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"...I know nothing but Hardcore violence. I know nothing but beating on your ass, 'til I get tired..."
New Jack, ECW

Often times, particularly in Hard Core Professional Wrestling promotions, there are some wrestlers who really can't actually wrestle. Nor can they particularly do any high flying moves. Nor are they particularly good on the mike. But they can hit people pretty well, and they can hit people with things. So, they get a gimmick based around hitting people with foreign objects, and generally all-around brawling, and not particularly using any wrestling moves at all (or very few wrestling moves). Inversely, they're also known for amazingly dangerous "bumps" (professional wrestling stunts, particularly those that involve getting hit) such as Mick Foley flying off the Hell in a Cell. Fans of their style tend to appreciate the fact that these wrestlers are willing to implement such a dangerous style simply to entertain.

The term Garbage Wrestler was inspired by Giant Baba, Japanese pro wrestler and owner of All Japan Pro Wrestling, who once famously referred to rival promotion FMW, which employed this style with alarming regularity, as "garbage". Despite this, it's not necessarily a derogatory term in today's fanbase.

Examples of Garbage Wrestler include:


Professional Wrestling

  • The Sandman is a classic example of this trope. For the majority of his career, he used very few wrestling moves, relying on punching his opponent and hitting him with a variety of objects. Only later would he add some actual pro wrestling moves to his arsenal, such as the "Rolling Rock" (a moonsault onto a ladder laid atop a prone opponent), the "White Russian Legsweep" (a russian legsweep using a singapore cane), and the "Heineken-rana" (a hurricanrana). And they usually looked like shit. Of note, when WCW hired The Sandman, they learned from their experiences with The Public Enemy (see below), and kept him exclusively in their hardcore division, so to downplay his weaknesses.
  • The Public Enemy ("Flyboy" Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge), a tag team from ECW, also qualifies. They were famous for their garbage matches and their use of tables in ECW. They became so famous that they were hired by WCW... where the WCW bookers found out that outside of garbage matches they just couldn't wrestle.
  • New Jack, another wrestler from the old ECW, certainly qualifies here. His primary talents were hitting people with stuff, and diving off of high places. Although he worked a fairly "normal" style of wrestling (by comparison) in his pre-ECW days with promotions such as Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
  • Abdullah The Butcher may have been one of the first garbage wrestlers, and managed to make a very long career out of it.
    • The Original Sheik was another innovator of this style.
    • Other early examples were Dick the Bruiser and his "cousin", the Crusher.
  • Pretty much the entire roster of Xtreme Pro Wrestling are garbage wrestlers.
    • Likewise, IWA-MS
      • Though this isn't really true of IWA-MS anymore and hasn't been for a good while; they still do deathmatch stuff, but their list of alumni also boasts the likes of CM Punk, Chris Hero, Colt Cabana, Ace Steel, Delirious, and Matt "Evan Bourne" Sydal.
    • Likewise, CZW.
  • Justified Trope?: In his autobiography Have a Nice Day, Mick Foley (aka "Cactus Jack", "Dude Love" and "Mankind") described his "peanut butter scale"--insisting that while he did have a reasonable grounding in 'real' wrestling moves (indeed, his first trainer insisted on "no punchkick"), he'd found that use of "garbage" wrestling was often inversely proportional to the amount of peanut butter sandwiches he'd have to eat on the resulting pay.
    • It should also be noted that Mick Foley differs from many "garbage wrestlers" in that he's one of the best promo men in the business. Foley also demonstrates a more diverse moveset than most of the others on this list. In fact, one of his early signature moves was the "Cactus Jack Crack Smash" which was a run from the apron into a senton splash to a standing opponent.
    • The above applies for Terry Funk as well, who despite being the grandad of all garbage wrestling, is a damn good wrestler and even held the NWA World Title in his heyday.
    • As does it apply to Botchamania favorite, Sabu. In his own words, he believes that even garbage wrestlers like himself should have a good foundation in wrestling before implementing objects.
  • Necro Butcher, who has been a mainstay at the afore mentioned CZW and IWA Midsouth, had the privilege of representing the garbage wrestling style in the movie The Wrestler.
  • Perennial female heel Kaoru "Dump" Matsumoto. Although she was a straight-up power wrestler early in her career, she only really took off by living up to the name and utilizing various weapons, starting with a pair of scissors that she would often convincingly jam into the arms of her opponents, until she evolved into a full-on Garbage Wrestler.
  • Trope Namer (via the Baba quote above) Atsushi Onita, founder of FMW. Once a promising junior heavyweight in Baba's All Japan Pro Wrestling, a potentially career-ending knee injury forced him to take up a heavily brawling and gimmicks-based style in order to continue his career.

Anime and Manga

  • Pro Wrestling spoof Kinnikuman has a few of these. Including at least one guy, Junk Man, who is actually made of garbage; True enough, his style also revolves around bashing opponents with his spiked industrial press hands. Perennial Heel Neptuneman apparently hates garbage wrestlerinins so much that he once killed his tag partner for using foreign objects. It's a bit ironic, considering that Neptuneman wears a special vest with spikes that he frequently uses to impale opponents, which some would consider a form of "garbage".
    • Of course, note that among his opponents in the Choujin Tag Tournament was Buffaloman, who had horns he would impale people with; it's likely Neptuneman figured he was just evening the score a little, and that by using something simply attached to his costume he wasn't betraying his love of "real" wrestling.
    • Also, after being shot by Kinkotsuman before his match with Robin Mask, Terryman, desperate to win, fought dirty by throwing sand in Robin's eyes and wearing spiked knuckledusters. This was a marked contrast to his normally extremely easygoing attitude.
      • And while he doesn't display this directly in the anime or manga, in at least one of the games Kinkotsuman will indeed just shoot you in the ring. Note that Kinkotsuman is physically feeble and cowardly, so this is clearly his idea of evening the odds.
      • Subverted with Warsman who SEEMED to be relying entirely on a clawed weapon to beat their opponents. However, when Kinnikuman removed his claw; he proved that he was still very capable of kicking ass.

Video Games

  • Rip Saber from Ring of Destruction: Slam Masters II. Of course, in a wrestling federation where people generate electricity and turn into falling meteors (to name two examples), he needs to use more powerful weapons, including grenades.
  • Leo Bradley from 3 Count Bout. In a game where any character can pick up a spiked cudgel or a broken bottle, he stands out by having huge chains as a major part of his moveset. His stated specialty is "hardcore matches", and while he can perform actual wrestling maneuvers he doesn't have a very impressive repertoire of them.

Web Animation

  • Homestar Runner parodied this during a Strong Bad email about wrestling. Strong Bad has had several gimmicks, but really made a name for himself in a tag team with Strong Mad... although there were some misfires, such as their "Foreign Object Bros." gimmick, where they apparently solely made use of the various foreign objects on their costumes, including a gun shoved down Strong Mad's singlet.

Film

  • Mad Dog from Ong Bak. His fighting style consisted in using absolutely everything that came to hand as a weapon, even ripping out electrical wires to attack his opponent.
  • Opening match in Monster Brawl is between two fighters of this type: Witch Bitch, who has a hidden cleaver and doesn't shy away from underhanded tactics and Cyclops, who uses his smithing hammer.
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