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The finer points of hardcore

By RYAN PYETTE -- Calgary Sun
  Calgary's Owen Hart is no softie in the 'rasslin' ring.

But the Blackhart admits, even he's not cut out for 'Hardcore' wrestling.

Hardcore wrestling, in case ya didn't know, is the new-wave demolition derby of the squared circle. If a regular wrestling match can be described as a violent ballroom dance, then hardcore wrestling is a drunken, frenzied mosh pit with everyone wearing suits of nails.

Strange things happen in hardcore wrestling. For instance, last week on the World Wrestling Federation's Monday Night RAW is WAR program beamed to us from Detroit (Hockeytown, USA), a hardcore match featured two guys hitting each other over the head with a hockey stick.

Outside of a hockey game, or maybe a lacrosse match, where else are you going to get sports entertainment like that?

Hardcore wrestling is like extreme skiing. You take the plunge off the mountain, and you either knock 'em dead, or fall on your head. Hard.

For the best of the hardcore bunch in the WWF, there is actually a title belt, albeit an old battered one with a lot of duct tape on it.

And the current champ is the well-named 'Hardcore' Bob Holly, who last month fought Steve `Dr. Death' Williams in a tiny college dormitory, busting up walls, aquariums, and kitchen appliances in the process.

Now, that's hardcore.

It's also pretty crazy, according to Hart, who speaks from firsthand experience.

"I did a hardcore match a while back with D-Lo Brown, and I got hit with a guitar and suffered a concussion, stitches, everything," said Hart. "I don't think the fans appreciate what goes into one of those matches, the toll it takes on the wrestlers' bodies.

"I can tell you this, though. No one can last a very long time in this business doing strictly hardcore wrestling.

"So after that first one, I told my bosses, 'Hey, I'm a technical wrestler. Don't put me in those matches.' "

They listened. Soon, Hart and partner Jeff Jarrett won the tag team titles, and despite losing them recently, are still regular contenders for the belts.

Right now in the WWF, hardcore matches seem to be a proving ground for new recruits and a way to stay in the game for fading stars. The price, though, is high.

Being dropped onto the concrete floor during a hardcore match is almost a pre-requisite these days.

So is getting a Superfly from the top rope onto a table, or being thrown from the ring smack dab into the Spanish announcers' table.

And of course, the more chair shots to the head you take in a hardcore match, the bigger a living legend you become.