“Excuse me if I like to use some weapons in my wrestling matches, like some light tubes, and glass, and fire! Okay? That’s what makes me different from other motherfu****s.”- Nick Gage
Welcome to the world of Deathmatch wrestling. Here, anything goes!
Foreign objects like chairs, ladders, tables, thumbtacks, barbed wire, fire, glass, saws, and weed-wackers are not only allowed, but greatly encouraged. In Japanese and American hardcore promotions, such as CZW, wrestlers will use anything at their disposal to cause harm to their opponent.
Now, promotions like the WWE for example, do not allow deathmatch wrestling. Because of this, most fans of deathmatch promotions are fans specifically because of the violence. You can’t find anything this violent (and still legal) anywhere else.
Is this type of hardcore or “garbage” wrestling, as some call it, disgraceful to other pro wrestling types? Or is deathmatch wrestling unique and artistic. Some would argue that the basis of hardcore wrestling comes from stiff shots, and hitting people with things, which doesn’t take talent. Others would say truly talented wrestlers can find the art in this brutal fighting.
Many people feel that hardcore wrestling is garbage for more reasons than one. For example, living WWE legend, Triple H, is very open about his dislike for hardcore wrestling. He once went as far as stating in an interview that, “CZW is trash. These guys don’t know how to work.”
Triple H is as far from a supporter as they come, however, many Superstars support this unique genre of wrestling enough to actually perform. Multiple current WWE superstars came from a hardcore background, or have participated in deathmatch wrestling. WWE is obviously an extremely hard place to make it. Top WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose once said, “I tried CZW for a few reasons. I was bored with normal wrestling. I was willing to do anything to get my name out there.” Dean Ambrose gave us fans insight on the deathmatch business in an interview. He talked about how you can use your body as a bargaining tool and that CZW is full of talented wrestlers. Among other WWE Superstars who have participated in hardcore wrestling are: Luke Harper, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn. Former WWE Superstars like Sami Callahan, Mick Foley, and Terry Funk also participated in deathmatch wrestling.
Promotions like BJW and CZW have plenty of supporters. Almost all Deathmatch wrestlers have voiced that they feel like the things they do to their bodies prove that they are just dedicated and passionate about the business. Performers like “Masada”, “Crazy Monkey”, and “Abdullah Koyabashi” have said that they do what they do because it’s an extremely entertaining thing to watch.
The human race is sick when people find watching others getting injured entertaining. Jun Kasai takes advantage of this. Kasai is one of the most renowned hardcore performers of all time. He’s always trying to find new ways to impress fans.
The fan base for deathmatch wrestling is picky and hard to impress. A guy being thrown onto a pile of thumbtacks isn’t going to cut it anymore. That’s why wrestlers are forced to take greater risks and perform scarier stunts. A Death-Valley Driver from the top of CZW’s Cage Of Death is a very real thing because fans aren’t as impressed with less anymore. With fans harder to please, wrestlers may find joy in putting their bodies on the line and seeing how far they can go to please the fans. I know for a fact that wrestlers like Nick Gage would die for the sport. (He did.) It seems as if Deathmatch performers are always trying to hurt themselves to the point at which they may die if they go any further. These guys are tough as nails, whether you like the sport or or not. It doesn’t matter if you respect what they do, but you do have to respect their toughness and dedication.
How violent, is too violent? Is CZW’s Ultra-Violent environment appealing to you, or do you prefer WWE’s no DQ matches every once in awhile? Is a man flying through two stacked, flaming tables, into a pile of glass, thumbtacks, and barbed wire your thing? Or is a stiff chair shot to the back and an Elbow Drop off a ladder more your speed? By making this decision, it is easier for most fans to figure out how they feel about deathmatch wrestling.
To a certain extent, I believe you can find art in a deathmatch. I agree with Superstars like HHH, when it comes to the talent. I know lots of CZW’s and BJW’s wrestlers are astounding in-ring performers, but head-butting a light tube, or letting someone staple your tongue doesn’t take much talent. Do I view that as garbage? My answer is No. I don’t think Death matches are garbage when they cross my line of “too hardcore.” I believe there is a hidden art in the hardcore genre of wrestling. It’s just hard to find sometimes. When I see a deathmatch, I am entertained. I love the blood, the glass, the shock factor, and everything that comes with ultra-violent styles. I’m also a fan of wrestling though, so my ideal hardcore match has lots of violence, however, more than it’s fair share of in-ring magic.
I invite you to think about your opinion on the subject. Is Deathmatch wrestling just garbage, or is it art? When these types of matches blend the violence and in-ring technicality together, I can see the art. What about you?