Professional wrestling, despite what its (ill informed) detractors say, is one of the most physical and dangerous sports.
wrestling’s technical core, the basic manoeuvres have the potential to cause
serious pain and injury. Even when everything goes to plan, night after night
of bumps wear the body down.
However, pro-wrestling is often at its most wincing when wrestler’s trade in their bodies for the breakable, but replaceable, items stored beneath the ring. Wrestling has misappropriated everyday objects for use in its unique brand of violence. Anybody who has consumed even a small amount of sports entertainment will never look at a folding chair the same way. No matter the event, your inner child fights to grab it by the legs for a few practice swings.
Any item in the right hands can make an effective weapon, yet, there are certain objects that are old favourites when a match needs spicing up with a dash of hardcore.
Though their use may deviate from their intended purpose,
beyond even their inventor’s wildest speculations, you cannot dispute their
effectiveness when introduced to the squared circle.
Sledgehammers are a modification of the primitive hammer tool used by early man. The sledgehammer can be traced back to the Anglo Saxons. Its “sledge” prefix is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "slægan” – a verb that means “to strike violently”. The modern incarnation is a heavy and often hard to wield tool, commonly used for demolition work.
The sledgehammer’s use in professional wrestling is its most apt application considering its naming origins. In WWE, as a weapon it first rose to prominence during the 1998 feud between The Undertaker, Kane, and Mankind. During SummerSlam 1998, after no showing on then tag team partner (and co-champion), Kane used a sledgehammer on Mankind, after the latter had lost their Tag Team Championships in a handicap match against The New Aged Outlaws.
The sledgehammer has become synonymous with Triple H and is
integral to his ‘The Game’ gimmick. The first time he brandished the weapon on
TV was during a Casket Match between The Undertaker and The Rock on 17 May 1999
edition of Raw. Triple H interfered attacking The Rock’s arm, which was already
in a cast. Once The Rock was trapped inside the metal casket, ‘The Cerebral
Assassin’ mercilessly beat it with the sledge.