When you think wrestling and tables, what comes to mind?
"D-Von! Get the tables!"
Or maybe it's Mike Awesome’s Awesome Bomb, or simply Sabu’s crazy ass smashing through one. Tables are one of the most popular weapons in pro wrestling today, going from a random spot in a match, to an actual match (TLC or Tables Match), to being part of a themed pay-per-view (PPV) in the WWE.
Let’s take a look at how the tables have evolved over the years.
The Early Years
Tables didn’t go mainstream until ECW showed up, but there were a few moments before then that the table was used. One of the earliest I found was Macho Man Randy Savage piledriving Ricky Morton through a table in June of 1984. As you’ll hear in the video the crowd was legitimately shocked by the move, since nothing like it had been seen before.
In 1989 in the NWA, Ric Flair and Terry Funk had a feud that included Funk piledriving Flair onto a table that didn't break. Video includes the whole feud but to see the table spot, skip to 1 minute mark.
Also in 1989, on Saturday Night Main Event, King Harley Race took on Hulk Hogan and also tried his own table spot, by going for a (and missing) a headbutt/body splash from the apron. Skip to 11:20 mark in the video to see it.
Finally in 1990 at SummerSlam, Hulk Hogan took on Earthquake and towards the end of the match, Hogan attempted to body slam Earthquake through a table on the outside. Unfortunately the table didn’t break and Earthquake slid awkwardly off to the floor. Couldn't embed this video, but click here to see it.
E-C-W! E-C-W! E-C-W!
When ECW got into their hardcore ways around 1995, the table became used by, well, everyone! Sabu, Rob Van Dam, Mike Awesome, Public Enemy, Dudley Boyz, and Masato Tanaka were just a few of the wrestlers who included it in their matches. I could post tons of Tanaka vs. Awesome clips, but just do a search on YouTube if you haven’t seen them. The clip I used is a little later in the ECW days, but you get the point.
Thanks to ECW, tables became used more and more in Japan, WCW, and the WWF. Some early tables were much beefier than what we see today, which didn’t always break. WWF used a simple plywood table, which shattered pretty easily when it broke. Those eventually got a top cover so the tables were a bit safer to use. I also think the metal bracing around the table was made weaker so the tables break with less force.
Also thanks to ECW, putting women through tables became all the rage. First it was Francine, but in the WWF the Dudleys went nuts putting Torrie, Terri, Trish Stratus, Lita, Stacy Keibler, and even an 80-year-old Mae Young through tables. Bit overboard to me, but it was something new, that’s for sure.
Tables, Tables, Everywhere!
Today, tables are used everywhere, from TNA to the Indies and even in backyards across the world. They have become highlight gold for the WWE thanks to guys like Mick Foley, The Dudleyz, and the Hardy Boyz. I’m sure most of you have seen the TLC matches over the years or when Edge put Mick Foley through a flaming table at WrestleMania. Tables have become their own match, most recently seen with Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett. Tables have also become a part of a themed PPV (TLC) on an annual basis with the WWE. That's quite the rise in the past 25 years.
Over the past few months, I noticed the WWE has again changed the tables. Underneath they now have a black, possibly thin rubber coating, to help keep the plywood from cutting the wrestlers.
Even though tables have been overused at times, fans simply can’t get enough of the spectacular destruction they create. Unless it’s Wade Barrett doing the Wasteland through one, of course, which just looks terrible.
What’s your favorite table memory, Cagesiders?
The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.