PG Piledriver: Reasons Dangerous Moves Should Be Banned in Wrestling | Smark Out Moment

PG Piledriver: Reasons Dangerous Moves Should Be Banned in Wrestling

Posted by Steph Maxwell-Kavanagh Thursday, March 17, 2016
As we all know, the piledriver is a banned move inside of WWE rings...and outside of them...and probably anywhere Vince McMahon has been breathing in the last six to eight years. It's been banned for sixteen years now, starting in 2000, and was mostly stopped after the disastrous and terrifying moment where Owen Hart broke Steve Austin's neck at SummerSlam in 1997 with a sit-out tombstone piledriver.

Since 2000, the only people in WWE supposedly allowed to use it (with the exception of CM Punk in 2013) are The Undertaker and Kane, partially because they're seen as 'stronger guys' and I'd suspect partially because Mark Calloway has always been one of Vince McMahon's best guys, and he trusts him to get the spot right. Both of them, however, are only allowed to do the standard tombstone piledriver, which is seen as a safer version, and less likely to go wrong.

Stone Cold Wrestling Injury Piledriver WWE Banned Move
For the squeamish, look away now.

But the truth is, wrestling is a dangerous business, and nothing can ever be said to be entirely safe. Just look at Neville's seemingly innocuous baseball slide on Monday Night Raw from March 15th; he does much more complicated spots every week, but one wrong move and instead of looking forward to seeing him maybe contend for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania, we get a video of him nearly crying when he's told his ankle is broken. This was from someone who is allowed to do the shooting star press, which is another move only certain people can do within WWE.

Anyone can get something wrong, and to allow two members of your company to do something because they're trusted isn't always the best policy. Owen Hart was a master technician, and while some say that this injury was because of a miscommunication about which piledriver Owen was going for, or that Austin waved off the sit-out tombstone and Hart did it anyway, it still could have cost The Rattlesnake his life, or paralyzed him. As it was, it cut five or six years off a spectacular career.

When people complain about the PG era, a lot of what they miss is the showmanship; the way superstars were allowed to behave, what they were allowed to say, and how bizarre the gimmicks could be. But there's also been a lot of talk about how wrestling used to be 'hardcore', with fans missing the intentional blading, the violence, and the breathtakingly dangerous looking moves. William Regal recently posted a series of tweets proclaiming that younger talent shouldn't have to go through the same sort of moves he did as a young wrestler, because of the danger involved in them, and just how much surgery he's had to have, sharing an x-ray of his neck to prove the point.

WWE Wrestling Broken Neck Picture
I had a joke about the Montreal Screwjob for this, but... it's all a bit bleak, really.
As much as fans might miss the days when WWE was a blood-soaked, violent soap opera, you only have to look at the injured list right now to know that wrestlers are still putting their bodies through a hell of a lot for our entertainment. Maybe some of the terrifying spots are gone from WWE, but if high-octane moves are wanted, Japanese wrestling has always been the most inventive and dangerous when it comes to spots. TNA still allows Jeff Hardy to take a piledriver outside the ring, so it's not like there aren't other places to go for technical aggression.

Finally, it's not like the moves we still see in WWE rings aren't dangerous; the German suplex causes debilitating neck injuries, the Styles clash requires the wrestler taking it to be incredibly careful about keeping their head back, the aforementioned shooting star press can go wrong in a myriad of ways, especially when performed by or on newer, greener talent. All WWE have done is ban moves that are shown to put their stars at risk of paralysis or possibly even death. You can't really argue that they should change that.

Do you still just miss moves like the piledriver enough that you think WWE should take the risks, or do you agree that banning these maneuvers is the best course of action? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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