Who's Hardcore" They're Hardcore!
July 9, 2004 by Paul K.

Now I know everyone who has watched wrestling has heard the word hardcore thrown around. Such as the WWE title by the same name. But in my humble opion, i think that title had nothing to do with hardcore. Now promotions such as CZW, XPW, FMW, and even ECW are hardcore. Men like Sabu, Mr. Pogo, Masato Tanaka, Terry Funk, Super Leather, New Jack, Hayabusa and Mic Foley are hardcore. I respect all these men so much for what they do. Go through the top five hardcore men ever in wrestling.

5. New Jack- Now this is a odd pick to many people but think about one thing........The man is insane. ECW new this when they used him. They would schedule whole mathced just for him to come in and destroy everyone in the ring. I bring up Anarcy rulz 1999, A tag match breaks down when Roadkill and Danny Doring come down to the ring. Then i belev five other men come to the ring to brawl. All this is basacally for New Jack to come down with a trash can full of wepons to destroy them all. He puts four staples in Spanish Angles head and then places a no parking sign on his crotch, and hits it with a pool stick. He is one of the men who put ECW on the map..

4.Hayabusa- For anyone who has not had the honor to see him wrestle, simply put, you need to. He is the sickest areal artist I have ever seen. 99.9% of the moves you see on Monday or Thursday nights were orignally Hayabusa`s. He invinted the shooting star press and so many other moves stolen by the American promotions. Now Hayabusa is not a wrestler that uses weapons like most you would asume to be hardcore, but the fact that day in and day out he would put his body on the line with so many high risk moves is one reason he is on this list. Sadly Hayabusa broke his neck trying a second rope moonsault(lionsault). He is now confined to a wheel chair but i still feel he is one of the greats to enter the ring.

3.Terry Funk- Come on, The man is pushing fifty and still kicking ass all over the country. He is one of the true pioneers of hardcore. At Clash of the Chapions 9 he went at it in an I quit match with Ric Flair so good it made the Ultimate Ric Flair Collection. That means alot seeing as there are like ten matched on that whole DVD. Funk proved his Hardcore status in his many tours of Japan and the United States. Now here number 3 and number 2 have a toss up effect in my mind but.......

2.Mic Foley- What can I say about the man that hasn`t already been said. He is one of the sickest men ever in the sport. His battles with number 3, Terry Funk, are so many and so painful to watch. The blood this man has shed over three contenates is in numerous amounts. Also he lost an ear in germany and just kept going. Thats hardcore, but another aspect is the man slept in his car to learn the sport. Thats crazy to think he had that much passion for a sport he had yet to start.

1.and last but definatly not least.......Mr. Pogo- Now to most American fans he is an unknown, but to true fans like myself he is the sickest mothers around. The man loves to use barbed wire, nails, knives, hammers, chains, sicles, huge blades, chairs, power drills, fire, and the list goes on. I have seen him destroy men in deathmatches. Leaving them in a bloody plup and thinking non of it. This man will destroy you with evetything in his reach. And did i mention he is pushing 50"" He is insane and has nearly killed men in the ring and I can`t help but watch everytime he does it.

That is in my humble opinion the five sickest men in wrestling. If you feel defrently, then hey i understant, its just my opinion. Thanks for reading......

by Paul K...

Tommy vfvdggeb wrote:
This was a pretty good article but i was very surprised that no mention of Sabu or the likes of Onita the man that brought the japan deathmatches and many american deathmatches you see today.

Note:I thought Jushin Liger inventied the SSP not Hayabusa
Anders Kallstrom, in England wrote:
I thought Paul K's picks were very good. But now i'll pick five of my hardcore wrestlers. I won't mention Foley or Funk as Paul covered them, but below are my five... (I haven't put them in any orders, just my top five overall)

5) Balls Mahoney - Now all five of these guys were in ECW, but after all the E did stand for Extreme, and thats what these men we're. Reason why Balls is in my top five is because he is a big guy, and most men wouldn't really want to mess with him. But not just is he big, and quite a good mat wrestler, he's better at the hardcore. He's been throughing burning tables, and loads of bloody matches, not only that, he swings the best chairshot EVER!

4) Sandman - Another former ECW guy. He's had lots of bloody wars with Sabu, Raven, Foley etc. One thing, Sandman was a bit of a Stone Cold of ECW, the drinking and smoking, but he may have been out of it alot during his matches, but thats probaly why they we so mad. I've seen Sandmans matches, his deathmatches against Foley, his barbed wire matches against Raven, his stairway to hell match against Sabu, some extreme bloody matches. That qualifies him as hardcore, me thinks! ...Plus like Balls, he swings a mean cane!

3) Tommy Dreamer - Well it's simple why Tommy Dreamer is in the top five. He's the innovator of VIOLENCE. Hardcore is pretty violent so I think Tommy well qualifies for the top five. He's jobbed out over in the WWE but in ECW he was one of the top stars. He can take alot of punishment, he's been chokeslammed through many tables, he's been suplexed through many tables, he's been hit with chairs, he's been thrown off and into ladders, and he's had breeze blocks smashed onto his stomach, I think thats enough to get him into the top five. Plus he was one of my favourite wrestlers, he can take alot, and he gives alot, got to be his best moment when he smashed the chair into Ravens head when he was handcuffed in the cage.

2) Sabu - The Homicidal, Genocidal, Suicidal, Deathdefying Maniac Sabu! Well like the other guys, they've have lots of bloody wars and Sabu isn't excluded. Teaming with RVD, fueding with Tazz, Sandman, RVD, Justin Credible, Terry Funk and the list goes on. He's probably one of the most insane wrestlers in the business. He's been in Hardcore matches with Justin, Barbed wire matches with Funk, that Stairway to hell with Sandman. I suppose being related to the Sheik didn't help much, as he probably picked everything up from him. Not to mention all the matches around the world he's been in to get those scars. Sabu is a good wrestler too, and hits very high risk arial moves!

1) Raven - Raven's gotta be in this top five! He's one of the biggest names in the wrestling world. He was huge in ECW, he was big in NWA TNA and WCW, and okay. they jobbed him out a big in the WWE, but hey, he made it there! He's had wars with Dreamer, Sandman and CM Punk, he';s been in lots of bloody matches, and he's still going. He even invented the clockwork orange house of fun match! He's ultra charasmatic, and he's over came drug abuse and is still going strong as ever! Raven can take lots of pain, probably like no one else i've seen, but he can give it out just as good if not the best! Raven will probably go down as a wrestling legend, and if he doesn't, then that sucks!
Gladiator wrote:
Hayabusa didn't create the Shooting Star Press, Jushin "Thunder" Liger did, bro.
Muthafacko! wrote:
I`ve read the though column thoroughly, and the wrestling fan from Englands thoughts, now i think what they say about Mick Foley, Terry Funk, Sabu, Sandman etc. is all correct but people like Hayabusa, Dreamer, and New Jack, I dont really think of them as hardcore. If there are five people who i think are hardcore these are them. none in any particular order.These are just five others(besides 1) i think Raven, Mahoney, Funk, Sabu, Sandman, and everyone else are hardcore, but some just don`t compare. note: hardcore is not if you can deal it out thats called being rough neck. hardcore is about putting your life on the line, and letting other tear your flesh, so the fans can get what they want.

Cactus Jack-not Mick Foley, Mankind, or Dude Love, Cactus Jack! though it is Mick Foley, Cactus Jack is the hardcore personality of him. He is insane, brutal, tough, and keeps beggin for more, and laughin it up all the way.

Spike Dudley-Yeah now he doesn`t do anything, but back in ECW he was the giant killer. When there was a big 300 lbs 7 foot monster in the ring, he`d face him. I`ve seen him take cheese graters to the head for god sakes. he`d use weapons just like Dreamer, Raven, etc. Yet take more then they do. though not a hardcore legend still very hardcore.

Al Snow- Probably one of the only people who has ever held the hardcore title, and really was hardcore. This guy use to wrestle himself if nobody came out, he use to take extreme punishment, from the like of Boss Man, H. Holly, and everybody else in the hardcore division, he is definitely worth mentioning. though maybe not in the top 10 hardcore wrestlers, like Spike pretty damn close.

Abdullah The Butcher- I am shocked and appauled, nobody mentioned him. i often wonder myself if i could take one of his fork pokes. This s a true legend of hardcore, way bigger then Foley, Sandman, Sabu, and definely New Jack. This guy has major scars on his forehead, he`s frickin` older than Terry Funk, and still going. He has shedded a tremednous amounf of blood in his past, and the blood of others. thus declaring him, the top hardcore legend and icon in the sport of professional wrestling.

Finally Every Japanese wrestler who has a hardcore match in Japan. These guys are ruthless. For f%cks sake they take ninja claws to the face, neck, chest, flaming barbed wire bats, exploding barbed wire matches, anything possible. I watched ICP`s Stranglemania 2 earlier today (though dubbed commentating) the matches displayed there are superb. Like even the woman wrestle in hardcore matches in japan, and not just tables and chairs and crap like that. barbed wire deah matches. Anyone who goes to Japan and can wrestle in these matches day in and day out gets my respect and loyalty, because once the day is done, there is no one to kiss your sore better, you suck up those deep cuts and your go to the next show.

Those are my views on hardcore wrestling. Note: I Do NOT mean that Al Snow and Spike Dudley are the greatest of all time, they should just be mentioned, besides the always Sandman, Raven, Foley, Terry Funk, etc.
Trae Wisecarver wrote:
I've only seen Hayabusa wrestle once, and that was an FMW match vs. Sabu, which I was impressed by, but it's my understanding that Jushin Thunder Liger performed Wrestling's first Shooting Star Press on January 31, 1990 to defeat Naoki Sano for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title.
Amphysena wrote:
I agree with most of the choices in this entire list. However, there is someone who I think should be added. He is an icon within CZW, and has been in some of the most morbid, brutal deathmatches ever. I am talking about "Sick" Nick Mondo! He is hardcore wrestler, personified. He took CZW to another level with his brutal matches, and sick bumps. Let's look back at his last match. Ian Rotten V.S Nick Mondo, Tournament of Death II. This match was a 200-lightubes match, complete with salt, barbed wire. Nick managed to pull off a win after his second round match, probably the most death-defying match in his life. Nick Mondo, John Zandig, light-tube log cabins 2/3 falls match. And in one of the most scary moments in wrestling history, Zandig gave Nick the Mother F'N Bomb of the roof of a building, at least 30, 40 feet in the air. Positioned near the building was a stack of tables, with a light tube log cabin (a collection of light tubes designed like a log-cabin) on top. The two men went off the roof, and unfortuneatly, unaccording to plan, Zandig hit the log cabin first, and the tables, breaking everything. Nick only had one thing to break his fall, concrete and broken glass. His back had a dangerous puncture wound similar to that inflicted by a gun. He bled all over his back, and aggrivated his broken hand, breaking it even more. He crawled back to the ring and threw a light tube cabin at Zandig for the win. The Tournament was the last time he would ever wrestle. The injuries he had suffered shut down his wrestling career forever. He has been tossed onto thumbtacks, light tubes, put through tables, lacerated with barbed wire, and even had his chest tore open from a weedwhacker. He is hardcore, and his Nick Mondo.
Babyface Tom wrote:
With regards to the article "Who's Hardcore" They're Hardcore" (July 9 2004), i would just like to mention that, yes, it was (in effect) Jushin thunder Liger who performed the first shooting star press - but not on July 31st 1990. He originally did it under his real name Keiichi Yamada on August 19th 1987 when he teamed up with Muto against both the late Owen Hart and the late Black Tiger (Eddie Guerrero). The move resulted in the 3-count. it was after this that he was chosen to become the popular cartoon hero Riger (Liger).

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