Pro Wrestling


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To botch in professional wrestling means to attempt a scripted move that does not come out as it was originally planned due to a mistake, miscalculation, or a slip-up. Most botches are harmless but embarrassing, such as a wrestler falling before his opponent's move actually connects, or "selling" an opponent's maneuver that clearly missed, inciting the fans to chant things such as "You fucked up!", for example.

A common cause of botches is inexperience. Jackie Gayda, winner of the Tough Enough 2 competition, in one of her first TV matches (a tag team match with Christopher Nowinski against Trish Stratus and Bradshaw on the July 8, 2002 edition of RAW from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), botched nearly every move that she tried, the most famous of which was a second-rope-bulldog by Stratus, which Gayda sold two seconds too late.

However, botches can be extremely dangerous and can end a wrestler's career (or life). For example, former WWE wrestler D'Lo Brown once botched a running sitout powerbomb on his opponent Droz, resulting in Droz being paralyzed from the neck down ( It should be noted, that this botch was mainly caused by a member of the audience tossing a beverage into the ring which D'Lo slipped on while holding Droz in the powerbomb position. Droz also did not cinch himself up at the waist as is the safety measure for powerbomb receivers). In other cases, the wrestler performing the move could be injured. Japanese wrestler Hayabusa botched a springboard moonsault in a match against Mammoth Sasaki when his foot slipped on the second rope and he landed on his head, severely injuring his neck and paralyzing him.

An example of the worst-case scenario when a botch results in the death of a performer is with wrestling trainee Brian Ong. In May 2001, Ong was training with Dalip Singh (better known currently as WWE's Great Khali) and took a flapjack from Singh. The move was botched, reportedly because Ong had grabbed Singh's shirt instead of pushing off Singh's back as he was instructed. Although he had made the mistake several times before without incident, this time Ong landed tailbone first and his head was whipped back violently against the mat. The resulting impact, coupled with a previous concussion resulted in Ong's death a few days later.

In most cases, minor botches are simply glossed over as though they never happened. Serious botches resulting in injuries often result in improvised endings to matches; one famous example being the match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Owen Hart, in which a botched piledriver left Austin with a badly injured neck and forced Hart to improvise an extended taunt/victory dance sequence until Austin was able to roll him up in a schoolboy pin, ending the match earlier than planned but with the desired winner (Hart, coincidentally, was killed 19 months later as the result of a botched ring entrance stunt). Sometimes, the remainder of a match will be cancelled if a wrestler cannot continue or requires immediate medical attention. If a wrestler is seriously injured (in a botch or otherwise) the referee normally signals the need for immediate help by doing an "X" formation with his arms (similar to the famous D-Generation X taunt.) As professional wrestling fans have noticed this, the referee may sometimes perform the symbol in an attempt to indicate a (kayfabe) injury to another performer, which will lead to the match being called off.

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