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Although they’re usually considered illegal, foreign objects have been a staple among WWE Superstars for decades.
Whether it’s whaling on an opponent with a steel chair or slamming them down on a pile of thumbtacks, sometimes it takes more than bare hands to topple these giants of sports entertainment. Over the years, some Superstars have had to get pretty creative and resourceful in the ring to win their matches or exact proper revenge on their enemies. Others, meanwhile, won’t even bother coming to the ring without their signature prop in hand. Who can forget Jake "The Snake" Roberts’ snake, or Jim “Hacksaw” Duggan’s 2x4?
While it’s always fun to see Triple H bash someone’s head with his signature sledgehammer, it’s par for the course at this point. That said, there have been some pretty wild one-offs and signature weapons used in the WWE. To celebrate when rules get bent and Superstars get a little extra help, below is a rundown of just some of the most memorable props ever brought into the ring:
In 1996, Shawn Michaels competed against Kevin Nash (then known as Diesel) in the pay-per-view event “In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies.” The match was billed as a no-holds-barred competition, meaning anything and everything was fair game.
That’s why it was so surprising to see Nash somehow still cross the line when it came to introducing a unique weapon into the WWE ring. Just when it looked like he had Michaels finished, Nash decided to add insult to injury when he saw Mad Dog Vachon sitting in the front row. Years prior, Mad Dog had lost his leg in a tragic car accident. Showing no respect for the legendary Superstar, Diesel decided not to pin his opponent and instead pulled off Mad Dog's prosthetic leg and attempted to beat Michaels with it while he was down.
Fortunately, the Heartbreak Kid managed to turn the tables with a blow below Nash's belt before picking up the leg and finishing him off. After tossing the leg back to Mad Dog outside the ring, Michaels hit Diesel with a crisp Sweet Chin Music before pinning him for the win.
A Giant Chair
In 2012, Big Show went up against the Irish brawler Sheamus in a brutal Chairs Match at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs to see who would take home the World Heavyweight Championship.
Big Show dominated Sheamus for most of the match as his opponent struggled to overcome his sheer power. In a desperate effort to even the odds, Sheamus reached under the ring and brought steel chairs into the mix. However, steel chairs are far from the most shocking thing ever used in a WWE match.
What makes this a worthy addition to this list is how Big Show closed out the bout. With Sheamus laying motionless and trying to recover from the beating of a lifetime, Big Show went under the ring himself to grab what was doubtlessly the largest steel chair anyone had ever seen. The massive black folding chair was nearly the size of the giant Superstar himself. So, when he wound up and brought its full force down on Sheamus’ back, that was it: Big Show got the pin and won the title match.
Although Sheamus would get him back the following night by using the chair for some revenge, their initial match would go down in history as one of the most surprising objects to make its way into the ring to lay out a Superstar.
A Potted Plant With A Name
In 2016, Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose were having a feud over WWE Smackdown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon’s decision to cancel the former’s Highlight Reel segment and replace it with Ambrose’s “Ambrose Asylum” show.
That feud led to a throwdown between the duo in which Jericho smashed Ambrose’s co-host — a potted plant he called Mitch — over his head. What started out as just a piece of set dressing became a unique in-the-ring weapon and, ultimately, ended its life as a fan-beloved character, which (understandably) upset Jericho.
Speaking on a live episode of "Talk Is Jericho" filmed for Inside the Ropes, the Superstar explained that he wanted the moment to be about how he smashed his opponent’s head with a dangerous weapon. However, the moment and even their feud ended up being all about Mitch The Potted Plant and its massive online following. Jericho faced cries of justice for the plant online from fans for a while after the incident.
Today, he takes it all in stride. However, he still holds a bit of a grudge about being upstaged by a plant.
A Mannequin Head
In the 1990s, one bizarre trend became synonymous with professional wrestling’s most enigmatic Superstar, Al Snow. At the time, he adopted a persona of a man who projected his insecurities onto a mannequin head that he carried around with him everywhere he went.
When Snow wasn’t talking to the head, who he affectionately named "Head," it was either talking back to him or helping him in the ring. Snow would get in there and bash his opponents with his number one gal, rendering them beaten and unconscious at times. In one instance from a 1998 match, he even insisted the ref recognize Head’s coverage of a downed Superstar and told him to count him out while he rested the mannequin atop the laid-out opponent's chest.
Not only is the prop itself one of the oddest foreign objects to ever come in the WWE ring, but the Superstar’s personification of it also managed to turn some… heads. When Snow would enter the ring, fans would raise up their own styrofoam heads or toss them into the ring as a show of respect.
It would be impossible to discuss foreign objects in the ring without mentioning perhaps the most infamous, most heavily personified instrument of destruction to ever grace the WWE: Mr. Socko.
Pioneered by the man who brought a ton of humor into the ring over the years, Mick Foley, Mr. Socko was part of his persona, Mankind. Foley used to rush into the ring with a 2x4 wrapped in barbed wire, so it was surprising to see him adopt a sock puppet that he would use to clasp his opponent’s jaws once he became Mankind — but that’s just what he did.
Over the years, Socko would become a fan favorite entry to the ring that excited fans and made some of the biggest Superstars in the game quake with fear. He even once unsuccessfully tried to comfort Vince McMahon while he was laid up in the hospital. Mr. Socko could talk and Mr. Socko could kick some serious butt in the ring with Foley behind him. All hail Mr. Socko.
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