Jonathan Rechner (April 11, 1972 - April 12, 2016) better known by his ring name Balls Mahoney, was an American professional wrestler. Mahoney is perhaps best known for his appearances with Extreme Championship Wrestling in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as well as working for World Wrestling Entertainment wrestling on its ECW brand.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Council (1987–1990)
Jon Rechner trained at the Monster Factory and debuted in 1987, at age 15, as Abbudah Singh. He originally wrestled in the independent circuit and for Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling on a few occasions. He also wrestled for Puerto Rico-based World Wrestling Council, where he formed a tag team with Rip Rogers and the two won the WWC World Tag Team Championship twice.
Smoky Mountain Wrestling (1994–1995)
He made a small name for himself as the villainous Boo Bradley Jr. (a take-off of the character Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird) in 1994 in Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) where he had a long rivalry with his kayfabe childhood friend, Chris Candido. He was originally allied with Candido and managed by Tammy Sytch, who abused him for months, but they eventually turned on him, killing his pet cat, and turning him into a fan favorite in the process. During this time, Bradley won the SMW Beat the Champ Television Championship twice. He briefly formed a team with Cactus Jack who convinced him to be his own person.
World Wrestling Federation (1995–1996)
In 1995, he briefly appeared in the World Wrestling Federation as Xanta Klaus. At In Your House 5: Season's Beatings in December, while Savio Vega and "Santa Claus" were at ringside handing out presents and playing to the fans, villainous manager "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase appeared. DiBiase proclaimed that everyone had a price, even Santa. As Vega argued with DiBiase, "Santa" jumped him from behind and attacked him. DiBiase laughed his trademark laugh and introduced this warped Santa as Xanta Klaus, Santa's evil brother from the South Pole who steals presents. As Xanta, Rechner made only a couple more appearances (one on the following night's Monday Night Raw), before never being mentioned again.
Extreme Championship Wrestling
Hardcore Chair Swingin' Freaks (1997–1999)
In 1997, Rechner signed with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and found success as Balls Mahoney. Capitalizing on the ECW crowd's lust for violence and the hardcore attitude Rechner was never seen without his signature steel chair, usually with some kind of writing or sign placed on it, which he would use to bash any opponent at any time. He would come to the ring to the AC/DC song "Big Balls" and lead the crowd in singing the chorus before or after his matches. While in ECW he teamed with Axl Rotten, a similar hardcore and violent wrestler, and the duo became informally known as "The Hardcore Chair Swingin' Freaks". They feuded with the Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray and D-Von) during their tenure.
Mahoney made his pay-per-view debut at November to Remember, participating in a Four-Way Dance match for the Tag Team Championship, along with his partner Rotten; The F.B.I. (Tracy Smothers and Little Guido) retained the titles. At Living Dangerously, they participated in a three way dance, along with the Dudleyz in a losing effort to Spike Dudley and New Jack. Mahoney and Rotten got another chance at the titles at Wrestlepalooza against Chris Candido and Lance Storm, but lost.
After failing to win the titles with Rotten, Mahoney found a new partner in Masato Tanaka. At November to Remember, the two defeated Dudley Boyz to win the ECW World Tag Team Championship—Mahoney's first reign as tag champion. Five days later, Mahoney and Tanaka dropped the title back to the Dudleyz in a rematch. At Guilty as Charged, Mahoney and Rotten defeated the F.B.I. and Danny Doring and Roadkill in a three-way dance.
Tag team with Spike Dudley (1999)
Mahoney's first singles match at a pay-per-view was a victory over Steve Corino at Living Dangerously. Shortly after, Mahoney formed a tag team with Spike Dudley. At Hardcore Heaven, the two faced the Dudleyz in a championship match but failed to win the title. The two teams faced in a rematch at Heat Wave, and this time, Mahoney and Dudley won the match and the ECW Tag Team Championship, marking Mahoney's second individual reign. At a show in August, the duo lost the title back to the Dudleyz. On the August 14 edition of ECW on TNN, they defeated the Dudleyz in another rematch to win back the ECW Tag Team Championship.
On the August 26 edition of ECW on TNN, they lost the titles to the Dudleyz again. At Anarchy Rulz, ECW World Television Champion Rob Van Dam was scheduled to defend his title against Johnny Smith but before the match, Mahoney, Rotten, and Dudley attacked Smith and took him out of the match. Mahoney challenged RVD for the title but lost the match. At November to Remember, Mahoney and Rotten lost to Da Baldies (Spanish Angel, Tony DeVito, Vito LoGrasso, and P.N. News) in a 4-on-2 handicap match.
Final days of ECW (2000–2001)
During an exchange of blows, ECW fans would often chant "Balls!" when Rechner landed a punch or kick on an opponent, and "Nuts!" when his opponent retaliated. This gimmick was inherited from Hack Meyers. At Living Dangerously, he defeated Kintaro Kanemura. He met his former tag team partner, Masato Tanaka in the first match at Hardcore Heaven, which Tanaka won. At Heat Wave, he lost a match to F.B.I. member Sal E. Graziano.
He formed a tag team with Chilly Willy and the duo feuded with Da Baldies. After losing a match to Da Baldies at Anarchy Rulz, Mahoney and Willy defeated them in a Flaming Tables match at November to Remember. At Massacre on 34th Street, Mahoney lost to EZ Money. Mahoney's final ECW appearance was at ECW's final pay-per-view Guilty as Charged where Mahoney and Chilly Willy's match with Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger ended in a no contest.
Independent circuit (2001–2006)
After ECW folded, Rechner spent time in a number of independent federations across America, most notably USA Pro Wrestling (UXW) as well as Juggalo Championship Wrestling where he united with The Dead Pool (Violent J, Shaggy 2 Dope, and Raven) to become The Dead Pool 2000. He also had a brief run in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), teaming with The Sandman to face off against The Gathering.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2005–2008)
In 2005, Mahoney made a non-wrestling appearance at the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promoted ECW One Night Stand reunion show, taking part—alongside Axl Rotten—in a brawl with Kid Kash, Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, the Dudley Boyz, and the Blue World Order (bWo) before the main event. After the main event, Mahoney and Rotten returned to the ring to brawl with the "invading" Raw and SmackDown! wrestlers.
In 2006, when WWE relaunched ECW as their own brand, one of the first announcements was the signing of Balls Mahoney. His signing was announced with that of Axl Rotten, but when Rotten missed some WWE dates and was released, Balls was left to start a singles career. During the "cross promotion" hype, Balls appeared on the June 5 edition of Raw with other ECW wrestlers who proceeded to attack WWE Champion John Cena. He appeared again as a part of the ECW team in the "WWE vs. ECW team battle royal" at the WWE vs. ECW Head to Head event on June 7. At One Night Stand, Balls defeated Masato Tanaka in a match following a chair shot (denting the chair) to Tanaka's head.
When ECW on Sci Fi debuted, Balls started off with a small role in the company, having sporadic matches and little else. Once the show got going he started to appear in vignettes talking about how tough he was, elevating his role on the show. On the September 5 edition of ECW on Sci Fi Mahoney entered a feud with Kevin Thorn after Thorn and his valet Ariel cost him a match against Stevie Richards and the next week, René Duprée. The following week, he brought Francine to ringside with him, marking her first televised appearance at the revived ECW ring, where she proceeded to get into a catfight with Ariel. That pairing, however, was short lived as Francine was released shortly after.
At December to Dismember, Mahoney defeated Matt Striker in a Striker's Rules match. On the January 2, 2007 edition of ECW on Sci Fi, Mahoney had one of his front teeth legitimately knocked out during a match with Kevin Thorn. Shortly after, Balls began a short feud with Snitsky. On the June 5 edition of ECW, Balls, Tommy Dreamer, and the Sandman faced Bobby Lashley in a 3 on 1 Hardcore Handicap match for the ECW Championship, in which they were defeated. On the August 7, 2007 episode of ECW, Balls went against The Miz in a losing effort. During and after the match, it appeared that Kelly Kelly was concerned about him. Over the weeks that followed, he attempted to ask her out and flirted with her backstage, but was interrupted by The Miz, Brooke, and Layla before Kelly could get a word in. Regardless, Kelly still showed interest in him each week, wishing him good luck before his match and cheering him on during his match. He asked if she would go out with him to which she could not respond due to The Miz taking her backstage. Weeks later, however, Kelly asked him out, starting an on-screen relationship.
On February 29, 2008, Balls made his return to television on SmackDown!, taking on Big Daddy V. The match went to a no contest after The Undertaker chokeslammed Mahoney. Mahoney was released from his WWE contract on April 28, 2008.
Return to Independent circuit (2008–2016)
On December 13, 2008 he returned to wrestling in World Wrestling Council his re-debut match against Abdullah the Butcher in Bayamon Puerto Rico in the annual event WWC Lockout, Abdullah the Butcher's final match in WWC. On April 16, he and Brother Runt appeared on TNA Impact! to wish Team 3D luck in their match at Lockdown. They later were attacked by Beer Money, Inc.. He has also started competing for ISPW.
Mahoney made an appearance for Insane Clown Posse's Juggalo Championship Wrestling at the 10th Annual Gathering Of The Juggalos on August 8, 2009, interfering in a "Loser Leaves JCW" match between 2 Tuff Tony and Viscera, which also featured WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk as a special guest referee. After Viscera won the match, he, Mahoney, and Funk all attacked Tony.
Also, as of late-2009, Mahoney has become a regular competitor for National Wrestling Superstars.
On April 30, 2010 and May 1, 2010, Mahoney competed in Perth, WA for New Horizons Pro Wrestling in their Global Conflict tournament. He made it to the finals before being beaten by Colt Cabana.
On July 29, 2010, it was confirmed that Mahoney would take part in TNA's ECW reunion show Hardcore Justice on August 8. However, his name was later pulled from the event's official website. On August 8 it was revealed that this was done due to WWE owning the name Balls Mahoney. At the event Rechner, using the ring name Kahoneys, teamed with Axl Rotten in a South Philadelphia Street Fight, where they were defeated by Team 3D. After the match Rechner vented his frustrations on Axl Rotten, proclaiming that he would never again team with him.
On September 11, 2010, Rechner returned to Ring of Honor at Glory By Honor IX, where he, competing under the ring name Ballz Mahoney, teamed with Grizzly Redwood in a losing effort against Erick Stevens and Necro Butcher.
On October 23, 2010, Mahoney and Axl Rotten reunited at a Jersey All Pro Wrestling, where they unsuccessfully challenged Monsta Mack and Havok for the JAPW Tag Team Championship, in a three–way match, which was won by Sami Callihan and Chris Dickinson.
On March 5, 2011, Mahoney teamed up with Homicide at an FTW Wrestling show in Ronkonkoma, NY, to unsuccessfully challenge the reigning World Tag Team Champions, Jay Lover and Tommy Buddz, in a No Holds Barred match.
On August 20, 2011, Mahoney no-showed an event in Ottawa, IL against Mad Man Pondo. This show was to be the last for the promotion and was a benefit show for the American Cancer Society. The promoters apologized and said that he had missed his flight. They said that they had gotten him a ticket for a later flight, but due to the severe weather that had gone through the Chicago area earlier in the day, he was not going to be able to make it. After his match, his scheduled opponent, Mad Man Pondo, said that Mahoney had the plane ticket, but chose not to use it.
On April 26, 2007 it was announced that Mahoney would be an adviser to the cast of the reality show Who Wants to Be a Superhero?. During the season finale, he taught the superheroes how to fight.
Rechner and his girlfriend have a son named Christopher, who was born on November 15, 2007. Rechner has numerous tattoos, including two tribal pieces, a dragon and inverted pentagram on his arm, and a tattoo dedicated to Chris Candido.
On August 21, 2010 Rechner was charged with disorderly conduct after brandishing a knife during a staged fight with another wrestler, ring name Calypso Jim Zaccone in South Brunswick, New Jersey. The fight was meant to drum up publicity for an upcoming match in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
On April 12, 2016, one day after his 44th birthday, Rechner died suddenly at his home in Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey. He was watching Jeopardy! and answering trivia questions before laying on his side to get more comfortable. Moments later, his wife noticed he was unconscious and called 911 before attempting CPR. However, he had already passed before medics arrived. His death was first reported via Twitter by Johnny Candido. Other sources later confirmed his death.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- "The Hardcore Chair Swingin' Freak"
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Assault Championship Wrestling
- Extreme Championship Wrestling
- Fight The World Wrestling
- FTW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- International Wrestling Cartel
- IWC Championship (1 time)
- Mid-American Wrestling
- MAW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #99 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2000
- PWI ranked him #443 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003.
- USA Xtreme Wrestling
- UXW Heavyweight Championship (7 times)
- World Wrestling Council