The defunct WWE Hardcore Championship is one of the most overlooked titles in WWE history – which is a shame because it sure did give us some fun matches. Here are just five of the best.
Hardcore Battle Royal, WrestleMania 2000
As far as fun matches go, you can’t get more fun than this. The Hardcore Battle Royal took place at WrestleMania 2000, and the rules were simple: the match would go on for fifteen minutes, the championship could exchange hands an unlimited number of times within the time limit, and the final wrestler with the Hardcore Championship would be declared the winner. During the course of the match, the title changed hands no less than 10 times; but, ultimately, Hardcore Holly walked away victorious.
But wait, The Rock and Road Dogg competed for the hardcore title too? Yep.
The Rock vs. Kurt Angle vs. Big Show, Raw (Feb. 26, 2001)
In February 2001, Big Show defeated Raven at No Way Out to become Hardcore Champion. The following night on Raw, he defended the title in a triple-threat match against The Rock and Kurt Angle – but it didn’t remain a triple-threat match. Numerous other superstars, including Billy Gunn, Hardcore Holly, Steve Blackman, Essa Rios, and Crash Holly, took advantage of the 24/7 rule, interfering in the match and attempting to win the title for themselves. Eventually, though, Big Show won the match – by pinning Rios to the wall backstage.
Road Dogg vs. Al Snow, Raw (Jan. 4, 1999)
Long before the 24/7 rule was applied to the Hardcore Championship, Road Dogg and Al Snow had a match that would set the standard for hardcore bouts. As with most hardcore matches, the fight spilled out of the ring – and into the Massachusetts night in the middle of an actual snowstorm. Road Dogg won the match and retained his championship by sending Snow through a snow-covered wooden board via a piledriver.
Yea, and if you thought these were weird, you ain’t seen NOTHING yet.
The Headbangers vs. Crash Holly, SmackDown (March 16, 2000)
What’s more fun than a hardcore match at an indoor playground? That’s exactly what happened on SmackDown in March 2000, when Crash Holly was ambushed by Mosh and Thrasher, collectively known as The Headbangers, at Fun Time USA on Long Island. The fight started in the arcade and ended in the ball pit, where The Headbangers’ indecisiveness allowed Holly to escape.
Shane McMahon vs. Steve Blackman, SummerSlam 2000
The match that certified Shane McMahon as a batshit insane daredevil is also possibly the greatest Hardcore Championship match of all time – specifically for the stunt, Shane pulled. At SummerSlam in 2000, Shane defended the Hardcore Championship against Steve Blackman, a man that could have legitimately killed him. But instead, Shane attempted to legitimately kill himself by falling some 40 ft from the entrance ramp scaffolding through a table below. If that wasn’t enough, Blackman then jumped on him, securing the victory in the process.
These are my picks for the best Hardcore Championship matches, but there are tons more to choose from. What were some of your favorite Hardcore Title matches? Share them in the comments below!