Professional wrestling has long been seen as a combination of traditional skills on the mat with added entertainment. Unconditional fighting is the exact opposite of this image for its use of fighting, weapons, and even blood. Tough wrestling has been seen in many promotions such as ECW, WCW, and CZW. Many fighters have adapted to this style and have thrived on it by making careers with these brutal fights.

This article will take a look at the top 10 hardcore fighters who have ever stepped into the square circle and snapped a photo of everything from a chair to literally the kitchen sink.

Number 10: Atsushi Onita

Japanese wrestler Atsushi Onita is credited with bringing the hardcore fighting style to Japan. Once the world record holder for having the most stitches in history, Onita is not one to shy away from engaging in a brutal fight. As the founder of the now-defunct Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, Onita bears the scars from his many matches at the company. Most of these matches employed the use of barbed wire instead of ring ropes, something that is no longer seen in the wrestling industry.

Number 9: Raven

Raven is one of the most mysterious characters to ever step into the ring. Raven has seen many hardcore matches throughout her time at various companies such as TNA and ECW. Raven has shown that he is not afraid to put his body at risk, as shown in his Monster’s Ball matches on TNA, where he has been slammed into various things like thumbtacks and broken glass. Also, Raven is one of the few hardcore fighters to get hit with everything, including the kitchen sink, as Tommy Dreamer did this while the two were fighting on ECW.

Number 8: New Jack

New Jack showed during his career what it meant to be a hardcore fighter. He was known to never shy away from getting hit and sometimes seriously injured himself from it. Best known for his ECW time, he was involved in some of the most extreme matches that ever happened. The worst injury resulting from these matches was when he fell off the scaffolding during a match and instead of crashing into the tables that were set up, he struck his head on the concert floor, blinding his right eye and causing brain damage. . Now retired from the ring, New Jack is now a manager on the independent wrestling scene.

Number 7: The Sandman

The Sandman with his signature Singapore cane is one of the fighters who embraced the hardcore style and as a result became a five-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion during his tenure at ECW. During his matches at ECW, Sandman was known for repeatedly hitting his opponents with his Singapore baton and smashing beer cans against their head. Sandman had a feud with many of the big names in ECW such as Tommy Dreamer, Cactus Jack, and Raven, and many of these matches involved barbed wire, chairs, ladders, and tables as weapons. The Sandman still makes occasional appearances on the indie scene today while still swinging his cane.

Number 6: Sabu `

His nickname says it all: “The homicidal, suicidal and genocidal man who defies death” Sabu has made a career out of putting his body on the line in tough matches. Sabu is the nephew of The Original Sheik, who is seen as one of the fighters who created the hardcore fighting style. One of his most brutal and bloody matches was with Terry Funk at ECW’s Born to Be Wired event in which the two competed in a barbed wire match. This party would see them cut severely. Sabu is also known for putting himself up and his opponents dunk boards from the ropes. Sabu continues to fight on the independent scene for various promotions still wearing his hardcore style.

Number 5: Tommy Dreamer

Known by his nickname “The Innovator of Violence,” Tommy Dreamer has shown what the hardcore fighting style is all about. His most notable matches occurred during his time at ECW. Tommy Dreamer has had some brutal matches with Raven and The Sandman and throughout his career, he even broke his back. Even when ECW is no more, Tommy Dreamer still to this day is not afraid to show what made him “The Heart and Soul of ECW” in the ring.

Number 4: Abdullah the Butcher

Abdullah the Butcher with his trusty fork was always ready to take part in a bloody fight. Abdullah has the scars to show how bloody the battles were, as his forehead is full of marks where he was struck to cause bleeding. Abdullah is known to be a rule breaker when not in hardcore matches, he would take shots at any opponent with this fork he was infamously associated with. Since then, Abdullah has become a semi-retired fighter and has hinted that he will retire soon.

Number 3: The Original Sheik

The Sheik is considered by many in the industry to be one of the creators of the hardcore fighting style. Like Abdullah the Butcher, The Sheik had a signature illegal weapon that he would use, which was a pencil. He used this to scrape his opponents’ foreheads and occasionally used his weapon on him, leaving scars on his forehead. His most notable hardcore and deathmatches occurred at Japan’s FMW, where a match was called a “deathmatch by fire” that had burning barbed wire instead of the ropes. The sheikh has since passed away due to a heart attack, but the hardcore style he used lives on through many fighters like his nephew Sabu.

Number 2: Terry Funk

Terry Funk is one of the few wrestlers who made a name for himself as a traditional wrestler who made the switch to wrestling late in his in-ring career. Funk began fighting hardcore when he arrived at ECW, where many of his matches involved the use of ladders, thumbtacks, and barbed wire. Funk would have some brutal deathmatches for various Japanese promotions during his time at ECW. Since then, Funk has become a semi-retired fighter and due to age he rarely competes in hardcore matches.

Number 1: Mick Foley

Mick Foley is known by his ring names Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind has made a career out of putting his body on the line. His most notable injury is having his ear ripped off almost entirely during a match. Foley didn’t fit in with the traditional look of a wrestler during his in-ring career, but his willingness to put his body on the line earned him the respect of his fellow wrestler and the fans. Whether swinging around his barbed wire baseball bat or being tossed from the heights of Hell in a Cell, Foley has shown what it means to be a hardcore fighter.

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