Randy Savage Broke WCW Referee's Sternum With An Elbow Drop

In the spring of 1999, referee Charles Robinson found himself in a storyline with Ric Flair and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Dubbed "Lil' Naitch," Robinson teamed with Flair to face Savage and Madusa on the May 17 episode of "WCW Monday Nitro," and was the recipient of Savage's flying elbow drop. "I was the sacrificial lamb, which of course put me in the hospital for two weeks," said Robinson on the "Out of Character" podcast. 

Once the match ended, Flair's bodyguard, Asya, got in the ring to check on Robinson. "I'm a pretty good seller but not that good," he said laughingly. Thinking only the air had been knocked out of him, Robinson went to his room but was still having trouble breathing an hour later. After calling Jimmy Hart, EMTs arrived and took Robinson to the hospital. "I had a cracked sternum, and collapsed lung and some broken vertebrae – cracked vertebrae – and unfortunately, the hospital there [Cedar Rapids] sent me home the next day back to Charlotte on an airplane, which I don't think you're supposed to fly with a collapsed lung," he said.

After landing, Robinson went to the hospital and was kept for 12 days. He was out of action for three months, which halted WCW's scheduled plans. "From what I was told, I was supposed to team with Ric for the whole summer so could you imagine that?" he said. "But you know, it's sort of a blessing because how do you come back and be a referee after that?" 

Despite the injuries, Robinson never blamed Savage and appreciated his kindness. "He called me almost every day that I was in the hospital to check on me. That was a good feeling he would do that," he said.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Out of Character" podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.