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RECAP AND REVIEW: Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard on Daniel Puder and the Hardcore Title – the Kurt Angle incident, who some members of management thought should have won Tough Enough, who came up with the Hardcore Title?

Something to Wrestle – Daniel Puder And The Hardcore Title

Release Date: November 2, 2018

Running Time: 3:06:16

Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Daniel Puder

  • Puder was born in October 1981. He was a fan of Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, The Rock, and Al Snow
  • He started amateur wrestling at age 13 and MMA at age 16. His plan was to get into MMA.
  • Puder became friends with Dave Meltzer who suggested he try out for Tough Enough. He made the final cut for Tough Enough season 3 but when they did a background check, they found Puder’s house had been raided by the feds because they thought he was a major drug dealer. It was really just a misdemeanor.
  • He sent a promo video again for another season and said he got picked from that promo video
  • Bruce was involved in the first season of Tough Enough but his involvement dropped after that.
  • For this season of Tough Enough, Kevin Dunn was one of the judges. He didn’t like being on camera but Vince wanted him to be. Johnny Ace was also a judge and it was his first time in front of the camera in some time.
  • Al Snow, Bill DeMott and Fit Finlay were three of the judges. Al was a good trainer, Bill was someone they wanted to put in a trainer role and Fit was added mainly because he was a tough guy and was on the roster.
  • Big was the final judge. He was one of Kevin Dunn’s best friends. When the original Tough Enough started they needed someone to do the 24 hour reality style stuff. Big knew enough about the WWE and he fit that mold.

The Eight Finalists

  • They started with 50 candidates and cut it down to the final 8 who were John Mayer, Nick Mitchell, Chris Nawrocki, Mike Mizanin (The Miz),  Daniel Puder, Ryan Reeves (Ryback), Dan Rodimer and Justice Smith.
  • Bruce thought Dan Rodimer had the biggest upside because he had the most personality. He was a big guy who could grab people’s attention
  • Miz would have been number two because you could put him in any room with anyone and he would have them eating out the palm of his hand.
  • The winner of the contest was going to get a 4 year contract worth 250K per year.
  • Some of the guys on the main roster were a little pissed off that one of these guys was getting that type of contract, but it was a stunt. Most of the Tough Enough guys were going to be re-negotiated after the first year to a lower contract anyway.
  • There was a contestant who said he was 30 but he was actually 40. He could have made the top 8 but didn’t make it because he constantly lied about his age. This contestant ended up being the Boogeyman.
  • They did a skit with the Big Show chopping and bodyslamming but these guys didn’t know how to take moves or sell. Vince wanted segments on Smackdown to promote Tough Enough and every week they had to come up with Tough Enough content that would give exposure the contestants. The ideas would be watered down and flawed from the beginning. Bruce hated this. A lot of the guys didn’t like it either and were pissed.

Kurt Angle

  • September 4th Smackdown – The contestants did drills and the winner got a shoot match with Kurt Angle. Chris Nawrocki won and got thrown around by Kurt. Kurt may have also broken one of Chris’ ribs.
  • Originally, Paul Heyman suggested they use Nunzio to stretch the contestants. Bruce was the one who suggested they get the contestants tired by running sprints and doing squat thrusts. They also had the contestants eat pasta and drink milk then do more running and squats. Bruce noticed Daniel wasn’t sprinting or eating.
  • Kurt challenged everyone who was in the competition and Puder accepted. They had told Kurt to work with only one guy and get out but Kurt kept going.
  • Kurt was mad that someone wanted to face him. He was also tired from stretching the first guy and this was not the Kurt Angle of 1996.
  • Angle took Puder down but Puder ended up getting Kurt in an arm lock (Kimura). Angle ended up ‘pinning’ him. Jimmy Korderas quickly counted to three even though Puder’s shoulders weren’t pinned.
  • Wade Keller reported Gerald Brisco told the ref to count a fast pin recognizing the situation Angle was in.
  • Bruce says this whole thing was ill-conceived and poorly executed. Kurt put himself in that position and Puder could have broken Angle’s arm. If this was a real MMA fight, Kurt would have tapped or have a broken arm.
  • Kurt said his hand went numb against Chris which is why it was tougher for Kurt to bring down Puder
  • When they came back through the curtain, Bruce was pissed at Kurt and pissed at Paul Heyman for getting in Kurt’s ear. Bruce was pissed of at Puder for getting in there but at the end of the day it was the WWE’s fault for allowing it to happen. Kurt was no longer the shooter he had once been. Bruce doesn’t blame Puder for doing what he did. It was an opportunity to make a name for himself.
  • From Kurt’s perspective, he had injured himself and was trash talking. In Kurt’s book, he said the match wasn’t supposed to be an MMA match but a wrestling match and it was supposed to be amateur rules which Bruce says was the failsafe for everything. In an amateur rules match, you only had to pin someone’s shoulders down for one second and everyone felt confident that Kurt could get anyone down.
  • Kurt was pissed off that people felt Puder had him. Bruce says if Kurt was healthy, he should have beat Puder.
  • Kurt says he was considering doing the job for Puder but Puder was so bad they had to let him go. When Kurt was in TNA, Dana White offered to have Kurt fight Puder in the UFC which he wanted to do but Dana said he would have to quit wrestling which is something Kurt didn’t want to do.
  • Dana was going after Kurt and Kurt was interested but Bruce thinks Dana lost interest when he signed Brock Lesnar
  • Puder talks about his view on what happened. He wasn’t scared of Angle. Even though Kurt was strong he knew he had the MMA training. He was 5 seconds away from breaking Kurt’s arm. Kurt was upset and Puder calls Kurt a wimp.
  • Puder did an interview with Jimmy Korderas about the incident well after the fact and Jimmy says he saw an opportunity to end the match with a pinfall, Puder says sarcastically ‘before I ended his arm, careers, life, everything’.  
  • All these years later, Puder is still hanging his hat on this incident.

Puder Wins Tough Enough

  • After the next competitions, Nick Mitchell loses and Daniel wins the ‘sex test’ to get a Mae Young lap dance (sans sardines thankfully)
  • On the November 18 Smackdown, they hold another Tough Enough Challenge. None of them win but Daniel Puder gets the closest to winning.
  • November 25th Smackdown – Rodimer was eliminated leaving Mike Mizanin, Daniel Puder, Justice Smith and Ryan Reeves. Bruce doesn’t remember Justice Smith. Bruce was surprised Rodimer was eliminated. He thought people would love Rodimer but maybe Rodimer’s ‘smart a**ness’ was what turned people off.
  • Armageddon 2004 – Puder and Miz make their PPV debut in a boxing match. Bruce didn’t like putting another shoot competition inside of a worked arena.
  • Puder wins via decision and was the heavy favorite but Miz surprised a lot of people as he had some boxing experience. The WWE had to get a boxing license, a cut man and a commissioner at ringside. That said, it wasn’t nothing to write home about.
  • December 16th, it’s announced Daniel Puder has won Tough Enough. They hadn’t worked with him enough to know what they had creatively. Most people were pulling for Miz because of his personality and his attitude. Miz had a great attitude and a love for the wrestling business. Puder came across as ‘get me in the ring and beat people up’. Bruce, Vince and Kevin Dunn wanted Miz but the audience wanted Daniel Puder.
  • Bruce thought Miz was going to win but thought Puder was the more superior athlete.
  • Bruce never saw the winner’s contract and doesn’t know the particulars other than the winner had to go through training and when the person got onto the full time gig and TV, the contract would kick in and they would work off the main roster.
  • Al Snow has gone on record saying Miz should have won.
  • Bruce says if it hadn’t been for the Kurt Angle incident, the contest would have been between Miz and Rodimer.
  • Puder talks about talking to someone who claimed to be in charge of the voting who told Puder he was going to win
  • Bruce says it might have been a better idea to bring Puder in as an ‘outsider’ and build up a character and story from scratch to give him a personality rather than use the one he had.
  • Bruce says Miz winning could have worked against him. He already had heat from being a reality star. That said, Miz was going to make it no matter what because of his love of the business
  • January 2005, Puder gets a couple of house show wins over Hardcore Holly

Royal Rumble

  • Royal Rumble – Puder gets chopped by Benoit, Guerrero and gets eliminated by Holly that Bruce calls a ‘welcome to the company’
  • Daniel says the Rumble was horrible. Puder was asking Holly to teach him but Holly didn’t care. Puder says he would beat all three of those guys. He’s glad he went through the beating because his company doesn’t have any of that drama. Bruce says this is sour grapes and it’s the way the business was.
  • Bruce says they tried to come up with something for Puder. They would shoot things every week and it was painful. Bruce thinks Puder had red-light syndrome, did not work well with others and his attitude ostracized him.
  • After this Royal Rumble match, he was sent to train at OVW where he teams with Ken Anderson. He worked a series of singles matches and won a number one contender match only to lose the title match which was his last match.
  • Bruce says Daniel wasn’t cut out for the sports entertainment world and couldn’t portray a character
  • Bruce says if Paul Heyman had not gotten in Kurt’s ear, Kurt wouldn’t have been out in the ring in the first place. It was Paul who got Kurt fired up to convince Vince to get him in the ring.

Released from the WWE

  • September 2005 – Daniel is released. He gets a letter saying the WWE could terminate him or drop his contract to 50K a year. The WWE says they didn’t mean to send that to him that letter but offered to give him a developmental contract. Puder turned down the offer to explore other options such as MMA or TNA. He had a short stints in ROH and NJPW
  • Puder has a lot to say about some of the wrestlers like Big Show. It seems like he took things to heart. Bruce says maybe he hadn’t been in those kind of environments in the past and reiterates that Puder wasn’t made for the business.
  • Puder ends up having an 8-0 record in MMA and after leaving wrestling, he opens up a number of businesses such as Toys for Tots. He does a lot of work of volunteer work for youths.
  • Puder pitched Kurt to do a match but Kurt told him to go f*ck himself.
  • They go to Twitter questions

1:33:00 – The Hardcore Title

The Birth of the Hardcore Title

  • Made its debut Nov 2, 1998 on Raw when Vince gave the title to Mankind and asked him not to interfere in a match with The Rock and Ken Shamrock. Foley starts calling Vince dad and looks at Vince as a father figure. Bruce thought this was really entertaining but it was inspired by a tape Foley had sent in where he was being ‘anti-hardcore’. Bruce and J.R. pitched this to Vince to let him know Mick had layers and was entertaining.
  • In 1997/1998, the European title, the Lightweight Title and the Hardcore title were introduced. Vince Russo believed titles should be a means of getting someone over and could be valuable but the WWE didn’t use them well. In essence, Russo said titles could mean a lot but under his booking, they were flip flopping a lot. Bruce hated that there were so many titles and so much flip flopping. He didn’t like the Hardcore and European titles.
  • The Hardcore title was Vince Russo’s idea and they didn’t have plans for it other than Mick Foley using it as a prop.
  • Many people initially thought the physical Hardcore title was a belt Mr. Perfect smashed up but it’s actually a title that Reg Park made that they smashed up and put duct tape on.
  • The first title match was Mankind retaining over Shamrock. The following week, Mankind defended against Shamrock and Big Bossman in a Triple Threat Match. Right after Survivor Series, Bossman beat Mankind in a ladder match to win the title thanks to interference from the Rock. This built up the Rock/Mick Foley storyline
  • Road Dogg beat Bossman after Mankind interferes.
  • The WWE wanted to split up the New Age Outlaws and have Road Dogg become a singles wrestler. It was Road Dogg’s idea to do the brawling stuff in the Hardcore division.
  • Road Dogg would defeat Mankind to retain the title and this is the last time Mick Foley would ever be in an angle for the Hardcore Title again.

  • January 18, 1999 – Road Dogg beats Gangrel but eventually, Road Dogg forfeits the title (to go to rehab). This was a rough time for Road Dogg.
  • Al Snow and Bob Holly start working together which leads to a title match between the two at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (February 14, 1999). Bob originally thought he was going to put Al over but ended up winning. This was the birth of Hardcore Holly.
  • March 15th, 1999 – Billy Gunn beats Hardcore Holly to win the belt. Bruce says the Hardcore division was kind of a catch-all for those who didn’t have anything going on from a storyline perspective.
  • WrestleMania XV (March 28, 1999) – Holly wins the title from Billy Gunn and Al Snow. This was the first time the Hardcore title was defended at WrestleMania. Bruce says nobody had the vision of the Hardcore title at WrestleMania but this was in the period where they would throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
  • April 25th, 1999 – Backlash – Al Snow wins the title back from Bob Holly. Guys would be coming up with their own spots and would always want to outdo what they did the last time.
  • During this period, Gerry Brisco was the agent for a lot of the hardcore matches.
  • July 25th, 1999 – Fully Loaded Big Bossman wins the HC title from Al Snow. There was a lot going on in this match and Bruce feels the matches all started looking alike. To this day, Bruce hates cheese graters, pots and pans and the stop signs under the ring.
  • August 22, 1999 – Summerslam – Al Snow and Big Bossman work an angle with the belt and Pepper the dog. Bruce says this match was OK but everything is looking the same.
  • September 26th, 1999 – Unforgiven PPV – Al Snow and Big Bossman participated in the Kennel from Hell match. The Hardcore title was on the line but many people forget that. Al Snow wins the title
  • October 12th, 1999 – Bossman regains title from Big Show and Al Snow.
  • Regardless of how silly this sounds, it’s over with the fans. WCW even created their version of a Hardcore Title.

Crash Holly, The Stooges and the 24/7 Rule

  • Feb 22, 2000 – Crash Holly beats Test for the HC title at Smackdown.
  • Crash was the first one to declare the 24/7 rule. Bruce doesn’t remember who came up with the idea of this rule but it helped them get to ‘what do you do next’? It gave them some levity with the title and made it different.
  • March 6th, 2000 – RAW – the first time someone tries to win the title using the 24/7 rule. The Mean Street Posse try to win the title posing as room service at Crash’s hotel. They do a few more of these types of skits over the next few weeks until Pete Gas finally beats Crash for the title at the airport. Crash wins it back a few minutes later. Bruce remembers this skit and they did it at the baggage claim. The airport gave them permissions to shoot however, Bruce doesn’t think they could do that today.
  • March 16 2000, Crash was at Funtimes USA. One of the Headbangers attacked Crash. Bruce produced this segment and it was fun to do. It was a collaborative effort of gaga from everyone involved.

  • April 2, 2000 – Wrestlemania 16 – 13 man, 15 minute free-for-all. Title changed 10 times during this single match. Ultimately, Hardcore Holly walked out with the title.
  • April 3rd, 2000 – RAW – Crash regains the title from Hardcore Holly.
  • April 11, 2000 – Smackdown – Saturn beats Crash but then Taz pins Saturn to regain the title who gets pinned by Crash to get the belt back
  • April 24, 2000 – RAW – The Hollys beat the Hardys. There was a big brawl after the match and in the melee, Matt pins Crash for the title but a few days later on Smackdown (April 25th, 2000), Crash wins the belt back from Matt again.
  • April 30th, 2000 – Backlash – Crash Holly retains the HC title. Part of the excitement of coming to the arena early was to see what they could use during the hardcore matches.
  • May 6th, 2000 – Insurrextion – British Bulldog beats Crash but the next Smackdown (May 9th, 2000), Crash beats  Bulldog to wins it back.
  • May 15th, 2000 RAW – The Godfather takes on Crash and one the ho’s beats Crash but he pins her a few seconds later to win the belt back.
  • May 16th, 2000 – Smackdown – Gerald Brisco pins Crash in Crash’s hotel room while he’s sleeping to win the title.
  • June 12th, 2000 – RAW – Crash beats Patterson and Brisco to win the HC title. A week later on RAW (June 19th, 2000), he beats Bob Holly by DQ. Backstage, Patterson wins the HC champion
  • June 25th, 2000 – King Of The Ring – Crash regains the title by interfering in the evening gown match between Patterson and Brisco. Vince suggested the evening gown match which Brisco didn’t want to do it.  

Steve Blackman

  • June 27th, 2000 – Smackdown – Crash was wrestling Al Snow when Blackman came out and hit Crash with nunchucks to win the title.
  • August 21st, 2000 – RAW – Steve Blackman loses the title to Shane McMahon. Foley waved the 24/7 rule because Shane was trying to lay down for Edge and Christian.
  • August 27th, 2000 – Summerslam – Shane and Blackman are climbing up the titantron and Shane falls 30 feet. Shane wanted to get the big pop and that holy sh*t moment.
  • September 24th, 2000 – Unforgiven – Blackman retains the title against Crash, Al Snow, Test, Big Show and Funaki.
  • November 6th, 2000 – Blackman retains the Hardcore title against Kane.
  • December 22nd, 2000 – Raw – Raven beats Blackman in a triple threat including Hardcore Holly.

The Title Keeps Rotating Part I

  • January 22nd, 2001 – Al Snow beats Raven to win the title. Raven beats Snow to regain the title but there was a lot of shenanigans and gaga to get Raven in the mix.
  • February 6th, 2001 – Smackdown – Hardcore Holly beat Raven but gets hit in the head which allows Raven to regain the title. There are also lots of title switches on house shows at this time.
  • February 25th, 2001 – No Way Out – Big Show wins the Hardcore champion.
  • April 1st, 2001 – Wrestlemania 17 – Kane wins HC Title over Raven and Big Show. Match was not that good.
  • April 17th, 2001 – Smackdown – Rhyno beats Kane to win the title.
  • April 29th, 2001 – Backlash – Rhyno retains over Raven. Match got good reviews and you had two ECW champs Raven and Rhyno. They had chemistry together and Rhyno is an underrated worker.
  • May 20th, 2001 – Judgement Day – Rhyno retains against Test and Big Show.
  • May 21st, 2001 – Raw – Big Show beats Rhyno to win the title.
  • May 28th, 2001 – Raw – Jericho beats Big Show. As Jericho is leaving, Rhyno gores Jericho to win the title back
  • June 12th, 2001 – Smackdown – Test beats Rhyno for the title.
  • June 25th, 2001 – Rhyno beats test but Mike Awesome comes in powerbombs Rhyno on a ladder to win the title.
  • July 10th, 2001 – Smackdown – Jeff Hardy beat Mike Awesome who took a conchairto from E&C.

Rob Van Dam

  • July 22nd, 2001 – Invasion – RVD beats Jeff Hardy for the title. This is the match that probably got RVD noticed by Vince. It was a great match and they beat the crap out of each other. RVD felt Hardcore title matches were essentially ECW matches. RVD thought it was hardcore and he could use weapons. He felt this was one of his better matches. The Hardcore Title allowed him to use some creativity and think outside the box. RVD really liked the Hardcore title and thought he could make it mean something.
  • RVD had some successful defenses against Matt Hardy, Hardcore Holly, Test, Edge, Kane and Jeff Hardy. He even gets to work a Hardcore title match with Kurt Angle.
  • August 19th, 2001 – Summerslam – RVD and Jeff Hardy wrestle in a ladder match where where RVD regained the Hardcore title (he had lost it on the August 13th edition of RAW). This match made sense for Jeff and RVD because they were both daredevils and would sacrifice their bodies.
  • Smackdown tapings after Summerslam has a rematch between Hardy and RVD. Hardy does a Swanton off a tall ladder but RVD moves and Hardy crashes through a table. Bruce always hated the boys doing too much of that kind of stuff. It would scare him when guys did those spots.
  • September 4th, 2001 – RVD as Hardcore champ beats World Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Steve took the Van Daminator. This was a big prominent spot for the Hardcore title. This may not have happened when Crash was champion and Bruce says this was all due to RVD. They found RVD and Steve had good chemistry and the fact that RVD was the Hardcore champion was secondary.
  • September 10th, 2001 – RAW – RVD taps to Kurt Angle to lose the title but Stone Cold tosses both guys off the stage and RVD pins Kurt to win the title back due to the 24/7 rule.
  • September 23rd, 2001 – Unforgiven – RVD beats Jericho to retain the Hardcore title.
  • September 24th, 2001 – RAW – RVD challenges the Rock for the WCW title which is the first time these two have wrestled. Rock wins the match.
  • September 27th, 2001 – Smackdown – RVD retains over Jericho. At this point, RVD is in the middle of everything…Austin, The Rock and Kurt Angle. The title means something.
  • October 2nd, SmackDown – RVD pins WWF champ Angle with the stipulation that if RVD won, Austin would get a title match on RAW. Austin ended up winning the title from Angle as a result.
  • October 15th, 2001 – RAW – RVD wrestled the Rock for the WCW title. RVD won by DQ when Stephanie McMahon got involved. This sets up No Mercy PPV.
  • October 21st, 2001 – No Mercy – RVD headlines in a triple threat with Austin and Angle. Austin wins when he hits RVD with a stunner. Bruce says this was Rob being elevated as a superstar.
  • October 22nd, 2001 – RAW – RVD beats Big Show to retain the title. Creative finish that was Big Show’s idea where RVD went to spray Big show with an extinguisher. Show held up a chair and RVD hit the van daminator
  • RVD pins the Rock on October 23rd and a week later he retains against Edge.
  • RVD eventually loses title to Undertaker on December 9th, 2001. Bruce says RVD always delivered when put in a prominent spot.

Maven

  • February 7th, 2002 – Maven pins ‘Taker to become the Hardcore champ. The Rock interfered in that match. Taker wanted to work with Maven and see if anything was there but Maven couldn’t keep up.
  • Maven retained the title over Goldust on February 28, 2002 but Taker came out and beat him up. While Maven medics were attending to Maven, Goldust pinned Maven to become the Hardcore champ.
  • Al Snow beats Goldust on Raw (March 11th, 2002). A few days later, Al Snow is defending against Big Show when Goldust gets involved. Big Show chokeslams Al Snow, Maven runs in and pins Snow to regain the belt.
  • March 17th, 2002 – WrestleMania 18 – The title changes hands several times throughout the PPV. Spike wins in a Maven vs. Goldust match. After the match, Crash chases Spike through the crowd. Hurricane pins Spike to win then Molly Holly pins Hurricane after hitting him with a frying pan. Christian pins Molly after hitting her with a door, Maven pins Christian to win and leaves in a taxi.
  • Raven defeats Maven on Smackdown (March 26th, 2002) and they do a series of title changes in the house shows. Williams Regal beats Bubba Ray for the title who then gets beat by Goldbust who then gets beat by Raven who then gets beat by Bubba.

ECW Originals and the Hardcore Title Changes Go Into Overdrive

  • ECW originals flip flip on Raw April 15th, 2002. Raven beats Bubba Ray Dudley, Tommy Dreamer beats Raven Stevie Richards beats Tommy, Bubba beats Richards.
  • April 19th and 20th – Goldust beat Bubba, Raven beat Goldust, Bubba beat Raven.
  • April 29th, 2002 – Raw – Steve Richard beat Bubba.
  • May 1st, 2002 in Germany – Dreamer beats Richards, Goldust beats Dreamer then Richards beats Goldust.
  • May 2nd, 2002 in Glasgow – Shawn Stasiak beats Richards, Justin Credible beats Stasiak, Crash beats Credible, Richards beats Holly, Stasiak beats Richards, Richards beats Stasiak to leave with the title.
  • May 3rd, 2002 – Crash beat Richards, Richard beats Crash.
  • May 4h, 2002 – Insurrextion in London – Booker T beats Richards, Crash beats Booker, Booker beats Crash, Richards beat Booker.

Trish Stratus and Terri Runnels

  • May 6th, 2002 – Raw – Trish Stratus faces Jazz for the women’s championship but loses due to Richard’s interference. Bubba attacks Richards from behind to win the title then Raven attacks Bubba to win the title but then lost the title to Justin Credible who then got pinned by Crash. Dudley hit Crash with a trash can and Trish stole the pin from him so Stratus is now the Hardcore champ. The Dudley’s try to attack Trish from behind but Jazz sprayed them with a fire extinguisher. Richard steals the final pin of the night after the Dudleys accidentally powerbomb Trish through a table.
  • May 27, 2002 – Raw – Terri Runnels pins Stevie Richards to win the title but Richards pins her back to win the title back.

The Title Keeps Rotating Part II

  • Hardcore Title changes hands on house shows throughout 2002. Johnny Stamboli wins the title from JBL and JBL wins it back. He re-names it the Texas Hardcore title.
  • July 29th, 2002 – Jeff Hardy beats JBL and Stamboli beat Jeff then Tommy dreamer beats Stamboli.
  • Over the next several week, Dreamer trades the title with Richards and Shawn Stasiak on house shows. Tommy gets a custom title made with a NY license plate on the front
  • August 19th, 2002 – Raw – the 24/7 rule is deactivated. JBL wins a hardcore battle royal for the title, then Crash wins the title, then Dreamer wins the title.

The End Of The Hardcore Title

  • August 26th, 2002 – IC champ RVD beats Tommy Dreamer to unify the titles and that’s the last we ever see of the HC title (THANK GOD).
  • The Hardcore title was eliminated because it had run its course and the WWE were eliminating titles because there were too many of them.
  • June 23rd, 2003 – Raw – Raw authority figure Steve Austin awards Mick Foley a Hardcore belt but not the championship for Folye’s contributions to Hardcore wrestling.
  • Edge and Foley declare themselves co-holders of the Hardcore championship in 2006 to set up part of the ECW storyline to set up the ECW One Night Only PPV.

Final Tally

  • Number of performers to hold the belt – 52
  • Most number of reigns:
    • Raven (27)
    • Crash held it (22)
    • Stevie Richards (21)
  • Four women held the title (Godfather Ho, Holly, Trish, Terri)
  • Longest single reign – Big Bossman (97 days)
  • Longest combined reign – Steve Blackman (172 days)
  • Bruce says Crash is the greatest Hardcore champion. Conrad say Crash and and Van Dam are the two greatest

Legacy of the Hardcore Title

  • Bruce says the legacy will go to Mick Foley because it was given to him first and he had the original storyline. That said, RVD made the title mean more than anyone else who held it.
  • They go to Twitter Questions

Rating:

Daniel Puder: 7/10

From the sounds of it, a lot of the info for the Daniel Puder portion of the podcast was taken from the ‘Why It Ended’ podcast about Daniel Puder with additional commentary thrown in by Bruce. It was interesting to hear some of the backstage stuff about Tough Enough and Bruce’s opinion about the Kurt Angle/Daniel Puder incident on Smackdown. That said, if you had listened to the ‘Why It Ended’ podcast (or heard the recap from the Pull-Apart), there really wasn’t anything too new.

Hardcore Title: 6.5/10

Let me state for the record, I was never a fan of the Hardcore title so I wasn’t too interested in this part of the podcast. You can also tell that Bruce wasn’t a huge fan of this title either by comments he makes throughout this portion of the podcast. This podcast literally gave me a headache while listening, especially when they went into the crazy multiple title switches. I do have to give kudos to Conrad Thompson though for doing the research on this.

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

Overall, while I usually dig the STW podcast, I was not a huge fan of this one, and at 3 hours, it was a long podcast to sit through. If you’ve got a long commute, certainly go for it but if you have limited time for podcasts, I might give this one a pass. Also, shout out to Wikipedia as I used that page heavily to get dates and confirm info.

About Joe:

Joe is a long time wrestling fan from Toronto. He is a co-host on the Pull Apart Podcast with Jeff Rush and Caitlin Lavelle as well as a contributor to www.pwpodcasts.com. One of his life goals is to be a guest host on one of Wade Keller’s post show podcasts.  He doesn’t consider himself any sort of expert, he just likes wrestling. Check him out on twitter and instagram @ja113.

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