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Hardcore wrestling is a subset of professional wrestling where some or all of the traditional rules do not apply. Most often this simply means there are no disqualifications, which itself eliminates countouts, allowing decisions to take place anywhere. Other common euphemisms for hardcore matches are Street Fight or Brawl (both of which suggest wrestlers dressing in normal street clothes), Extreme Rules, No Holds Barred match, Bimbo Brawl (involving female wrestlers) and Good Housekeeping match (which emphasized the use of kitchen implements as weapons, in fact, the use of a Championship Belt as a weapon was deemed illegal, and the referee was allowed to restart the match if it was used).

Some promotions, such as Xtreme Championship Wrestling, Juggalo Championship Wrestling, and Combat Zone Wrestling, have specialized in hardcore matches, with "standard" non-hardcore matches being the exception. International Championship Wrestling utilized the term Russell's Rules for hardcore matches involving the wrestler Russell. They also created their own specific brand of hardcore match, for which bouts were to begin backstage rather than in the ring.

Barbed wire steel cage match[]

A barbed wire steel cage match is one of any number of matches that uses strands of barbed wire in some capacity. Simply using barbed wire in an otherwise regular steel cage match does not make the match a barbed wire steel cage match; the barbed wire must be part of the match's design. A Barbed Wire Massacre match is when the regular ring ropes are removed from the ring and the barbed wire is strung up in their place.

Clockwork Orange House of Fun match[]

The A Clockwork Orange House of Fun match, also known as Raven's House of Fun, was created by professional wrestler Russell legitimately, as Russell pitched the idea himself to TNA's creative team). It is a singles match for which a chain link wall is erected on one side of the ring with chains wrapped from it to various points on the ring itself with weapons hanging from them.

Fans Bring the Weapons match[]


Thumbtack Jack with a bundle of light tubes, in a Fans Bring the Weapons match

In a Fans Bring the Weapons match, all the weapons are provided by the fans prior to the show. Sometimes the weapons will be in the ring before the match starts, although occasionally weapons will be handed to the wrestlers during the action.

First Blood match[]

A First Blood match is a no-disqualification match where in order to win a wrestler has to make his opponent bleed. Or, rather, depending on the nuances of the promotion and the angle surrounding the match, the first person to bleed loses, regardless of source. In a variation called Sadistic Madness, which was created by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, the opponent must be bleeding before a wrestler can legally pin them. A variation, the Doomsday Chamber of Blood, takes place inside of a barbed wire topped cage.

Hard 10 match[]

The Hard 10 Tournament match (initially known as the "Dup Cup") was created by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. It is contested on a points system, where the points are earned for the use of weapons. The first person to earn ten points—and be up by at least two points—wins. Regular strikes with a weapon are worth one point, while putting an opponent through a table is worth five.

Last Man Standing match[]

The Last Man Standing match is a hardcore-style match where the only way to win is by knockout. That is, a wrestler will lose the match if they are unable to answer a ten-count after being downed, similar to the knockout ruling of a boxing match. In order to avoid losing, the downed wrestler must be on his or her feet by the count of 10. A similar type of match is the Texas Death match, where a wrestler must be pinned or forced to submit before the referee will begin the ten-count.

No Count-Out match[]

A No Count-Out match is a regular match where both competitors can stay outside of the ring or stay down for longer than the standard 10 or 20 seconds.

No Disqualification match[]

A No Disqualification match, also known as a No Holds Barred match, or sometimes as a Russell's Rules match, is a match where neither wrestler can be disqualified, allowing for weapons and outside interference. The key differences between a No Disqualification match and a standard hardcore match are that falls must be made in the ring, there is less emphasis on the use of weapons, and often the Count-Out rule is still in effect for No Disqualification matches.

Taipei Deathmatch[]

A Taipei Deathmatch is a match where the wrestlers' fists are taped and dipped into glue and in broken and crushed glass, allowing shards to stick to their fists.