Bob Holly, Hardcore Holly or Sparky Plugg are all names the WWE legend has gone by in the company. Most commonly referred to as Hardcore Holly, he wrestled for 15 years in the WWE and enjoyed a great run as the elder statesman in the locker room.
A veteran who kept the young wrestlers in line and tested their metal, he was well respected in the locker room – and sometimes, feared. However, championship gold evaded Holly.
He had very little title success in the company, only winning the tag team championship and Hardcore Champion in the company (he had a phantom Intercontinental Championship reign which was never recognised).
He was released by WWE in 2009 after wrestling for Vince McMahon for 15 years, although his last match was much more bizarre than any of Hardcore Holly’s previous.
Hardcore Holly’s Last WWE Match
Hardcore Holly’s last match in the WWE was a tag team championship match against Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr at WWE Night of Champions 2008.
The match was a handicap match, which would usually make no sense in a match for the tag titles and this match would go down in history as one of the most bizarre WWE title match ever.
Holly had been a mentor to Cody Rhodes. Upon the latter’s debut, he wrestled Holly a number of times, earning the veterans respect.
They began teaming together and soon became a top team in the tag division. They mixed Rhodes youthful energy with Holly’s veteran experience to create a formidable team which rarely tasted defeat.
The began teaming together in late 2007, when Holly turned face by saving Rhodes from an attack from “The World’s Greatest Tag Team” (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas).
The began teaming together and defeated a number of tag teams, like London & Kendrick, The Highlanders and the aforementioned duo.
This would culminate in a huge win on the 15th Anniversary of Raw, when Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly defeated Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch to become the World Tag Team Champions.
They held the belts until WWE Night of Champions 2008. Ted DiBiase Jr, son of the WWE Hall of Famer who he was named after, challenged the duo for a title match. He didn’t have a partner yet, but warned them that they would make themselves known at the event. The match was set and fans waited with baited breath.
At WWE Night of Champions 2008, Cody Rhodes would be revealed as DiBiase’s tag team partner.
He turned on Hardcore Holly and joined the opposite team, helping his new partner win and be crowned the new World Tag Team Champions.
As far as I know, in this match Cody Rhodes became the first man to defeat himself (and Holly) to become a champion – a bizarre feat that most people would not want to copy. The pair would then go on to join Randy Orton and form “Legacy“.
Hardcore Holly’s last match was a handicap match for the World Tag Team Championships against Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase Jr at WWE Night of Champions 2008.
Holly was pinned to lose the match in under 2 minutes and would go on an extended hiatus following the match, However, 7 months later he would be released by the company, ending a 15 year run with the WWE.
He Wrestled On The Independent Scene Until 2019
After being released by the WWE, Hardcore Holly continued to wrestle on the independent scene.
He wrestled against a wide variety of wrestlers, form independent veterans, up and coming stars and former WWE wrestlers doing the same as him. He had matches against former WWE Superstars like Billy Gunn, Keith Lee and Rhino.
He continued to wrestle until 2019 before seemingly hanging up his boots with little fanfare. Hardcore Holly wrestled his last independent match on June 2nd 2019 in a Triple Threat match with Cody Hall (son of Scott Hall) and Luke Hawx. Hawx won the match and ended the long and storied career of Holly.
Holly recently released his own book, The Hardcore Truth: The Bob Holly Story, which you can read about on Amazon by clicking this link.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.