There’s just something about pro wrestling and vehicular mayhem that just goes together. The sheer total of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other various modes of transportation that have been defaced or destroyed in a number of different ways over the years by wrestling organizations is staggering, and the amount spent on those often extremely expensive vehicles would probably put a dent in the biggest budget. But for some reason, when wrestling wants to up the ante, you can bet we’ll see a vehicle involved in some way, as they were in the following infamous examples.
10. The White Hummer Mystery
Ah yes, the case of the white HumVee which destroyed a limousine containing WCW Champion Kevin Nash, a master plan set up by Randy Savage that was a mystery worthy of a Nancy Drew novel. Or maybe an episode of Scooby-Doo. WCW literally a year teasing who had actually been driving the vehicle, mostly by showing footage of who it wasn’t. Included on the list of false suspects were Sid, Hulk Hogan, Sting (who was shown driving a black Hummer, because “wrestling continuity” is an oxymoron), and former Baywatch star Carmen Electra. No, we’re not kidding. Anyway, this kept going long past the reasonable point of when they should have resolved the entire thing, until everyone basically gave up and moved on. In fact, it was never actually explicitly stated who drove the Hummer, although long after anyone might have remotely cared, WCW basically implied that it was Eric Bischoff by showing him driving a similar vehicle. You could argue that this made absolutely no sense, as he was Nash’s ally at the time, but then again, we are talking about WCW here.
9. Shane Sends Kane To Hell
The war between Kane and Shane McMahon in mid-2003 was ridiculous for a lot of reasons, most of all because it turned Shane McMahon into a seemingly indestructible badass who actually could go toe-to-toe with the unmasked monster Kane, something no actual wrestler had done up to that point. But even sillier was the ways in which Kane and Shane tried to destroy each other, which included Shane kicking Kane into a flaming dumpster, and an infamous Raw moment where Kane handcuffed Shane to a ringpost, then hooked his testicles up to a car battery. But most relevant to this particular topic would be a moment that was replayed as part of the Raw intro montage for years, as Shane lured Kane into a parking lot backstage, eventually hiding inside a limousine. Somehow, when Kane entered the limo, Shane managed to subdue him, escape, then rig the limo to drive straight into a nearby production truck (via the old “brick on the gas pedal” trick), shearing off the roof of the limo and, presumably, injuring Kane in some way. You know, unless he was lying on the floor of the limo, in which case, he was probably fine. And as a bonus for this list, the entire feud ended in an Ambulance Match, where you win by throwing your opponent into an ambulance and letting it drive away.
8. Foley Wins With A Forklift
Most wrestling fans remember the glorious match when Mick Foley won his first WWE Title on Raw in Worchester, Massachusetts, because it’s one of the greatest moments in wrestling history. It’s likely, however, that few will recall the ridiculous circumstances in which he earned his second WWE Title reign only a few weeks later. In a gimmick that WWE has never attempted again, Mankind faced The Rock in an Empty Arena Match, during an episode of Sunday Night Heat which aired during halftime of the Super Bowl in 1999. For some reason, WWE tried to shoot parts of this match, which was mostly played for comedy (in part because Foley was still recovering from injuries he’d suffered during the infamous “I Quit” Match at the Royal Rumble, but also because it was being broadcast to a mainstream audience), like a cinematic film, which is what gave us a truly unique, and incredibly cheesy, finish to the match. In a final attempt to pin The Rock and win back the WWE Title he’d lost at the Rumble, Foley commandeered a forklift carrying a pallet of beer kegs, which he then lowered onto The Rock, holding The Great One down and allowing Foley to gain the victory. The silly part comes when WWE decided to film a shot that was, essentially, a first-person view from the pallet’s perspective as it was lowered onto The Rock, capturing his groggy realization of what was happening. When the match aired (it was pre-taped ahead of time), many people, including Foley himself, chided WWE for the shot, saying that it broke the suspension of disbelief and ruined their immersion in the match.
7. Kurt Angle, Bike Enthusiast
So Kurt Angle has always been a bit of a dork, although one that can wrestle like a maniac and will break your ankle if he deems it necessary. And a great example of Angle walking that line between just plain goofy and a great heel is exemplified in a run-in he had with the Undertaker in 2000. You see, Angle was backstage celebrating a victory at a catering table by throwing food everywhere, and some of it ended up on The Undertaker’s motorcycle (remember, we’re deep in American Bad Ass territory at this point). Frankly, it was Taker’s own fault for parking his bike in the middle of catering, but Kurt still tried to make up for what was clearly an accident, offering to replace Undertaker’s ride with a better one. So, the next week on Raw, Angle rode out on an environmentally-friendly, fuel-efficient, little white scooter, as a gift for The Undertaker. Obviously, Taker was not amused, and he chased Angle away before destroying the scooter. Which, since it was a gift, meant that Undertaker was actually breaking his own property, but if you think about things like this too hard, you’ll go insane.
6. The DX Army
Despite what WWE has told you for years, every piece of footage clearly shows that D-Generation X didn’t actually drive a tank down to WCW Headquarters, it was just a military jeep. Still, the sheer balls that it took to drive any vehicle down to not only an arena that was currently hosting Nitro, but also WCW headquarters in Atlanta (people often forget, the DX invasion took place over several weeks in different locations, although they got less interesting as the threat of legal action from Time Warner increased, which is probably why they stopped), was still quite impressive. While the DX invasion may not have actually accomplished anything other than looking cool, that was kind of the point, as it instantly changed the narrative in regards to WCW, which had become the place where “cool” things happened regularly, and made WWE look like the new location for all things cutting edge. Granted, it didn’t suddenly shift the balance of power between the companies (no matter what WWE revisionist history might tell you), but it was still a significant part of the Monday Night Wars, as it signified the moment where WWE starting swinging back against the WCW juggernaut that had been burying them for months.
5. The nWo Destroys An Ambulance
In a seemingly desperate attempt to recapture the glory of the Monday Night Wars, Vince McMahon brought in Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall, and attempted to reform the New World Order in WWE as the chaotic force of destruction that had pushed WCW to new heights (and also was partially responsible for WCW not being around anymore, but it was the good parts that Vince chose to focus on). To that end, WWE tried to re-create some of their original backstage assaults on other wrestlers, which had made the group so intimidating in its original incarnation. In the most infamous moment of the nWo’s brief time in WWE, they took down The Rock in a brutal attack that saw him stretchered out of the arena and taken away in an ambulance. Then, the nWo ambushed the ambulance, locked The Rock inside, and Hulk Hogan drove an eighteen-wheeler into it, crushing the emergency vehicle in a shower of sparks and blatant pyrotechnics. And then The Rock showed up a week later with a bandage over his ribs, because he’s a real-life action movie hero. WWE actually used video footage of the stunt as part of the Raw opening video montage for years, despite most people mocking how dumb the whole thing was.
4. Vince’s Limousine Explodes
This has to take some sort of award for the most over-the-top explosion ever seen on WWE TV, and this is a company that uses pyrotechnics to open their weekly TV show. In fact, the entire setup for Vince getting blown up inside his limo (don’t worry, the plan was supposed to be that he’d faked his death) was so ridiculous that wrestler Paul London allegedly got fired because he couldn’t stop grinning like an idiot on TV while Vince was making his walk of shame towards his vehicle. We have to give WWE credit for genuinely creating a surprising moment, as it seemed like all we were going to get was Vince getting into his limo and driving away as Raw went off the air. Actually, in retrospect, we probably should have been more suspicious of the face that the camera lingered on Vince for so long, making sure that without a shadow of a doubt, he was inside the limo just before it exploded in a massive ball of fire. Of course, we never got to see the aftermath of this stunt, thanks to it being cancelled due to the Chris Benoit incident, which probably saved us from weeks of the explosion being replayed ad nauseam on WWE TV, to the point that we might have started hoping that Vince actually had died.
3. Sumo Monster Truck Match!
As if we weren’t going to talk about WCW and their disproportionately huge love of monster trucks. Honestly, it’s half the reason why we came up with this list. Over the years, it seems like WCW spent an inordinate amount of time and money featuring monster trucks on their wrestling show. And by far the silliest use of these gas-guzzling, car-crushing monstrosities was the absolutely ridiculous Sumo Monster Truck Match, in which two trucks, representing WCW Champion Hulk Hogan and the newly-debuting Giant, tried to push each other out of a circle in a display of power and strength that you can only get from two over-sized trucks pretending to ram each other (according to monster truck enthusiasts, it was apparently very easy to tell that the match was “worked”). The entire thing took place on top of a nearby building, which allowed for post-match shenanigans that saw Hogan “accidentally” knock The Giant off the roof, putting their title match later that evening in jeopardy. Oh, and Hogan’s truck won, which shouldn’t shock anybody, although things would not go as well for Hogan in his title match, as The Giant (dripping with water, the implication being that he had survived by landing in Lake Michigan) would win the WCW World Title in his very first match after Hogan was disqualified (don’t ask, it’s complicated).
2. Who Hit Stone Cold?
The biggest mystery to grip WWE in its entire existence was the identity of the driver of the car which ran down Steve Austin before the 1999 Survivor Series PPV (in reality, Austin would be out for an entire year having neck surgery, but WWE had advertised his presence in the main event of the show anyway). When Austin finally came back and demanded to know who had dared to hit him with a car, Commissioner Mick Foley begged him for time to find the culprit, rather than let Austin run wild on the show in the guise of investigating. What followed was a series of red herrings, logical leaps, and retcons of past events which eventually revealed that Rikishi had been the man who had attempted vehicular homicide on Austin, in a heel turn absolutely nobody had asked for, and which never really led to anything good. As part of the feud which followed, Austin and Rikishi would trade further attempts on each others life with an assortment of vehicles, before finally settling it in the ring, and ultimately revealing that Triple H was behind the whole plot all along, mostly because the feud was dying a quick death and they made a last-ditch attempt to save it by inserting one of Austin’s greatest enemies.
1. Anytime Steve Austin Drives Anything
Frankly, we could have made the entire list about the things that Steve Austin does whenever he gets behind the wheel, but for the sake of parity, we’ve gathered all his vehicular misadventures into a single spot. Over his career, Austin has had a long and well-known history with using vehicles as a method for getting back at his enemies. Among his actions (almost all of which were probably illegal) include things like crushing The Rock’s Cadillac with a monster truck, driving a Zamboni the the ring so he could attack Vince McMahon, lifting a car containing Triple H with a crane and dropping it several stories (don’t worry, Triple H survived without a scratch), dropping a steel beam on the D-X bus, driving a beer truck to the ring so he could attack Vince McMahon, filling Vince’s sports car with cement, driving a pick-up truck to the ring so he could attack the Nation of Domination (you might have noticed a trend here), and spending a lot of time post-retirement driving an ATV around whenever he shows up on TV. If it’s got wheels, Steve Austin can apparently drive it, and also use it to help him commit acts of violence against anyone in his path.