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 He's homicidal. He's suicidal. He's genocidal. In the 90s, he was the most influential wrestler in the world when it came to an in-ring style. But for want of a PDA, his name is now spoken only when people pause between syllables to spit upon the floor. He's Sabu, and tonight he's going to be probed.  BEHIND THE PYRO.

The year was 1993, and let's face it; wrestling sucked. Take away Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and The Hollywood Blonds, and wrestling fans everywhere were hard-pressed to remember why they were wrestling fans. Then from seemingly out of nowhere came a scarred-up guy in poofy pants who would rather hurl himself through a wooden table that apply a headlock. This struck a chord with frustrated wrestling fans in the 90s.

Much like Jesus Christ years earlier, Sabu went through tables and broke out the blade for our sins. And like with Jesus, Sabu soon acquired a dozen disciples; the ECW fanbase. Sabu exploded on the ECW scene in 1993, capturing their Heavyweight championship in his very first match.

Sabu and his innovations became a worldwide phenom in the early 90s. He was tearing it up in Japan and the U.S. indy circuit all while he was ECW's top dog at the same time. In one famous ECW Arena match, Sabu countered a Chris Benoit throw by using his own neck to break his fall. Ingenious.

Another incident in Japan saw 'Bu use Crazy Glue to seal an open wound shut. Hailed as a medical breakthrough, modern medicine soon looked into the benefits of using Crazy Glue to close a wound because its non-porous properties prevent infection. Among wrestling circles Sabu was commended as something of a medical visionary. (This part actually happened.)

When you're an indy wrestler in high demand, it's important to take as many bookings as you can get. Sabu did just that on 4/8/95. For months, ECW had been building a major feud around the factions of Sabu & Taz, Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko, and The Public Enemy. This was on track to climax with the company's first three-way-dance at a show titled appropriately enough, "3 Way Dance."

Alas, Sabu forgot to carry the 8 on his International Time Zone Calculator, and wound up no-showing the 3WD. ECW fans never gave up on their hero, chanting his full name (including his first name) for months until he returned. Philly was a lonely place without the excitement generated by Fuck Sabu.

To cope with his ever-mounting injuries, Fuck Sabu took up walking as physical therapy. Unfortunately, his timing was bad as he went for a stroll before he was supposed to wrestle in one Japanese promotion. Sabu forgot to set his watch to the Japanese time zone (again), and never returned to the promotion. Thick-headed Japanese promoters wrongly saw this as a show of contempt (especially after Sabu walked out of six OTHER Japanese promotions, too). Sabu and his poofy pants were effectively blackballed from the land of the Rising Sun.

But Fuck Sabu was still the darling of the U.S. indy circuit. 'Bu was tearing up every gymnasium he set foot in, but one night, Fuck Sabu's political agenda set off a firecracker of controversy. After wrestling in Las Vegas one night, a zealous fan asked 'Bu if he thought O.J. Simpson was guilty. 'Bu said, "I think he's innocent." Bad enough the guy exposed the business by breaking his gimmick of never talking, but by coming out in favor of a double-murderer, he raised eyebrows. (This really happened, too. I was there. The eyebrows were mine.)

The business was not kind to an O.J.-Fucker. Incorrect rumors have it that the comment inspired Brian Pillman to quit his job at WCW so he could cut a scathing promo on 'Bu in the very Bingo Hall that 'Bu made famous. "A mark is someone who thinks O.J. didn't do it!" -Brian Pillman at the ECW Arena (2/17/96)

I think Sabu was in WCW for a month, too. Who the fuck can remember?

Just like a battered woman, Fuck Sabu always seemed to find his way back home to the ECW Arena. In 1997, ECW had a working relationship with the WWF, resulting in a handful of "interpromotional" matches on Monday Night Raw. One such match saw 'Bu take on former ECW star Too Cold Scorpio, who was forced to become a pimp by Vince McMahon. After the match, 'Bu went into a berserker rage, rampaging into the unsuspecting crowd. 'Bu shoved fans, threw chairs, and just generally had a hissyfit. McMahon was horrified that such a loose cannon would defile his wholesome TV show, and thus, Sabu pretty much single-handedly killed the ECW/WWF alliance. (This part actually happened, too.)

ECW and Fuck Sabu were stuck with each other. But Fuck Sabu still busted his hump (and neck and arm and jaw) in his ECW bouts. The critics raved about Sabu's match against Rob Van Dam at Wrestlepalooza 98. Actual quote: "This was one of those matches that fell between two stars and four stars, depending on your tastes as a fan." -Wade Keller, editor of Pro Wrestling Torch

However, Fuck Sabu was about to face the biggest battle of his career. In late 1998, 'Bu became the first wrestler in the history of the game to be diagnosed with a rare workrate disorder known as "spotlexia." Doctors theorized that 'Bu contracted the illness from wrestling The Sandman without proper protection.Spotlexia is a disease that eats away at the workrate of its carrier. The once-competent victim begins to miss spots. A spot here, a spot there. But as the disease spreads, the missed spots come with more and more frequency, until it becomes impossible to ignore.

Years later, spotlexic superstars like Lita hailed Fuck Sabu as a groundbreaker for introducing spotlexia to the unwashed masses. But these were less tolerant days and Fuck Sabu was let go from ECW for the final time. His spotlexia became an embarrassment to ECW's locker room of hard-working alcoholics and junkies. Also, he used to take one bite of a donut and put it back in the box. Dick.

But Fuck Sabu still had his internet following. At least, until the time he stood US up, too. There was a doomed movement in Canada to recreate the Stampede territory in the 90s (when Austin and the NWO hit, EVERYBODY and their gardener tried to start a territory). The "Stampede" website promoted a live chat with Sabu, who was scheduled to work some shows for them. So go-time rolled around and - big surprise - Fuck Sabu no-showed. Rumors that he double-booked himself in a New Japan chat at the same time are unconfirmed.

But just like an indy show, all was not lost because the organizers of the event "made up for it" by bringing in another name star. The host welcomed "Hercules Ayallah" to the chat! As a young journalist, I thought I'd ask the tough questions and thus humorously imply that I mistook Hercules Ayallah for Hercules Hernandez. Behold:

Me: Hercules, I was a big fan of your "Power & Glory" team. That superplex/splash finisher RULED! What was it like to work with Paul Roma, and is he really as big a pain in the ass as everyone says?

"Hercules": Harry, yes, Paul Roma is a tough worker. That was a good fight.

It was about this time that I began to suspect that "Hercules" was neither Hercules Hernandez nor Hercules Ayallah, but in fact, an imposter! I asked another question.

Me: Hercules, I loved that chain match you and Billy Jack Haynes had at Madison Square Garden in 1986! How many people were arrested in that riot, anyway?

"Hercules": Harry, many people were arrested. That was a good fight.

My suspicions were confirmed. I started receiving tons of private messages telling me "That never happened!" I replied, "I know. I'm fucking with this guy." And so I did.

Me: Hercules, you were such an inspiration to me when you came back from your broken neck in 1987! Do you hold a grudge against Ricky Steamboat for what happened?

"Hercules": Harry, yes I always hold a grudge.

Me: Hercules, I was so mad when Bobby Heenan tried to sell you into slavery! What are your feelings on that?

"Hercules": Harry, I was hurt, but he had his reasons.

By this point, others were getting in on the act, asking "Hercules" questions about Jose Gonzales and Frank Goodish. I eventually got bored and left, dejectedly crumpling up my list of equally-smartass questions for Sabu.

(Admittedly, much of the above part had nothing to do with Sabu, but it really happened and trust me, it was a lot more entertaining than anything Sabu was doing at this point in time.)

Fast forward a couple years and Fuck Sabu was again breaking down barriers, this time by triple-booking himself all over the planet on one night. The brilliant part of this gambit was that he got paid for all three dates despite never wrestling at any of them! Well, almost. One promoter threatened to post 'Bu's name, address, and phone number on the internet unless 'Bu returned the deposit. Where as once, 'Bu would have taken the cash, slapped the promoter, and then proceeded to take his wife up the Hershey highway, 'Bu caved in and returned the money to the promoter (a HUGE taboo for wrestlers). Fuck Sabu was a beaten, broken man.

So where is he now?

Sabu returned to the WWE earlier this year after months of secret contract negotiations. Unfortunately, he was cleared to go at a time when Vince McMahon met with the locker room and told them they'd be toning down the in-ring style. As you can imagine, this left poor Fuck Sabu out in the cold.

But all was not lost. The question was, "What really could we see from Sabu that we haven't already seen?" The WWE braintrust had the answer and immediately booked Sabu in the Women's division on Raw. Hey, who's been a bigger diva than Sabu? WWE marketing repacked Sabu with shiny hot pants and the name "Gail Kim."

Kimbu made his WWE debut in 2003, and just like his ECW debut 10 years prior, he won championship gold in his very first match, walking away from a seven-diva battle royal as the new WWE Women's champion.

Courageously, Sabu fights on despite still being plagued by spotlexia. His missed spots in his first handful of matches caused WWE management to de-push him, forcing him to lose the title to Molly Holly mere weeks after he won it. Behind the scenes, Fuck Sabu quickly befriended Stacy Kiebler, thanking her for proving divas need not have breasts to get over with WWE fans. Fans anxiously await Kimbu's first moonsault through a WWE table.

Two years from now when HHH and Stephanie kill the business, the history of wrestling will be written. And when you get to the chapter on extreme wrestlers with poofy pants, Sabu will be at the head of the table.

 Harry Simon is a trivia-fueled wisenheimer who has been writing about pro wrestling off and on for 16 years and counting. Harry has written trivia pieces for both the Wrestling Observer and Live Audio Wrestling websites, and contributed a ton of research to his fellow Las Vegan Mike Tenay in preparation for the first NWA TNA PPV in 2002. Harry has also done play-by-play, color commentary, and ring announcing for indy promotions. Harry invented the Von Erich Match Rating System, which you can learn about HERE.
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*All Pics and Logos created by Sean Carless

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).