Top 7 Hardcore/Deathmatch Wrestling Promotions


Founded by John Morrison in the late ’90s and his five students Justice Pain, Nick Gage, Lobo, T.C.K and Ric Blade alongside their trainer Jon Dahmer.

The promotion is shown in New Jersey and Delaware showcasing hardcore wrestling, CZW is renowned for its hyper-aggressive and Ultraviolent matches with the use of some seriously damaging tools. 

Combat Zone created the Tournament of Death as an annual professional wrestling event for the fans to enjoy hardcore wrestling with great storylines.


 Game Changers Wrestling is an independent wrestling promotion based in New Jersey, United States. It was founded in 1999 by Brett Lauderdale.

The GCW has incorporated deathmatches into its shows, there have been quite a few remarkable matches over the years like Matt Cardona’s deathmatch against the vile Nick Gage at the GCW Homecoming PPV. 


BJW was founded by Nagasaki and Shin’ya Kojika in 1995. The promotion garnered attention through its Deathmatch past, BJW had a lot of hardcore matches like the Pirahna, the scorpion and others. The most violent show in the promotion is the Big Japan CZW crisis Big Born Cage of Death.

Deathmatches leave quite a lot of injuries on both participants so the promotion had to create a separate roster for deathmatches. 



Founded in 1999 by Clown Posse the JCW had a reputation for its adaptation of high flying. Strong style and Hardcore/Deathmatch wrestling.

The promotion has diversified its roster with several unorthodox appointments that have since paid off in a sense.

JCW hosts deathmatch events like Bloodymania which feature the likes of Abdullah the Butcher, King Kong Bundy and a few other hardcore wrestlers. 


Founded in 2006, by Mark Dallas the ICW was created to mimic the ECW but instead of that, the ICW has created a place for itself.

It is not a full-on hardcore, brutal, cuts and blood wrestling promotion but possesses similar traits with hardcore wrestling promotions with no count-outs, no disqualifications and no line breaks.

The hardest-hitting member of the ICW is Chris Renfrew who is known to use brass knuckles in matches to quite devastating effect. 


Deathmatch legend Atsushi Onita’s brainchild FMW was founded in 1989, the promotion had widespread acceptance as millions of fans would turn up for the blood, burnings, scars, violence and mixed martial arts.

The matches always made for hard watching as they made sure to push to the envelope on every match with unbridled violence., So much that Onita had his flesh gouged out from his back with a knife by Mister pogo.

FMW has been one of the most famous strong style deathmatch promotions in Japan, the show was closed down after the new owner of the promotion committed suicide in 2002 but was subsequently reopened in 2015. 


IWA was created by Ian Rotten in 1995, the company has been active since it was founded but has had several issues that have caused it to close down severally.

Barring the issues, the promotion boasts quite an impressive roster with wrestlers like CM Punk, Colt Cabana, Trent Acid and Chris Hero. IWA was built on a Hardcore/Deathmatch style of wrestling along with some strong style.

 IWA introduced the “King of the Deathmatch Tournament” which comprised of the hardest hitting hardcore wrestler’s the promotion had to offer in a series of Ultraviolent matches where beaten wrestlers were eliminated.

1 thought on “Top 7 Hardcore/Deathmatch Wrestling Promotions”

  1. Almost everything written about GCW and CZW aren’t true lol. Brett Lauderdale was a teenager in 1999. He didn’t start refereeing for CZW until we’ll into the 2000’s. He left CZW around 2014 and bought Jersey Championship Wrestling in 2015, then he changed the name to GCW in 2016.

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