Steve Blackman (September 28, 1963) is a American professional wrestler who is best known for his career in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Nicknamed 'The Lethal Weapon', Blackman won the Hardcore Championship six times in his tenure with the company.
Professional wrestling career
Stampede Wrestling and South Africa (1986-1989)
Steve Blackman began as a competitive bodybuilder and weightlifter before entering professional wrestling in 1986 in Connecticut, training at Tony Altamore's wrestling school. Him and his tag team partner Dangerous Dan Damage Snowberger were pushed for a short time as champs. In Calgary, he worked for Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling. He competed briefly as a jobber in 1988 and was being considered for a full-time contract with the WWF when he contracted malaria and dysentery while wrestling in South Africa in 1989 and "was on his death bed for two years".
After finally beating his two-year bout with malaria, during which he lost much of his muscle-mass, Blackman spent another four years in physical therapy to recover his conditioning, and incorporated martial arts training, specifically escrima and tae kwon do, into his physical therapy. Once back in fighting shape Blackman contacted his friends Brian Pillman and Owen Hart for a new WWF try-out.
World Wrestling Federation (1997-2002)
Debut and early years (1997–1999)
Blackman made his WWF debut on the November 3, 1997 episode of Raw is War when he jumped the guardrail, to help Vader fend off an attack from the Hart Foundation. Vince McMahon opted for a martial arts gimmick. Blackman was a replacement for the injured Patriot on Team USA (Vader, Goldust, and Marc Mero), at Survivor Series 1997, against Team Canada (British Bulldog, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Phillip Lafon, and Doug Furnas).
The following year, Blackman joined Ken Shamrock in his efforts to combat the Nation of Domination. Eventually Blackman broke out on his own, establishing his trademark entrance involving swinging glow-in-the-dark eskrima sticks before walking to the ring. He eventually turned heel after siding with then-heel Shane McMahon. During his run as a heel, he brought a gym bag full of martial arts weapons with him to the ring, including kendo shinai. Blackman would attempt to use the weapons in the bag during or after the match. This was also during the time when he feuded with his former partner, Ken Shamrock. The two engaged in a heated feud throughout the summer, with it culminating in a Lions Den match at Summerslam 1999.
In late 1998, Blackman competed in the WWF Brawl for All tournament, defeating Marc Mero in the first round. However, he had to withdraw due to injury, allowing Mero to advance by default.
Blackman and Al Snow then formed a tag team that was known unofficially as Head Cheese, as Snow made Blackman wear a cheesehead hat to complement the mannequin head that Snow carried to the ring. Blackman had a reputation for being very serious and not displaying emotion, so the two put on comedy duo skits with Blackman as the straight-faced man. Many of the skits involved Snow's attempts to come up with a gimmick for their team. In one backstage scene, Snow proposed that the duo develop a TV show wherein they travel through time and solve mysteries. Another memorable sketch involved Snow scheduling an unsuspecting Blackman to perform stand-up comedy at a retirement home, with humorously disastrous results.
Hardcore division (2000-2002)
After the Head Cheese team went their separate ways, Blackman entered the WWF's Hardcore Division. At the time, the title was defended 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as established by Crash Holly. Because of this, WWF often ran matches wherein the champion was attacked and defeated in locations not typically associated with wrestling matches, such as backstage or in a hotel. With Blackman as champion, however, surprise attacks no longer resulted in title changes: within the matches, Blackman was so dangerous in hand-to-hand combat that surprise attacks were not effective enough to defeat him. During his stint as Hardcore Champion, Blackman's full martial arts talent was utilized. The first time he lost the title for a significant amount of time was against Shane McMahon, largely due to interference from Test, Albert, Edge, and Christian, with Mick Foley suspending the 24/7 rule to make sure McMahon didn't try to get out of facing Blackman in a rematch. At SummerSlam, Blackman fought McMahon for the title. During that match, they both climbed the TitanTron with Blackman able to knock Shane off with a Singapore cane, then performed a diving elbow drop for the pin fall . Blackman would go on to defend the title on several occasions, but he would ultimately lose the title on a more permanent basis to Raven in late 2000.
Early in 2001, Blackman formed another tag team, this time with Grandmaster Sexay. Blackman again played the straight-faced man: a recurring element was that Grandmaster would always try to convince Blackman to dance with him after their matches. In the summer of 2001, Lawler was released from his WWF contract. At around the same time, Blackman suffered an injury, and was released in October 2002.
Blackman opened a self-defense school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania called "BlackmanMMA" in mid-2003. Blackman and MMA fighter (UFC Hall of Famer) and wrestler Ken Shamrock were brought in to help promote a clothing line for professional fighters, called Ground 'n' Pound gear (GnP). As of July 2006, Blackman has re-opened "Steve Blackman's Fighting Systems", which features MMA classes as well as professional wrestling training with Classic Championship Wrestling, a local independent wrestling promotion in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Blackman has hosted 4 MMA events in the Harrisburg,PA starting in 2009 and the most recent being on November 20, 2010, at the Zembo Mosque. The events are part of the Pennsylvania Fighting Championships (PFC).
Blackman resurfaced in July 2007 as a guest on Nancy Grace's show during the media blitz surrounding the Chris Benoit double murder and suicide, where he argued with fellow former wrestler Marc Mero. He also made appearances on Larry King Live and Dan Abrams' MSNBC talk show to discuss the same topic. Blackman made a guest appearance in the WWE later that year during the Raw 15th Anniversary Special, appearing in a 15-man battle royal. He was eliminated by Flash Funk. He has been mentioned on WWE NXT several times by Daniel Bryan. Many people have shown interest of Blackman making a return to the WWE, also on Blackman's 'Where are they now' page on WWE.com he admitted, 'Sometimes I get really tempted' and 'I miss it out there.'
Blackman is married and the couple have a daughter together.
Finishing and signature moves
- Party Time (Multiple kendo stick shots)
- Guillotine choke
- Double underhook lock
- Dragon sleeper
- Multiple kick variations
- Multiple chop variations
- Leg hook suplex
- Pendulum backbreaker
- Karate-style elbow strikes
- Diving side elbow drop
- Signature foreign objects
- Kendo stick
- Escrima sticks
- "It's party time! (Said just before he gets out the Kendo Sticks)
- "This is my house!"
- "Mmmmm! Cheese!"
- "The Lethal Weapon"
- "The Silent Assassin"