An Ugly Turn in the Wrestling Ring: When a Perry Saturn WWE Match Turned REAL

Mayhem Unleashed: The Day Perry Saturn’s Career Took a Dark Turn

Photo Credit: WWE.

“Oh, right on his noggin! My goodness. Perry Saturn took one maneuver from Mike Bell, and that was all it took to set him off!”– WWF Commentator

What Led to the Fight Between Perry Saturn and Mike Bell?

Photo Credit: WWE.

Former United States Army recruit, Killer Kowalski protégé, and courageous hero Perry Saturn had great success in ECW.

As one-half of The Eliminators with the high-flying John Kronus, they had an intimidating and aggressive style that got over with the demanding ECW fans. Paul Heyman thought so highly of them that he built his whole tag team division around The Eliminators. They engaged in memorable feuds against The Pitbulls, Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa Saed), and Dudley Boys.

Rising from the Flock: Perry Saturn’s Tag Team Triumphs in WCW

Photo Credit: WWE.

As a singles competitor in 1997, Perry Saturn found success in WCW by joining Raven’s Flock and twice captured the tag titles alongside Raven and Chris Benoit.

The Radicalz: Saturn’s Career Triumphs and Turmoil

Photo Credit: WWE.

In WWE, Saturn, alongside Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit, formed The Radicalz. With a more brawling style due to a previous knee injury, Saturn became a two-time Hardcore Champion and one-time European Champion.

Lost in the Shadows: Perry Saturn’s Career-Changing Moment

Photo Credit: WWE.

Although Saturn never got above the upper mid-card in the major promotions, he wasn’t exactly a slouch. Fans respected his in-ring abilities, and many believe that he got overshadowed by less talented performers. But during one of the then-WWF’s B-shows called Metal, Perry Saturn made a questionable decision that placed him at a turning point that changed his career for the worse.

The Mike Bell Incident

Photo Credit: WWE.

Accompanied to the ring by Terri Runnels, Perry Saturn was about to take on Mike Bell, an enhancement talent hired on a match-to-match basis who also worked briefly for ECW in its dying days.

The match should have been a quick win showcasing the abilities of Perry Saturn, but Mike Bell threw Saturn in an awkward-looking hip toss and accidentally botched an arm drag that landed Saturn on his head.

Raging Fury: The Brutal Confrontation

Photo Credit: WWE.

Saturn lost his cool and began "laying the lumber" on a hapless Mike Bell.

Several "receipts" rained down upon Mike Bell’s face. Saturn then launched a stunned Bell through the ropes, and because of the momentum, he landed headfirst onto the floor. Fortunately, there was protective padding on the ground, or else probably Bell likely wouldn’t have gotten up. But Saturn wasn’t nearly finished.

He then lifted Bell as if setting him up for an inverted atomic drop but instead threw him full force onto the hard unprotected steel stairs outside of the ring where Bell landed precariously with the back of his head.

Ruthless Reckoning: Perry Saturn’s Career-Altering Moment in the Ring

Photo Credit: WWE.

Saturn could have and perhaps should have just "gone home" and pinned Bell inside the ring. But no, he was not through.

Perry propped Bell upside down against the turnbuckles and jumped back outside the ring to wrench Bell’s neck backward as if trying to snap off his spine and head. He probably could have had it not been for Terri Runnels. We can’t tell by the camera angle if she tells Saturn something or if her presence alone was enough to curtail Saturn’s bloodlust temporarily.

Perry Saturn, who seemed to be having a riot at Mike Bell’s expense, then performed a solidly executed brainbuster on Bell inside the ring.

Defying the Odds: Mike Bell’s Resilience

Photo Credit: WWE.

Inexplicably, when Saturn finally went for the pin, giving Bell a chance to end the slaughter, Bell kicked out at two.

Why Mike?

After all the punishment he took, why didn’t he just lay down? Pride?

The match thankfully ended after a perfectly placed superkick, followed by a slight variation of a fisherman’s suplex.

To add insult to injury, Terri Runnels kicked Bell repeatedly as he gingerly rolled out of the ring.

Steve Austin On Losing Your Cool In The Ring

Photo Credit: WWE.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin, whose career took a scary turn after a botched Owen Hart tombstone piledriver that severely injured his neck, had the following to say on the incident that took place in the ring between Perry Saturn and Mike Bell.

"When a guy messes up, the best thing to do is be patient. Try to settle him down, grab a hold, and say, ‘Hey brother, you okay?’ Then continue, or go home. But go home in a business-like fashion."

Austin continued, "Nobody’s out there in the squared circle trying to hurt the other guy. It’s a cooperation thing. But, ****-ups do happen. But when they do, remain calm. It does not give you the liberty to trash the **** out of ‘em."

Aftermath

Photo Credit: WWE.

Perry Saturn got an almost immediate gimmick change after this incident with Mike Bell.

After various kayfabe hits to the head against the APA and Raven, Saturn became fascinated with a mop named “Moppy.” Some say this was in punishment over the Mike Bell incident.

Fame Fades, Gimmicks Fail: Perry Saturn’s Rollercoaster Ride in Wrestling

Photo Credit: WWE.

Although this gimmick got over with the fans and Perry Saturn remained in wrestling, working for different promotions, he never again reached the success he enjoyed before the shoot with Bell.

Moppy eventually got thrown into a wood-chipper and remained as one of wrestling’s most ridiculous storylines.

Triumph to Tragedy: The Unfortunate Journeys of Perry Saturn

Photo Credit: WWE.

In recent years, Perry Saturn has had problems with addiction and homelessness. There have been several attempts to help him out, and the fans have usually come through.

Mike Bell sadly passed away on December 14th, 2008, due to a heart attack. He was the brother of Chris Bell, Director of the 2008 documentary Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Faster, about performance-enhancing [supplements] and steroid abuse. The 2015 follow-up documentary, Prescription Thugs, explores his brother Mike Bell’s death by prescription [supplements].

Rick Rude: A Ravishing Man with a Tragic End

Rick Rude was more than "Ravishing."
Photo Credit: WWE.

“He refused to budge.”

Rick Rude was a unique, once-in-a-lifetime kind of wrestler. He went by the nickname “Ravishing” — and rightfully so. He had a solid moveset, great looks, and unbridled arrogance with the in-ring skill to back it up. He played hard in the ring but even harder out of it.

Learn his tragic story.

Mr Perfect Curt Hennig – A Great Life with an Unfortunate End

On camera, Curt Hennig was arrogant, and he backed up his Mr. Perfect persona brilliantly. However, outside of the ring, it was a different story. Here is the story of an extraordinary life with an unfortunate end.

On camera, Curt Hennig was arrogant, and he backed up his Mr. Perfect persona brilliantly. However, outside of the ring, it was a different story.

Learn the story of an extraordinary life with an unfortunate end.

Doink The Clown – A Troubled Life For the Man Behind the Paint

The legacy of Matt Borne, who played the role of the first Doink the Clown in the WWF, is a little complicated.

Doink the Clown found fame in early 1990s WWE, but there was, unfortunately, trouble along the way for Matt Borne, the man behind the paint.

Read Doink The Clown – A Troubled Life For the Man Behind the Paint

Secret Life and Tragic Passing of WWE Wrestler “Crush” Brian Adams

Wrestler Brian Adams as Kona Crush at ‎April 4th, 1993's WrestleMania 9 pay-per-view at ‎‎Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Hailing from Kona, Hawaii, “Crush” Brian Adams was a dominant force who underwent many striking transformations over his 17-year career.

After retiring from the ring, he worked as a bodyguard for “Macho Man” Randy Savage and was excited about opening a fitness spa alongside Marc Mero in Florida. Instead, sadly, tragedy struck.

Read “Shaka, Brah!” – The Tragic Tale of ‘Crush’ Brian Adams

Owen Hart’s Death: What Really Happened, From Those There

RIP Owen Hart (1965-1999).

VINCE McMAHON: “Earlier that day, I was shocked and surprised by what Owen said.”

On May 23rd, 1999, the wrestling world mourned the loss of Owen Hart. People behind the scenes on this unthinkable day reflect on the tragedy, answering the all-important questions.

Learn more in Owen Hart’s Death: What Really Happened, From Those There

We have hundreds of great Pro Wrestling Stories, but of course, you can’t read them all today. Sign up to unlock ten pro wrestling stories curated uniquely for YOU, plus subscriber-exclusive content. A special gift from us awaits after signing up!

Want More? Choose another story!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, X/Twitter, Instagram, Threads, YouTube, TikTok, and Flipboard!
Pro Wrestling Stories is committed to accurate, unbiased wrestling content rigorously fact-checked and verified by our team of researchers and editors. Any inaccuracies are quickly corrected, with updates timestamped in the article's byline header.
Got a correction, tip, or story idea for Pro Wrestling Stories? Contact us! Learn about our editorial standards here.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us provide free content for you to enjoy!

https://popcultureretrorama.wordpress.com/author/javierojst/

Javier Ojst is an old-school wrestling enthusiast currently residing in El Salvador. He's been a frequent guest on several podcasts and has a few bylines on TheLogBook.com, where he shares stories of pop culture and retro-related awesomeness. He has also been published on Slam Wrestling and in G-FAN Magazine.