When we move the word never by just one position to the right, it jumps to a completely different part of the syntax tree, out of an embedded sentential clause, into the predicate.
There isn't any need to rearrange the sentence to avoid the two verbs being put together. It is grammatical, and quite easy to understand. The English speaker knows simply from the juxtaposition (side by side arrangement) of two verbs that they must be in different clauses. Two verbs can be glued together only if one is an auxiliary (helping verb), for instance "did happen". Something like "expect happen" isn't grammatical. When an auxiliary verb is glued to a regular verb, only one of the verbs carries tense: "did happened" is not grammatical because both verbs have past tense.
If you want to make a minimal change so that the verbs are separated, one way is to apply a transformation known as topicalization. This is a possibility in many languages, including English, to take a unit of a sentence, and move it to the left. For instance, I didn't know that he played piano becomes That he played piano, I did not know.
Applying topicalization to our sentence, we can do it like this. But we have to introduce the verb they which functions as a syntactic expletive. It is a place holder for the grammatical subject which the sentence requires:
They happened, the ridicule and scorn we never expected.
It is clear that they refers to the ridicule and scorn.
In English we need a subject, which is why we say it is raining rather than just is raining. Also, we cannot just put the subject anywhere. The word order is SVO (subject, verb, object). If we just move verb out to the front, we are breaking SVO. So we must introduce some pronoun like they to serve as a subject.
Another minor way to break up the two verbs is to change happened to did happen. The ridicule and scorn we never expected did happen.
There are numerous other ways to achieve the same meaning, most of which very different sentences.