Van Hammer



Height: 6'6"

Weight: 280 lbs

Real Name: Mark Hildreth

DOB: 11/11/??

Hometown: Hebron, MD

Other Names: Heavy Metal Van Hammer (WCW), Hammer(WCW Flock), Van Hammer(WCW)

Wrestler Since: Unknown

Finishing Maneuvers: Slingshot Suplex, Cobra Clutch Slam , The Flashback

Previous PWI 500 Rankings: #211(2000), #179(1999), #173(1998), #112(1993), #204(1992), #290(1991)

Official Website: http://www.officialpros.com/vanhammer/

History: Mark Hildreth had a long, storied life... THEN he entered the wrestling business. Hildreth joined the Navy straight out of college, going around the world at least twice in his travels with them. He then first entered the wrestling business after a chance meeting with a WCW superstar at the time, Steve Borden (Sting). After being advised to not enter the business by Borden, saying how hard it was to succeed, Hildreth decided to take the chance anyway, and went into training under Boris Malenko, Dan Spivey, & others. Heavy Metal Van Hammer debuted in WCW in 1991, wrestling at Clash of the Champions XVI and defeating Terry Taylor. He soon became a fan favorite, due to his love of rock music and motorcycles. Hammer had feuds with such wrestlers as Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash), Cactus Jack, and Big Sky. With his "Hammerhead" fan club, Van Hammer seemed to be on the way to a title. But substance abuse soon became a problem, and after losing to Sid Vicious at Slamboree '93, Hammer disappeared from the scene, to work on curbing his addictions. He also had contract problems with WCW, which continued for some time.

In 1997, Raven joined the WCW and formed his Flock, a group of wrestlers that did his bidding. This is where Hammer reappeared, siding with Raven's group and becoming a Flock member. Hammer routinely sat at ringside with the other members of the Flock, including Billy Kidman, Perry Saturn, Scotty Riggs(Anton), and other notable young wrestlers. For a time, all Hammer did was what Raven told him to do, which usually led to him falling in the ring. In May of 1998, a feud began between Hammer and Saturn, Raven's right-hand man in the Flock at the time. The two decided to have a "Loser Leaves The Flock" match, which Hammer managed to win. But Raven, deciding he'd rather keep Saturn, instead had his Flock brutally attack Hammer, kicking him out of the Flock.

Van Hammer continued his feud against the Flock, sometimes with a teammate (such as Juventud Guerrera), while other times as a singles wrestler. This lasted for a short while, before Saturn and Raven had their feud, eventually ending in the Flock's demise. Van Hammer then faded from view for a few months. In early '99, Van Hammer reappeared on a Thunder show. He restarted his old look, becoming a "hippie"-styled wrestler with the Flashback, his neckbreaker-finisher. This time, though, Van Hammer seemed to stay in his bracket, losing to the more established stars repeatedly.

In May '99, Van Hammer decided on a change. He dropped the hippie-look and started wearing an anti-peace sign on his shirt. He effectively did a 180, become the antithesis of the hippie movement. He also dropped the Flashback in favor of his old move, the Cobra Clutch Slam. This started to attract him more attention, leading to a win over Mikey Whipwreck at the Great American Bash '99. This victory allowed him to move up the ladder, to contend for the Television Title, which was held by Rick Steiner. The two met at Bash at the Beach, but Steiner held onto his title, beating Van Hammer with his Bulldog. After losing his big title match, Van Hammer then sunk back into obscurity, mainly being a spot wrestler for Thunder shows. This continued for a long period of time.

In April '00, when Vince Russo & Eric Bischoff returned to take control of WCW, Van Hammer's career had a semi-ressurection. Teaming with Hugh Morrus, Chavo Guerrero Jr, and Lash LaRoux, Van Hammer began a battle against the New Blood, and more specifically, the Filthy Animals. When Bischoff decided to fire the group of wrestlers, they returned the next week under different names. Van Hammer now called himself Major Stash, and with Captain Rection (Morrus), Lt. Loco (Guerrero), Corporal Cajun (LaRoux), and G.I. Bro (Booker T), the Misfits in Action (M.I.A.) began fighting with military precision against all threats to their group, mainly being the Filthy Animals & the Natural Born Thrillers. After a few months, though, contract problems again came up between Hildreth & WCW, and he was eventually let go for monetary reasons (with the Wall taking his place in the MIA).

Currently, Van Hammer is a player on the independent scene, wrestling some with North County Championship Wrestling and Maryland Championship Wrestling, among others. He continues to stay in the business, looking for his chance to get back into the spotlight for another run.

Pay-Per-View Summary: (7 - 9)
- WCW Clash of the Champions XVI (September '91) = Van Hammer easily beat Terrance Taylor.
- WCW Halloween Havoc '91 = Van Hammer defeated Doug Sommers.
- WCW Clash of the Champions XVII (November '91) = Van Hammer lost to Cactus Jack.
- WCW Starrcade '91 = Van Hammer and Big Josh lost to Rick Rude and Steve Austin.
- WCW Clash of the Champions XVIII (January '92) = Van Hammer was beaten by Cactus Jack in a "Falls Count Anywhere" Match.
- WCW Superbrawl II ('92) = Van Hammer, with Todd Zenk, defeated Richard Morton and Vinnie Vegas.
- WCW Halloween Havoc '92 = Van Hammer and Erik Watts defeated Vinnie Vegas and Diamond Dallas Page in a dark match.
- WCW Starrcade '92 = Van Hammer and Dan Spivey defeated Cactus Jack and Johnny B. Badd. Later, Hammer competed in the "Battle Bowl", which was won by the Great Muta.
- WCW Slamboree '93 = Van Hammer was quickly defeated by Sid Vicious.
- WCW World War III '98 = Van Hammer competed in the "3 Ring Battle Royal", which was won by Kevin Nash.
- WCW Souled Out '99 = Van Hammer was defeated by Dave "Fit" Finley.
- WCW Great Amercian Bash '99 = Van Hammer used the Cobra Clutch Slam to defeat Mikey Whipwreck.
- WCW Bash at the Beach '99 = Van Hammer was beaten by Rick Steiner, the TV Champ.
- MCW (Maryland) Laurel Show (December 16, '01) = Van Hammer & Cowboy took down Chad Bowman & Dino Devine.
- MCW (Maryland) Harrington Show (February 16, '02) = Van Hammer & Cowboy lost to Dino Devine & Chad Bowman.