With the Extreme Rules PPV just around the corner, we at Podcast of the Immortals thought this would be a perfect time to get into the way back machine and look back at the 10 greatest extreme wrestlers in WWE history.
We compiled the list looking at a few factors. First we looked at their bodies of work; Second their most extreme moments; Third their lasting impact as an extreme wrestler. For the purposes of the article we only included their work within WWE. This left off a few famed ECW wrestlers but this is a WWE blog. Now onto the list!
Raven’s run in the WWE was limited to only a few years following the WCW Invasion storyline but he made his presence felt as an extreme wrestler during this time. Raven has the distinction of being the all time record holder for Hardcore Championship reigns with a ridiculous 27. This was made possible by the 24/7 stipulation that the belt carried. He was known to bring a shopping cart of weapons to the ring with him for his matches and his spot amongst the greatest extreme wrestlers of all time has been etched in stone.
9) Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon, known for being the son of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, surprisingly was among the most extreme wrestlers during the famed Attitude Era of the WWF. People tend to forget some of the memorable spots he did during his matches. He twice took huge bumps off the Titantron; One was an elbow to the Big Show, the second falling off after being hit by Steve Blackman with a kendo stick. He also took some of the most violent bumps I’ve ever seen when Kurt Angle attempted three times to toss McMahon through a plate glass. McMahon didn’t need to put his body on the line, but he did, and he earned our respect while doing it.
Edge has always been known for taking risks in the ring to put down his opponents. The most famous spot has to be his spear to Jeff Hardy off a larger than normal ladder at WrestleMania X-Seven during the triangle TLC match. He also had one of the most memorable hardcore matches in history when he took on the Hardcore Legend Mick Foley at WrestleMania 22 in Chicago. This match culminated with Edge spearing Mick Foley through a burning table in one of the more memorable moments in WrestleMania history.
7) The Undertaker
The Undertaker has taken part in numerous extreme matches. This includes a record 12 Hell in a Cell matches. The Undertaker’s body of work is what puts him onto this list. He tends to be the one giving out the damage in most of these matches but he has taken his fair share of punishment as well. His 2002 Hell in a Cell loss at No Mercy to Brock Lesnar is amongst the most bloody matches of all time. He also was in the most memorable extreme match of all time when he took on Mick Foley in the 1998 King of the Ring PPV in a Hell in a Cell match. This match saw Undertaker throwing Foley off and through the cell.
6) Triple H
Triple H, like the Undertaker, makes this list for the sheer volume of work he has put in. He has the second most Hell in a Cell matches, including the classic match against the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami. He is known for putting down his opponents with a sledgehammer during these extreme and no holds barred matches. Triple H is an old school brawler and many of his matches, including his WrestleMania XXIX match with Brock Lesnar, were bloody and painful for all involved. One of his most extreme matches came at the 2004 Royal Rumble when he took on Shawn Michaels in a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship.
5) Terry Funk (Chainsaw Charlie)
There are a select group of names that absolutely, positively must be on a list like this one, and Terry Funk is among those names. Those his time in the WWE/F was limited, he made his mark on the company during his run as Chainsaw Charlie during the Attitude Era and later as Terry Funk. As Chainsaw Charlie he would bring, you guessed it, a chainsaw with him to the ring. That alone is pretty badass, but Funk has a reputation for putting on some of the most extreme hardcore matches ever and has earned his spot on this list.
4) Rob Van Dam
RVD is the most successful ECW convert ever. He made his name known in ECW but became a star in the WWE by taking huge risks with his body that many others just weren’t willing to do. He is known for jumping off of any object to hit his frog splash finisher and used the move to win the WWE Championship in 2006 against John Cena. RVD isn’t known so much for hardcore matches like Terry Funk and Mick Foley, but his reputation as an extreme wrestler is still in place for the crazy risks he would take night in and night out to the delight of the fans.
3) The Dudley Boyz
This may be considered a cheat, but at No. 3 we have the Dudley Boyz. The tag team innovated the now famous table matches in WWE and had some of the most extreme and memorable matches in WWE history along with the Hardy Boyz and Edge and Christian. Some of their high spots through tables were absolutely insane and they have provided numerous memorable WWE moments.
2) The Hardy Boyz
This is another cheat but we have both Matt and Jeff Hardy at the No. 2 spot. Matt had his moments but the real star of the Hardy Boyz was Jeff. Jeff took numerous bumps from some of the craziest heights you’ll ever see in the WWE. His bumps at WrestleMania 2000 and WrestleMania X-Seven are still shown in highlights for the event every year. You can see one of his craziest Swanton Bombs in the video below. Starts at 22m25s.
1) Mick Foley
This is a no-brainer and everyone clicking on this article had to know that Mick Foley would stand alone as our pick for the WWE’s most extreme wrestler. His match at the 1998 King of the Ring vs The Undertaker stands out as the most extreme match but that is just the tip of a large mountain of work that has earned Foley the monicker as the Hardcore Legend. I could write all day about his classic matches but everyone knows the story. I’ll leave you with a video of his most classic hardcore match that I still can’t believe he walked away from. Truly the best ever.