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I’ve decided to institute the THURSDAY VETERAN SPOTLIGHT here on Hardway HQ. I want to recognize those performers who have come before us in independent wrestling and laid the foundation for where the indies are today. This will be out every Thursday.

I truly think there is no one better to start off with than the one-and-only JOE RULES.


Joe Rules is truly one of a kind.

Beginning his wrestling career in 1993, Joe has been involved with the Tri-State Area independent scene for over thirty years. With his strong pompadour, tacky robe, and unique personality, he has always been dedicated to his craft and perform to the best of his abilities. Strutting out to the ring with his theme song, “1984” by Van Halen, Mr. Rules has always been able to grab the crowd’s attention by any means necessary.

Mr. Rules has wrestled a Who’s Who of talent over his long career, including Mike Quackenbush, Don Montoya, “the Icon” Magic, Section 8, Twiggy Ramirez, Headshrinker Samu, Rudo the Heel, Mr. Ooh La La, Donn E. Allen, and even a young Joey Janela!

I would be amiss if I didn’t mention Joe’s valet Luxurious Lynne. She has been by his side for the majority of his wrestling career, and he has always stated that Lynne was the best second anyone could ask for. I’d also like to mention his other manager, his close personal friend Patricia M. Steinman, who helped Joe tremendously on his journey in the wrestling business.

Some of the things Joe has been involved with in a wrestling setting has been very…interesting, to say the least. He’s hosted a contest called “Win a Date with Joe Rules”, was pummeled on Grim’s Toy Show, was forced to perform in and lose in an evening gown match against Susanna, turned a young Colby Corino against his own father, “the King of Old School” Steve Corino, and even put a bounty on the head of one Silly Billy.

Nothing, however, could ever transcend his rivalry with Rick Silver. Silver was truly the achilles heel for Mr. Rules. These two men fought each other, won Tag Team Championships together, shaved one another’s heads, and even brawled in career-ending matches. Rules actually retired Silver at JWA Bedlam on the Battleship on July 11, 2009 on THE BATTLESHIP NEW JERSEY. Both men will forever be linked together.


In my research of Joe Rules, I was TODAY YEARS OLD when I learned that he was the FIRST EVER Jersey All-Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion! At Halloween Hell on Halloween 1997, Mr. Rules won a twenty-man battle royal to become the first ever champion. Granted, moments later, Pitbull #2 immediately challenged and won the gold from Joe, but he’s still the first!

Joe Rules has held several other championships across the Northeast as well, including:

East Coast Pro Wrestling Light Heavyweight Title

Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling Junior Heavyweight Title

Nittany University Park Title

Nittany Tag Team Title with Rick Silver

United Wrestling Coalition North American Title

United Wrestling Coalition New Lisbon Heavyweight Title (3x)

United Wrestling Coalition United States Title (3x)

United Wrestling Coalition Heavyweight Title

United Wrestling Coalition New Lisbon Tag Team Title with Taylor Nicole Rules

JWA Wrestling Alliance World Title

United Wrestling Federation World Title

JWA-United Wrestling World Title

However, a man cannot be measured by only championships. In 1997, Mr. Rules was ranked #500 in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500 List! It was indeed an honor he took pride in, calling himself at one time “the Proudest #500 in the history of the PWI 500”. To counter-balance that, Dean Malenko was ranked #1 that year. Who do you think cherished their ranking more?

I’ll put money on Joe Rules for that one.

Joe was even on an episode of the Jerry Springer Show during its white-hot run in the late 1990s, gaining fanfare on the independents because of his performance on the program.

But pro wrestling has always been Joe’s true passion.

Currently, Joe is the booker and President of the United Wrestling Coalition, a promotion that runs in the southern part of New Jersey. Mr. Rules leads a fun wrestling product that all the fans that attend enjoy. He is also a part of the UWC Hall of Fame, an honor he cherishes very passionately.


There is one story about Joe Rules that shows why he truly is old school.

On July 19, 2012, in the wild world of Twitter, CM Punk replied to a tweet Zack Ryder posted earlier in the day: "You should wrestle Joe Rules." The tweet went viral, reaching the man himself. Days later, Rules released a t-shirt with the phrase “You Should Wrestle Joe Rules”, which made some solid money in sales. 

If that’s not the mark of a wrestler, I don’t know what is. Always make your cash, one way or the other.

Joe Rules is a good man. He is more than deserving of being the first person written about in the THURSDAY VETERAN SPOTLIGHT.

Thank you for your service, sir. Joe Rules truly does rule.


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