Profilin’: Mad Man Pondo

WWE, TNA, Wrestling

The King of the Deathmatch

Mad Man Pondo has earned his living by making people bleed for over two decades.  He made his professional debut at age 20 in 1989, and since then he’s carved a niche for himself in notoriously hardcore promotions like Combat Zone Wrestling, Juggalo Championship Wrestling, and IWA Mid-South.  His career has not been for the faint of heart.

Pondo originally wrestled in a traditional style, but when he failed to establish himself as a star on the independent scene, he turned to the hardcore.  The self-trained brawler is about as old school as old school gets in terms of hardcore wrestling, employing some vintage Sandman and Tommy Dreamer-esque techniques in his repertoire.  One of his finishing moves is called the Stop Sign Smash and it involves, you guessed it, smashing his opponent in the dome with a stop sign.  Pondo also likes to put the competition away with The Silencer, a senton bomb from the top rope.  He’s not shy about stringing his unlucky foes up in the tree of woe, and it’s rare that his matches end without both competitors gushing blood.  Other signature moves include a Russian Leg Sweep, Piledriver, Powerbomb, Death Valley Driver, Top Rope DDT, Brainbuster Suplex, and a Baseball Slide to the outside of the ring.

In addition to being an accomplished hardcore wrestler, Mad Man Pondo’s reach has extended into other media as well.  He’s appeared in three video games, both installments of the Backyard Wrestling series along with Fire Pro Wrestling Returns.  He also has a movie credit to his name, appearing in the 2005 horror film 2001 Maniacs alongside Robert Englund. 

Pondo, whose Mad Man moniker was lifted from Abdullah the Butcher’s “Mad Man from Sudan” nickname, rose to prominence with fellow hardcore grapplers Corporal Robinson and 2 Tuff Tony.  Early in their careers, the three running buddies traveled together and often moved from promotion to promotion with each other.  In 1999, Pondo and 2 Tuff Tony took their game to IWA Mid-South, and the duo introduced the hardcore style to the heretofore more traditional company.  Pondo became the inaugural IWA Mid-South Hardcore Champion, and with his popularity surging, he eventually won the Heavyweight Title as well.  In 2003, Pondo participated in and ultimately won IWA’s annual King of the Deathmatch tournament, defeating Axl Rotten and Nick Gage en route to the finals and cementing his legacy as a hardcore powerhouse.  During his time with Mid-South, Pondo also won the Tag Team Titles with Ian Rotten and along with 2 Tuff Tony, was a winner in the first ever Double Death Tag Team Tournament.

While wrestling for IWA, Pondo began to simultaneously appear in the Insane Clown Posse’s Juggalo Championship Wrestling.  Pondo wrestled on the first ever JCW show, teaming with Pete Madden to defeat Corporal Robinson and Ian Rotten in an exploding barbwire match.  Mad Man Pondo quickly became a staple for the upstart promotion, appearing annually at the Gathering of the Juggalos and impressing the crowd with his hardcore prowess.  He won the JCW Heavyweight Championship from Terry Funk at the event in 2005 and reigned as champion for over a year before dropping the title to Corporal Robinson.  Pondo was also a successful tag team wrestler in JCW, winning the tag belts with Necro Butcher.  He and Butcher have feuded in the promotion as well, spilling each others’ blood in a series of matches.  Although Butcher has moved on, Pondo continues to wrestle for JCW to this day.

Pondo additionally had a lengthy tenure in Combat Zone Wrestling, appearing for the Philadelphia-based ultra-violent promotion from 2000 through 2008.  He enjoyed a brief reign as the CZW Iron Man Champion, and was also made an honorary member of the H8 Club with Nick Hatred & Nick Gage while performing there.  As part of a talent exchange between CZW and Big Japan Pro Wrestling, Mad Man Pondo began making appearances for the Japanese promotion.  Despite the deal between CZW & Big Japan souring, Pondo continued to wrestle for the latter since the locker room and fans had been good to him.  After finding success under the character of The Original Foolish Foreigner, Pondo was eventually named the American booker for the promotion.  Today, in addition to wrestling for JCW, Pondo also competes for the Eastern Wrestling Alliance.  If you enjoy the use of lightbulbs, thumbtacks, and drywall in your wrestling, then Mad Man Pondo is your man.

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