Pro wrestling has had its fair share of dirty fighters, or heels. Some are just dirtier than others. One of the most common ways a fighter was shown to be particularly dirty is with the use of illegal weapons, called foreign objects. This can range from things like salt to steel chairs to a title belt. Yet over the years, the use of foreign objects has no longer been exclusive to heels, as there have been faces who have used foreign objects to their benefit as well. Sometimes, a wrestler becomes synonymous with a particular weapon and it becomes a regular part of their overall character.
This list is here to recognize the greatest out of all of these foreign objects and the wrestlers who were best known for using them. These are weapons that have become a part of pro wrestling lexicon and have made not only various moments in pro wrestling memorable, but wrestlers themselves. These are weapons that were either influential in building a wrestler’s in-ring persona or weapons that were used so often by so many in an effective manner. This is not just a foreign object that has been used once in a match, these are objects that have been used enough that when someone thinks about a wrestler, they think of them using this weapon.
Foreign objects were selected according to their frequency of usage, effectiveness, impact in wrestling history, and how well they became a part of a wrestler’s personality. So please read, enjoy, and let us know what you think down in the comments section. How would you have ranked these differently? Are there other foreign objects that you felt should have made the list or that one of the entries should be ranked differently, if so please let us know down in the comments section.
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21 Honorable Mention: The Cattle Prod
A foreign object that was both directly tied to a wrestler’s character as well as a part of a huge wrestling moment, the cattle prod earns its spot in the ranking with ease. When Jacques Rougeau came back to the WWE after a year-long hiatus in 1991, he came carrying his now signature cattle prod, which he would use to shock his defeated opponents after a match. He used the weapon so much that opponents would look for ways to counteract the attack, with Roddy Piper eventually wearing a rubber vest to negate the electric charge of the cattle prod.
Years later the cattle prod would come into play again as Scott Hall would zap Goldberg in the chest with one, leaving him susceptible to a Jackknife Powerbomb from Kevin Nash, costing Goldberg his World Heavyweight Title and end his undefeated streak. The two would eventually have a Ladder Taser Match at Souled Out, with Hall eventually losing the bout after being shocked himself.
20 20. The Brass Knuckles
Numerous heels over the years have used knuckle dusters, commonly known as brass knuckles. William Regal used them quite often in the early 2000s as he would level opponents before sneaking them right back into his trunks or boots. Another famous incident involved an Intercontinental Title match between The Rock and Ken Shamrock where The Rock tried to use them on Shamrock, but Shamrock would kick out after getting hit and then pin the Rock after hitting him with a belly to belly suplex. Unfortunately the decision would be reversed as The Rock would claim Shamrock hit him with the weapon as The Rock had placed them in Shamrock's trunks.
19 D’Lo Brown’s Chest Protector
After being a nondescript background member of the Nation of Domination, D’Lo Brown got his chance to stand out as he began wrestling wearing a giant chest protector, reminiscent of those worn by baseball umpires. The story for it was that D’Lo had been ordered by a doctor to wear it while a torn pectoral muscle healed, but soon people began to notice that he would use it for a tactical advantage in matches, especially when hitting opponents with his Lo Down finisher. The chest protector would help Brown eventually win the European Championship four times and the Intercontinental Championship once.
18 John Cena's Chain
When John Cena started on the main roster of the WWE back in 2002, he would become a heel gangsta rapper character which would be used as a launching point towards being the megastar that he is today. In that rapper gimmick, Cena would constantly use a chain necklace, complete with lock, to knock out his opponents to gain a victory. He would continue to use this foreign object from time to time against his opponents even as a face. The chain would eventually be dropped along with the rapper gimmick, but it remains an important part of Cena’s history.
17 Hollywood Hulk Hogan’s Slapjack
While other wrestlers have used the slapjack, basically what looks like a small mound of leather that can be used as a club, no one used it to the extent of Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Whether he concealed it within his tights or had it handed to him by a member of the NWO, Hogan would readily smack an opponent in the back of the head with this foreign object in order to pick up a victory. The object would be influential in Hogan gaining an advantage in matches including the Fall Brawl match in 1998 and in various altercations against longtime nemesis Ric Flair.
16 Cactus Jack’s Barbwire Bat
As a hardcore wrestling staple, Mick Foley sure loved to use weapons during his matches. One of his most famous would be the barbwire covered baseball bat of Cactus Jack. Just looking at the thing made you want to get a tetanus shot and you cringed anytime Jack swung it at an opponent, in fear of it actually connecting with flesh. The baseball bat was a combination of a cool looking weapon while at the same time a deadly object that could really inflict serious bodily harm if it were to land against the intended target.
15 Honky Tonk Man/Jeff Jarrett’s Guitar
A true game changer in numerous matches, the acoustic guitars swung by the Honky Tonk Man and Jeff Jarrett left many of their opponents looking up at the arena lights surrounded by splintered wood and guitar strings. The force that both men would use when swinging their instruments only added to the apparent devastation of their opponent getting hit and knocked out cold. Yet in all the hundreds of times men were hit with guitars, the ref never wondered why a wrestler was laid out surrounded by broken guitar pieces. Odd isn’t it?
14 Terry Funk’s Branding Iron
A mix of old school and hardcore wrestling, Terry Funk is certainly an elder statesman of pro wrestling. Having retired and unretired more times than Brett Farve, Funk has shown numerous times that he is one wrestler always willing to help the industry grow, but that growing pains can hurt sometimes. Those pains come in the form of his famous branding iron, which is usually set aflame as he tries to sear it into the flesh of his opponents. Cactus Jack was the victim of these attacks on a few separate occasions, giving off the lovely odor of burning flesh inside the arena.
13 Big Boss Man’s Nightstick
Living up to his character of a hardnosed and corrupt prison guard, the Big Boss Man really liked to use his trusty nightstick. Always coming to the ring swinging it to and fro, the Boss Man really knew how to use this foreign object for maximum effect. Unfortunately, the nightstick has harmed the Big Boss Man or one of his allies as much as it has helped him. During the Deadly Game tournament for the vacant WWE Championship, Ken Shamrock asked for Boss Man’s nightstick to be tossed to him so he could attack The Rock in their match, unfortunately The Rock caught it and nailed Shamrock with it, giving the Rock the win.
12 Jim Cornette’s Tennis Racket
Owning one of the biggest mouths in pro wrestling, Jim Cornette wanted you to listen to what he had to say, whether you wanted to or not. He provided a mouthpiece for great tag teams like the Midnight Express and the Heavenly Bodies, Cornette would also help his teams in a more physical manner with the help of his trademark tennis racket. In a manner similar to the guitar used by Jeff Jarrett and the Honky Tonk Man, Cornette would swing with all his might and whack opponents in the head with the metal racket, knocking them out or at the least distracting them enough for Cornette’s wrestlers to take advantage.
11 Throwing Salt
A common foreign object used by heel managers and occasionally wrestlers, throwing salt is an effective tool in distracting an opponent. The most common use was from managers who would reach into a pouch they had hidden and grab a handful of this salt, before hurling into the face of an opponent, blinding them long enough for a wrestler to take advantage of their opponent. Unfortunately the salt has backfired on a wrestler before, notably when Mr. Fuji accidentally hit Yokozuna in the face with salt, allowing Hulk Hogan to defeat him with a leg drop and win the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania IX.
10 The Ladder
The use of the ladder as a weapon has been a great addition to pro wrestling over the last couple decades, from title matches between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon to tag matches between the Hardy Boyz, Dudley Boyz, and Edge & Christian, the ladder has led to some awesome and exciting matches. With the recent creation of the Money in the Bank ladder match, fans have bared witness to incredible moves from high flyers like Kofi Kingston and Rob Van Dam.
9 Sandman’s Singapore Cane
A deadly weapon that can break a man down to nothing, the Singapore Cane or kendo stick, is a force to be reckoned with inside the ring. ECW original the Sandman became probably the most frequent user of the Singapore Cane, infamously using it to beat Tommy Dreamer after a match in the early years of ECW. The weapon was also great in that could be used in a variety of manners from striking an opponent to the Sandman’s White Russian finisher in which he placed the cane across the neck of his opponent and then performed a Russian Legsweep.
8 Iron Sheik’s Loaded Boot
One of the great mysteries of pro wrestling involved what the heck the Iron Sheik put into his boots besides his feet. No one ever figured out what it was besides the fact that it was small enough to be hidden in the boot, able to be dislodged into the toe of the boot by the Iron Sheik simply stamping his foot a few times, and was heavy enough to knock out an opponent. I guess it will end up as a great unsolved wrestling mystery alongside mysteries like why did the Warrior have magic powers when confronting Hollywood Hulk Hogan or what was the item Paul Bearer showed the Undertaker that caused him to abandon the Big Show in the middle of match and break up their team.
7 Al Snow’s Mannequin Head
Sometimes an item can be crucial to the development of a wrestler’s persona, which was definitely true in the case of pro wrestling journeyman Al Snow. After bouncing around various promotions under dozens of different gimmicks, Snow was eventually given free rein on creating his character in ECW. He would decide upon acting as a mentally unstable wrestler who talked to a mannequin head which he simply named “Head.” The gimmick took off and Snow became a recognizable star within the ECW and eventually the WWE roster.
6 The Dudley Boyz’s Tables
“D-Von, get the table!”
A line that will live in pro wrestling fame as the Dudley Boyz would prepare an opponent for certain decimation from either the Dudley Death Drop or having Bubba Ray powerbomb an opponent from the top rope through a table. The Dudleys would use any table that they could get their hands on, whether it was on fire or not, and make sure that their opponents went through it. It became such a part of the characters and matches that they would eventually face off against fellow tag teams with weapon specialties in the Hardys and Edge & Christian for the first ever Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
5 The Championship Belt
If there is one thing for sure in pro wrestling it's that it's good to be the champ. From having high profile matches to cementing a legacy of greatness, having a title belt around your waist proves to everyone that you are the best at what you do. This is why it is very common to see heel champions go to great lengths to ensure that they remain champion, including using their championship belt as a weapon. Made of leather and various metals, the various championship belts in promotions pack quite a wallop when smashed against a person’s face, allowing the champ to get the victory or at the least get themselves disqualified so that they retain.
4 Triple H’s Sledgehammer
As he went from Hunter Hearst Helmsley to “The Game” Triple H, he began to use a weapon now synonymous with him, the sledgehammer. While the style and size of the sledgehammer has varied over the years, the viciousness with which Triple H uses it has remained the same. From smashing it into the face of an opponent to hitting an opponent in the spine with it like he did against Shawn Michaels at Summerslam, Triple H had turned a construction tool into a tool of destruction and it would also be the tool that helped shoot Triple H as a character into the main event scene as the WWE’s top villain for years. It helped develop his moniker as the "Cerebral Assassin."
3 Mankind’s Mr. Socko
After years of being Cactus Jack and a deranged psychotic version of Mankind, Mick Foley would lighten up the personality of Mankind to that of a lovable albeit misunderstood fighter. To complete this image was a friend he invented to help cheer up Mr. McMahon while he was recuperating in the hospital, a tube sock with a crudely drawn on face named Mr. Socko.
Giving the sock a squeaky voice as he clearly talked through pursed lips, Foley was able to come off as a guy willing to have a laugh while beating his opponent senseless. Mr. Socko would become a more prominent part of Mankind’s personality as Foley would eventually pull the sock out from his tights, put it on his hand, and then hit his opponent with the Mandible Claw, to the disgust of everyone watching.
2 Jake Roberts’s Snakes
Talk about a foreign object being completely engrained with a wrestler’s character, the object was even in this wrestler’s name. Jake Roberts and his pet snakes were a mainstay of the WWE in the 80's and early 90's. Used as a way to put fear into his opponents, Roberts would come to the ring carrying a large burlap sack containing any form of his snakes from pythons to boa constrictors to cobras.
After a victory, it was almost expected that Roberts would dump the bag out onto his unconscious opponent and watch them struggle in fear as the snake slithered all over them. Or there were infamous moments like Roberts attacking Randy Savage with a cobra, resulting in the cobra biting Savage, or Andre the Giant going into convulsions as he was attacked by Roberts's pet snake.
1 The Steel Chair
Sometimes you just can't overlook a classic. Out of every foreign weapon used throughout the history of pro wrestling, there has not been anything used as much or in as devastating fashion as the steel chair. From straight chair shots to the head to a variety of finishers like the Van Daminator or the Con-Chair-To, the steel chair has been used as a deciding factor in countless matches. It has even been used to comedic effect at times with wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero tossing a chair to his opponent and then falling to the ground to make the ref think Guerrero had been hit, giving him the disqualification win. In the end, there is no way that the steel chair is not the top ranked foreign object in pro wrestling after the overall impact it has had within the industry.
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