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10 Backstage Stories About Sabu

Sabu was a king of hardcore in the ring, but find out about the icon behind the scenes. Get to know the man who defied death in the Land of Extreme!

An icon thanks to his time in Extreme Championship Wrestling, Sabu is not only one of the innovators of the hardcore style that took North America by storm in the 1990s, but he’s also one of the best performers in that genre. Sabu’s combination of high-flying moves and a complete disregard for his own body paid off, as he became one of the top draws for the company, capturing the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, the TV Title, and the Tag Team Title.

Sabu has also enjoyed a long career, debuting in 1985 and continuing to wrestle on the indie scene even today. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some essential stories from the career of the wrestler lauded as “suicidal, homicidal, and genocidal.”

10. Training

It’s fairly well known that Sabu was trained by his uncle, the legendary Ed Farhat, otherwise known as The Sheik (not to be confused with The Iron Sheik). Less known, however, is the training he experienced before he was taught how to wrestle. For months, The Sheik made Sabu chop wood every single day and then had him spend an entire day repeatedly putting together and taking apart a wrestling ring. Sabu soon learned that this was Sheik’s method of weeding out aspiring wrestlers who didn’t actually have the determination required to learn the ropes.

9. Secretly Practicing with Rob Van Dam

Sabu wasn’t the only ECW star to train under The Sheik -- fellow Michigander and future tag team partner/rival Rob Van Dam learned how to wrestle from him as well. During their training, Sabu and RVD would experiment together, developing the high-flying style they'd come to be known for, unbeknownst to The Sheik -- or so they thought. When Sabu was invited to wrestle for Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling in Japan, The Sheik encouraged his nephew to do all the crazy moves he was practicing when he thought his uncle’s back was turned, and it was through these matches that Sabu started gaining notoriety.

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