Samoa Joe vs Tyson Kidd (partially found footage of professional wrestling dark match; 2015)

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This article has been tagged as NSFL due to its disturbing subject matter.


Samoa Joe executes the Muscle Buster that would end Tyson Kidd's career.

Status: Partially Found

On 1st June 2015, prior to an episode of WWE Raw, professional wrestlers Samoa Joe and Tyson Kidd faced each other in a dark match. The encounter would become infamous for being Kidd's final match, as a botched landing during Joe's finisher, the Muscle Buster, resulted in Kidd suffering career-ending spinal cord injuries.


Heading into the match, Tyson Kidd had been on WWE television since February 2009.[1][2] He had success within WWE's tag team division, teaming with David Hart Smith as part of the Hart Dynasty, and later joining forces with Cesaro, where he won the WWE Tag Team Championship with both.[2] Meanwhile, Samoa Joe was in the early stages of his WWE career, having previously won the TNA and ROH World Championships.[3] On 20th May 2015, Joe debuted at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, where he proceeded to confront Kevin Owens and stop him from attacking Sami Zayn.[4] The dark match on 1st June was set to be Joe's first bout for WWE since 2001, where he lost to Essa Rios in an episode of WWE Jakked!.[5] Initially, Joe was not scheduled to face Kidd, but a late reshuffle meant he was now booked to defeat the two-time tag team champion.[6][7][2] It would be the first time both wrestlers fought one another, with neither having time to properly discuss the match before it arose.[6][7] Nevertheless, Kidd was confident that he and Joe's experience would ensure the encounter went smoothly.[6][7]

The Match

Prior to the finish, nothing out of the ordinary occurred during the match.[6][7] Joe would eventually gain the upper hand, setting Kidd up for his finisher, the Muscle Buster.[6][7] The move involves a wrestler hooking the legs of their opponent, before lifting them up and tucking the opponent's head onto their shoulders.[8] The wrestler then performs a sit-down maneuverer, inflicting punishment primarily to the opponent's neck and spine.[8] According to Kidd, as he was set up for the move, he placed his hands in the wrong position.[7] He ended up landing awkwardly on his neck, where he suffered temporary paralysis from the neck down and witnessed white light.[6][7] After Joe quickly pinned Kidd for the victory, Cesaro came in to help, only for Kidd to immediately instruct his tag partner not to touch him.[6] He was able to regain some feeling and thus could walk away, but he was clutching his neck and collarbone as he left the ring.[9]

Kidd was transferred to a hospital in San Antonio.[6][7] He was informed by a doctor that he had suffered a spinal cord concussion, the result of the C2 ligament rupturing and causing his C2 disc to collide with the spinal cord.[7] The collision was ultimately why Kidd witnessed white light.[7] Just five percent of individuals who suffer a spinal cord concussion survive, and only one percent avoid suffering permanent paralysis.[6][7] Kidd's injuries were compared to those of actor Christopher Reeve's, with Kidd surviving primarily because of his conditioning.[6] Joe would then arrive and was weeping, apologising repeatedly to Kidd.[6] Kidd responded that it was all an accident, and that it was his responsibility for not positioning himself correctly for the move.[6][7]

Kidd required staples, screws, and a metal rod as part of his emergency surgery, which ultimately ended successfully.[6][7] However, it would end his professional wrestling career.[6][7] He would undergo around two years of successful rehabilitation, and would be signed by WWE as a backstage producer.[10][6] He has remained in this role as of 2022, earning praise from numerous wrestlers for putting together their matches.[6][10] Kidd would later state that he would never return to the ring, while again reiterating that he had no qualms against Joe and that it was simply an accident.[10][7] Joe meanwhile would compete in WWE until being released in 2022, later signing for AEW.[11][12] It was alleged in 2018 that he was banned from utilising the Muscle Buster in future matches for WWE out of respect for Kidd.[13] However, Joe denied this, and would later use the move at NXT TakeOver 36 in 2021.[13]


Initial reports claimed the match would subsequently air on WWE Superstars, primarily because Superstars banners were present on the sides of the ring.[14] However, it was confirmed that the encounter would remain a dark match.[14] WWE typically tapes its dark matches, including for the purpose of testing new talent and camera equipment.[15] Cameramen can also be seen in photos of the match, confirming match footage was captured by WWE. However, the tape is unlikely to ever be publicly released due to it containing Kidd's career-ending injuries, and out of respect for Kidd himself. The only footage that is publicly available is a fan recording of the finish.[16]



Fan recording of the match's finish.

Kidd discusses his injury during an interview with CVV.


See Also


  1. Bleacher Report noting Kidd's debut on WWE television. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The SmackDown Hotel summarising Kidd's career and accomplishments. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  3. The SmackDown Hotel summarising Joe's career and accomplishments. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  4. Bleacher Report reporting on Joe's debut in NXT. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  5. Bleacher Report summarising Joe's first WWE match. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 Ring the Damn Bell detailing the match, the injury, and Kidd's recovery. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 Sporskeeda relaying SLAM! Wrestling's interview with Kidd in 2018, where Kidd discussed the match and the seriousness of his injury. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  8. 8.0 8.1 DodWrestlePod detailing the Muscle Buster. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  9. 411mania noting Kidd was initially able to walk away post-match. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Ringside News reporting on Kidd in 2022 stating he would not return to the ring, as well as noting Kidd's success as a backstage producer. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  11. Metro reporting on Joe being released by WWE. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  12. Sports Illustrated reporting on Joe signing for AEW. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  13. 13.0 13.1 Sportskeeda reporting on rumours the Muscle Buster was banned, only for Joe to eventually use it at NXT TakeOver 36. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  14. 14.0 14.1 Still Real to Us reporting on the match possibly being set for an episode of WWE Superstars, only to remain a dark match. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  15. WhatCulture providing a definition of a dark match. Retrieved 20th Oct '22
  16. Archived Hashtag Bolton detailing them capturing the footage of the match's finish. Retrieved 20th Oct '22