of The Usos onto his shoulders. This spot didn’t go to plan, and this was the exact moment in which Boogs suffered his quad tear.

It made for uncomfortable viewing, as Boogs was clearly in total agony, and WWE officials needed to get him out of the match with as much care as possible.

A change was then called, and due to The Usos being booked to win the match, WWE proceeded to rush straight into the match finish sequence.  

1: The Miz vs. Bronson Reed vs. Ivar vs. Ricochet (RAW 2023)

WWE booked The Miz, Bronson Reed, Ivar and Ricochet in a fatal-4-way match on the November 6, 2023 edition of RAW, and the winner would go on to challenge Gunther at Survivor Series in Chicago.

The match was well received, as the four stars worked well together, but when the finish came, everything seemed to go wrong.

The finish of the match saw a double pin attempt, with The Miz pinning Reed, whilst Ivar was pinning Ricochet. Miz secured the three-count on Reed, but Ricochet kicked out at the last moment during Ivar’s pin attempt. It was reported that this was never supposed to happen, and Ricochet was supposed to stay down for the 3-count, virtually giving fans two winners.

Unfortunately, Ricochet suffered a concussion, so the mistake wasn’t his fault, and in a rare occurrence, WWE called an audible for after the match, and changed what was supposed to go down. Due to the double pin, RAW General Manager, Adam Pearce was going to state that Miz will take on Ivar the following week on RAW, and the winner of that match would then meet Gunther at Survivor Series. However, due to Ricochet kicking out, WWE improvised an angle which saw Ivar lay out Miz following the match; no doubt so Ivar’s credibility and legitimacy was kept in-tact.