Did The Expendables Break Sylvester Stallone's Neck?

What's a hairline fracture when the entertainment of millions is at stake? Action movies are meant to look like boiling cauldrons of testosterone, but they're not always quite like that behind the scenes. Sylvester Stallone claims that his film The Expendables was the real deal through and through, to the point where he's now got a brand-new metal plate in his neck. Or so he claims.

That makes the movie better, right?

FHM (via the oh-so-wonderful Daily Mail) reports that a fight with Steve Austin caused a hairline fracture in one of Stallone's vertebrae. "my fight with Stone Cold Steve Austin was so vicious that I ended up getting a hairline fracture in my neck," Stallone says. "I'm not joking. I haven't told anyone this, but I had to have a very serious operation afterwards. I now have a metal plate in my neck."

But one source I knew from The Expendables says the story is just that — a story. It'll be nice moviemaking myth, if nothing else. According to the article, the last time Sly was knocked around in a really serious way was on Rocky IV, when Dolph Lundgren hit him hard enough to compress his heart with his rib cage. Another nice story?

Dolph and I always went for it. I gave him orders to try to knock me out while the cameras were rolling. At one point, he hit me so hard on the head I felt my spine compress. He then hit me with an almighty uppercut. That night my chest started to swell, and I had to be helicopter-ambulanced from my hotel to a nearby emergency room.

For Rocky IV? Totally worth it. But really, it's not a patch on Jackie Chan and the plate in his skull that was required after he missed the jump from a wall to a tree while shooting Armor of God.

The real note of interest in the Daily Mail piece is a description of the cameo scene that brings together Sly, Arnie and Bruce Willis. In the interest of not spoiling it for those who don't want to know I'll just suggest following the original link to check it out.