What started as jabs on social media between Hammerstone and Schaff has escalated into a vendetta. This demonstrated a rare essence of personal hatred that many spectators believe. One that has transcended beyond the paradigm, conventions, and scope of a typical wrestling competition. This became especially apparent following murky and controversial circumstances during their February bout in Portland. One in which Hammerstone, out of the blue, frustratingly walked out of the match halfway into it. This resulted in a no contest. This is Schaff vs Hammerstone.
On April 13th, the score will be settled in Portland’s Hawthorne Theater as these two giants are bound together in a chain match that may be the most controversial matchup DEFY wrestling has ever booked, given the circumstances that surround these two athletes personal hatred for each other inside and outside the ring.
Schaff vs Hammerstone
The rising heat between them
The heat between these two began in January, as Hammerstone made it clear he was not a fan vs Schaff as a person. Striking at the raw essence of what makes Schaff popular to his fanbase in the Pacific Northwest. His bad-ass brute strength, intimidatingly fearless appearance, size, and toughness as a competitor. Initially, a fan posted a completely harmless, unprovocative, and random post on Twitter. He suggested Hammerstone come to the Pacific Northwest and wrestle against Schaff. In response, Hammerstone provocatively stated that Schaff has a good thing going on for himself in the Pacific Northwest. He was the only local big-guy exclusively, sarcastically stating that he would not want to come to the region. In the process ruining those ideal circumstances surrounding Schaff, being a big guy himself.
It was that very tweet that stirred demand among fans for such a match. One which was quickly booked in February at DEFY’s show in Portland. After the match’s announcement, Hammerstone was quick to keep the heat going, posting a January 15th video shoot against Schaff online. He meant to dig further under his skin by attacking the wrestling persona that Schaff has carefully crafted for himself. One through years of hard work, training, exercise, and physical changes to his appearance. This includes growing a beard, long hair and multiplying his size. Schaff’s pre-wrestling days, were of a smaller caliber and less intimidating look. They can be noted and viewed on social media on his public Facebook page. These are likely the sharp contrast in visual difference Hammerstone has drawn from in order to make jabs at Schaff.
In the shoot, Hammerstone establishes an analogical premise in which the world consists of everyday people, such as Schaff. He was going out in public and leaving their homes to present a public persona of confidence. One that aims to hide the imperfections, anxieties, realities and shortcomings. That return within us as individuals when we go back to the confines of our private spaces at the end of the day. In suggesting that Schaff’s long hair and “badass” persona is not an authentic reflection of his true self. Hammerstone metaphorically makes the comparison that you can also “stick a feather up your butt. But it doesn’t make you a chicken.”
Regardless of whether one views Hammerstone favorably or not, it is hard not to acknowledge Hammerstone’s incredible ability to hit raw nerves in his usual discourse. In this case, his intention appears to make the argument that underneath Schaff’s contemporary wrestling appearance is a scared and timid boy. One that in actuality, is his true self, detached from being “the baddest motherf**ker in professional wrestling.”
Schaff vs Hammerstone
Superiority above all
What is clear is that Hammerstone means more than proving his superiority from a wrestling and athletic standpoint. Hammerstone has an obvious niche for striking a chord within his opponents. By using personal humiliation as a tool for confrontation to undermine their confidence in order to put them in an awkward and compromising position. He uses psychology before they even step in the ring with him. This is an especially relevant strategy in a business so heavily dependent on the strength of an athlete’s outward persona. It is often determining how far their success will go in this business.
Schaff, being a man of few words, who has little interest in talking or boasting. He simply demonstrates his self-worth through sheer strength and dominance. Schaff always captivates the fans by unleashing relentless brute force in the squared circle. He does so without showing a hint of fear. He certainly made things personal for Hammerstone in February when the two squared off in Portland. This resulted in Hammerstone suffering a concussion, as he noted in a recent video shoot. A few minutes into their first match, it was clear that the beef between these two had spilled out beyond wrestling competition. As the dynamics, physics and move-sets professional wrestlers usually abide by in their competition to outdo each other. This was no longer existent nor on display at this point.
Frustration between the two competitors ensued as the flow of the match was clearly falling apart, raising eyebrows among the observant fans. Hammerstone unleashed an Irish whip to Schaff into the ropes. In response, Schaff made it apparent he was not going along with the conventions of typical wrestling dynamics, in which the competitor would normally try to use the momentum to consolidate an offensive or defensive position in springing back towards the opponent. This simply did not transpire. Schaff simply halted his momentum inches from the ropes, defying the typical maneuvering techniques within the wrestling paradigm. Instead, he stopped and stared Hammerstone down. The state of the wrestling craft and competition had come to a halt.
Hammerstone took notice that Schaff was not going to wrestle in accordance with the dynamics of a conventional wrestling match. By following his Irish whip, the frustration and beef between these two finally crystallized into level explosiveness. It took place by which the fans sat there awkwardly wondering if a wrestling competition was even taking place. Was going to become a fistfight? Hammerstone, losing his patience, pushed vs Schaff hard on the chest with both hands. He shouted what can be deciphered as (or fairly close to), “Learn how to f***ing work you, idiot!”
Schaff vs Hammerstone
The Battle Begins
Schaff, clearly as bewildered as the fans at this total act of defiance and attempt to humiliate him, pushed back hard at Hammerstone, cursing, “Fuck you, b***h!” This cocktail of aggression and confusion permeated the entire theater at this moment, and Hammerstone simply walked out in frustration and ceased to take part in this matchup against Schaff any longer. The match was declared a no-contest as surprised fans sat watching and murmuring questions among each other, not exactly sure what had transpired between the two competitors.
Angry shouts from the crowd, such as, “That was bullshit” and “We paid money for this!” could be heard as well. What was obvious was not only the hatred between these two wrestlers but the absolute disrespect they demonstrated for each other as professional wrestling athletes, so much that it took precedence over their obligation to continue the match until the end, for the sake of sportsmanship and the show.
A Remorseful Schaff?
Later in the night, Schaff came out to the ring in plain clothes to apologize to the fans for the professionalism and showmanship that was compromised in wake of this raw hatred and frustration between the two. Hammerstone did not hesitate to cut Schaff’s apology short as he came out and immediately engaged in a fistfight with him. Chaos ensued in Hawthorne Theater, and wrestlers, security staff, and referees took their own share of lumps in their pursuit of breaking up this brawl, which resulted in Schaff suffering a bloody nose in the end.
Following the show, there was much buzz on the internet from spectators displeased with Hammerstone, despising him as being unprofessional for walking out of the match. Later in the night, soon after the show, Hammerstone tweeted on social media, “Sorry @defyNW and @mattfarmer93 [DEFY’s promotor] everything was great tonight until you made me get in the ring with @SCHAFF_pw [Schaff] But that was bullshit.”
Settling The Score
On March 26, DEFY announced the chain rematch between Schaff vs Hammerstone in order to settle this score. There will be no opportunity for these competitors to walk out and disregard the competition and the fans. Given the level of deeply ingrained personal anger and resentment between these two inside and outside of the ring, and their lack of respect for each other as professional athletes, this clearly transcends beyond the typical scope and dynamics of a feud and athletic competition. One has to wonder what will transpire in a match as potentially sadistic as this, given their recent history.
Even the very decision to book this match is taken into question by some observers, as far as responsible business practices are concerned. This match clearly entails potentially high risks. Yet, it is this unpredictable chaos that captivates the imagination and curiosity of DEFY’s fanbase. Probably DEFY’s bookers and management alike, all of whom will come to Hawthorne Theater clearly eager to see how this potential cataclysm of ultraviolence and extreme resentment will unfold as these two giants are chained to one another.
Schaff vs Hammerstone
Wild and Unpredictable
This is perhaps one of the wildest and most unpredictable matchups DEFY has ever booked, given the extremely controversial circumstances that have led up to this point in the bout between Schaff vs Hammerstone. No one has any idea what will become of this matchup. Will it be another chain match in the history of chain matches, with all its expectedly bloody violence and mayhem, or will something even more uniquely sinister come as a result of taking this highly personal blood feud and binding it to chains in Portland on April 13? For many fans, there is an apparent feeling of anxiety that runs parallel to the curiosity currently present in awaiting for the uncertainty of this match to unfold. This was Schaff vs Hammerstone.