5 WWE matches that turned into real fights

WWE’s product is meant to entertain fans through the suspension of disbelief. However, there have been moments during matches where things got way too real and aggressive for one’s liking.

The process of wrestling matches involves high levels of co-operation between the wrestlers involved, as they essentially are responsible for their own and their co-worker’s well-being. But this element has been removed on a few occasions over the years in WWE.

A few WWE matches diverted from the script and turned into real fights, whether for a solitary moment during a match or its entirety. They make for quite the spectacle, but things can break down quickly. In some instances, the wrestlers reverted to normalcy, but that wasn’t always the case.

Let’s take a look at five such instances where WWE matches turned into legitimate fights.

#5 Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax (WWE RAW – August 30th, 2021)

Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax this past week on WWE RAW, was not the smoothest. The bout did not go to plan, and things broke down pretty quickly. Flair and Jax ended up throwing real punches and slaps at each other during it.

Both women seemed to sabotage each other’s offense, but the match did get back on track. The finish went as planned, with Nia Jax going over. WWE has booked a rematch for next week with no reported backstage tension between the two, with the RAW Women’s Championship on the line.

#4 Perry Saturn vs. Mike Bell (WWF Jakked – May 7th, 2001)

Despite debuting alongside the likes of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn’s WWE career was pretty forgettable. This match from a 2001 episode of Jakked contributed to that. Saturn faced enhancement talent Mike Bell, who performed a sloppy hip toss that almost caused him to land on his head.

This enraged the former WCW star, who attacked his opponent with real intent. Saturn dumped Bell headfirst out of the ring and slammed his head into the steel steps. Following this incident, Perry Saturn was given a comedy gimmick involving a mop that ended his chances of being a credible star in WWE.

#3 Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane (WWE Royal Rumble 2018)

Brock Lesnar is as legitimate as a WWE Superstar has ever been. He is hard-hitting in the ring, as many names have seen over the years. Braun Strowman found this out the hard way. He challenged The Beast Incarnate for the Universal Championship at Royal Rumble 2018, also featuring Kane.

Early into it, Strowman hit Lesnar in the face with a stiff knee. The eight-time WWE world champion responded with a hard fist while telling him to slow down. This isolated incident did not deter the match, which saw Brock Lesnar retain his title. The two men even laughed about it backstage afterward.

#2 The Acolytes vs. The Public Enemy (WWF Sunday Night Heat – March 7th, 1999)

Former ECW tag team, The Public Enemy made their way to WWE in 1999, with one of their first matches coming against Farooq and Bradshaw, The Acolytes. The plan involved one of the members of The Public Enemy going through a table. However, they refused to do the table spot just before heading to the ring.

#1 Kurt Angle vs. Daniel Puder (WWE SmackDown – November 4th, 2004)

WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle conducted an unscripted segment of Tough Enough when it was part of SmackDown in 2004. This was done with the expectation that the Olympic gold medalist would steamroll all comers, but that was not the case.

The eventual Tough Enough winner decided to showcase his MMA background opposite Angle. Angle defeated one of the contestants in a legitimate shoot wrestling match, before challenging any others. Daniel Puder accepted. After a brief takedown, Puder trapped the former WWE Champion in a Kimura Lock.

Kurt Angle rolled over him while referee Jimmy Korderas fast-counted an awkward pinfall as he risked serious injury or embarrassment at the hands of a “rookie” in front of the fans. This could have ended badly for Angle, who was visibly livid at what had transpired.

Daniel Puder was supposedly ‘punished’ for this incident at Royal Rumble 2005. Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and Hardcore Holly hit him with a series of hard chops during the match. That was his last appearance for WWE.

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