For decades upon decades the spectacle of pro wrestling has gone hand in hand with pyrotechnics from the drop-dead gorgeous tableaus like Charlotte’s fireworks display at ‘Mania 32, to amazing character-specific lightshows like Sid’s, you know he didn’t design it himself because it’s spelled right, to the laughable excess of WCW’s insane over-use of fireworks, just look at that money burn.
Genuinely, it’s one of the best aspects of marquee wrestling, is the backbone of creating some of the most iconic entrances of all time, and of course, sometimes it goes wrong, sometimes it goes super dangerous, and sometimes it goes very very funny.
Prime the trigger, cover your ears and hope for the best, these are the 10 Biggest Pyro Blunders In Wrestling History.
10. AEW Revolution 2021
Because yes it’s funny, but it’s also such a damn shame. At the end of AEW Revolution – a good show, lest we forget – we saw the exploding barbed wire deathmatch, a feud-ending, cartoon stipulation with the explicit promise of hyperviolence.
After 30 minutes, we were warned, the ring would explode and people could be killed. It’s a direct homage to Atsushi Onita’s very silly legacy for explosions in Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, to the point where Onita actually filmed himself hyping the match for AEW.
For the sake of comparison, this is how the exploding cage match between Onita and Wing Kanemura ended. This is how Revolution ended.
Literally, Eddie Kingston performs something of a heroic faceturn, throws himself on Moxley, the sirens blaring, goosebumps appearing on the arms of everyone, and then a few dribbles of sparkles and boom booms.
Apparently, the pyro sequence was all off, the explosions were meant to be bigger, but man, that would be considered underwhelming at a Chuck E f**king Cheese, and what’s worse… they sold it.
If they’d pretended that Kenny was trolling everyone, that’s one thing, but commentary sold it, the paramedics sold it and Eddie sold it like he was actually dead.
Oh no. I actually feel bad making fun of it, because if that explosion had looked like this, the pay-per-view feed cuts, then we might just be talking about the angle of the decade instead of… yeah…
9. What’s Worse Than Bad Pyro? No Pyro
Quick incident to debunk first. People share it as a semi-famous botch that Kane’s pyro apparently malfunctioned back on Raw in 2005, but that’s not the case.
If you look at the match, there are no fire canisters on the posts. Instead, Kane made his entrance during a commercial break and was goofing around when he raised and lowered his arms, because he knew the flames wouldn’t happen.
This is not to say there haven’t been PLENTY of moments where superstars expected a boom and no boom came. Kofi’s full pyro didn’t go off at ‘Mania 26, even more noticeably Shawn Michaels pyro didn’t go off at ‘Mania 28, Shawn’s super good at hiding his pyro related annoyance as you can see and Kane’s pyro has actually properly officially malfunctioned once live on Raw in 2002.
On April 1st appropriately, Kane throws his hands down, nothing happens, then ten seconds later they go off and Kane absolutely buckles, it’s awesome.
8. Randy Waits (Royal Rumble 2009)
Some say that Randy Orton is still pointing at the WrestleMania XXV sign. You all want to see Randall looking cross, ME TOO. Here he is having a massive grump on.
He’s just won the 2009 Royal Rumble, he points at the sign, to cue a massive burst of pyro, nothing happens, so he waits, keeps pointing, thinking starting this moment…from now…from this moment on…this’ll be the moment…starting now..of the genesis of my pyro.
Still doesn’t go off. He goes to the middle of the ring, points again, f**king nothing lads, and before he loses it, Charles Robinson politely reminds Randy that the agreed upon shot was him standing on turnbuckle and pointing, which he does and finally, mercifully the pyro goes off.
And look at his cross, cross face. You hate to see it.