The Top 10 Best Illegal Weapons in Pro Wrestling History
Weapons have always had a place in pro wrestling.
Long before Paul Heyman and the original ECW made it fashionable to beat a man with a barbed-wired bat then throw him off a ladder through five flaming tables, heels often used weapons to win a match.
There are hundreds of different types of illegal weaponry that have been utilized through the years, so trust me, it was not easy to narrow it down to only 10.
But, for this list, I have chosen to use the objects that make the most sense, are the easiest to use and could guarantee victory under the right circumstances.
Alas, some of your favorites may not be here, especially if the weapon was specific to one wrestler or manager, like Al Snow's mannequin head or Jim Cornette's tennis racket. This list is also not specific to WWE.
This is the arsenal that is available to any worker, in any promotion, at any time.
So gather 'round, heels, and pick your poison.
10. A Roll of Coins
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and one of the best.
Two workers in the midst of an epic battle, giving their all in a heated exchange, and the fan favorite begins to gain momentum.
The crowd gets behind him, he gets a second wind, and before you know it, the heel is on the ropes, possibly headed for a three count.
Then, it happens. He reaches into his trunks, takes out a roll of quarters, and boom, the baby face is flat on his back, and his shoulders are being counted down.
Fast, simple, effective. But, with one glaring problem.
What happens when the ref sees the coins all over the ring?
But it's still a classic weapon, and that's why it's in the top 10.
9. The Ladder
Everyone loves the ladder.
The ladder matches are exciting, dynamic, and action packed, with guys taking high impact bumps, competing for the trophy that hangs from the rafters.
It's also great to bash in a man's skull with.
The ladder is a vicious weapon that does not give easily, and can tear a wrestler's face wide open. Just ask Joey Mercury.
So, why is it down at No. 9? Simple. Because not every match is a ladder match, and unless the ref is either blind or knocked out, it's not the most viable weapon to use against your opponent.
But there is no denying its impact, and that is why it made the list.
8. The Steel Steps
Again, unless it's a no disqualification match, this is is probably not the best item to use.
In a straight up wrestling match, if you're caught attempting reconstructive surgery with steel steps, you're likely not going to win. Referees are weird like that.
But when it's allowed, the use of the steps is a definite game changer in any match. Whether they're heaved at someone's skull, or a wrestler takes a hard slam onto them, they can spell the end of any bout.
Bubba Ray and Devon may not have invented the folding table, but, well, no, they absolutely invented the folding table.
Tables were used for years in the business, mostly on the outside of the ring. Terry Funk used the piledriver on Ric Flair, on a very sturdy table that was not made to break, and the crowd was stunned. It was very effective.
But when The Dudleys began their love affair with tables, it turned the gimmick into an artf orm.
Now, it seems ridiculous when a table is not used in a match that allows it, or in a match that involves two guys who are trying to kill each other.
But, as great as the table is, it's right here with the steps and the ladder in terms of difficulty to use in a regular pro wrestling match setting.
6. The Ringbell
What do you do when you're near the ringside table and need a weapon fast?
No, only R-Truth reaches for the water bottle.
The ringside bell is another one of those items that has been used for years, with guaranteed results nearly every time.
Basically, the worker sneaks into the ring when the ref's back is turned, and slams the base of the bell into his opponent's head.
Unless you're Randy Orton, and you use the edge of it, splitting the other guy wide open.
Either way, though the ring bell is awkward, if you can grab it fast enough, and swing it hard enough, it's one more win under your belt.
5. The Kendo Stick
No longer reserved for hardcore matches only, the kendo stick is a great weapon with a distinctive sound that makes a huge impact.
The reason this weapon is so good has to do with the fact that, unlike the roll of quarters, it can be tossed onto the floor, or thrown up under the ring, without the ref ever having known it had been used.
Yes, the pop of the stick is loud, but with enough of a distraction, and crowd noise to drown it out, the official would likely not hear it in the first place.
Of course, if it is a match that involves weapons, the ref wouldn't be a factor, anyway, so it's batter up.
4. Brass Knuckles
William Regal brought it back in style, but make no mistake, the brass knucks have been around for a long time in the business.
The absolute best thing about this weapon is that it can be hid anywhere. In a guys' trunks, in his boot, in a hat, anywhere that it's out of sight, and an official would not think to inspect.
Nothing could be quicker and easier than to take out the brass knuckles, slip them on, give a solid right hook, then stash them away again.
It all happens in the blink of an eye, so fast that a referee could legitimately claim he never knew what happened.
Is it a cheap way to get a win? Yes. Is it an effective way to get a win? You better believe it.
3. The Random Foreign Object
This one is my all-time personal favorite.
The best thing about this particular weapon is that it could be anything, and come from anywhere at anytime.
I have personally used nothing but a Sharpie wrapped in black tape that I took out of my pocket, then replaced when I was done with my cheap shot.
Therein lies another great benefit of the foreign object, it can be as big, or as small, as you need it to be. Because of this, it can literally be hidden anywhere, and utilized whenever it's needed.
It's not used as much on on the level of WWE or TNA these days, but historically speaking it is a great weapon that is very dependable, and extremely effective.
2. A Title Belt
This one is typically the weapon of choice for WWE, mostly because it's so easy, and not too violent in nature.
Yet, slamming a championship belt into a guy's head still has a lot of impact, and always gets a pop from the crowd, as they know that they have probably just witnessed the final blow of the match.
A wrestler that I worked with in a promotion once used the singles championship that he possessed to hit his opponent behind the ref's back. He had worked on the belt himself, attaching the medals and doing detail work to update the look of the title.
When it made contact with the other guy's forehead that night, the belt completely flew apart, with the various different pieces going in all different directions into the crowd.
The impact was huge, and the fans popped accordingly. The belt may have been ruined, but to see the crowd reaction made the moment all the more worth it.
Now if only that would happen to that God-awful WWE Title belt.
1. The Steel Chair
So, we finally reach No. 1—the pinnacle of cheating in the pro wrestling match, the weapon of weapons. The steel chair.
All hail the steel chair.
Anyone can use the chair, and it can be used in so many ways, from a shot to the head, the back, an arm or leg, even to the abdomen. The steel chair is an equal opportunity equalizer that usually spells doom for the guy taking the hit.
Add to this the fact it does not even have to be swung to be used, rather just slamming a wrestler down onto it, to gain a victory, and you have an all purpose weapon.
No matter how clean, or how extreme any pro wrestling promotion wants to be in its presentation, the fact is the steel chair is the one weapon that can be used in any situation, for any reason. It gets a guaranteed reaction from any audience, and can do what appears to be a severe amount of damage in very little time.
The steel chair is the king of all illegal weapons, and it will likely never give up the throne.