Acclaimed for his career in hardcore wrestling, Sabu has developed a large fanbase in the US. Sabu was trained by his uncle, The Sheik. He endured a tough early career in many amateur wrestling matches held in high school gymnasiums and bingo parlors before going professional. Sabu went on to become known as one of the most hardcore wrestlers in the industry. Notable title reigns included the ECW World Heavyweight Title, the NWA World Heavyweight Title, the ECW Tag-Team Title with Rob Van Dam as well as Taz, and the XPW World Heavyweight Title. Sabu's neck was broken during an ECW match with Chris Benoit, earning Benoit the nickname and gimmick of "The Crippler", but Sabu was able to recover and return to wrestling.
Sabu is also notorious for continuing to wrestle matches even though he has suffered serious injuries that would normally end a match early. An example of this was that, during a matchup with The Sandman, Sabu broke his jawbone. Rather than end the match early, Sabu actually ducktaped his jaw shut and continued to wrestle the match for another five minutes
Although Sabu did not sign with WWE until April of 2006, Sabu did get some mainstream exposure. He won two of his three matches in WCW 1995 against Mr. JL and Disco Inferno. Sabu "went against the script" -- in the storyline -- by defeating Alex Wright, only to have the ruling reversed by disqualification when he continued to fight after the bell. WCW did not like his violent style and unwillingness to lose a match, and did not offer Sabu a long term contract. Sabu was the first wrestler to dive off the entrance sign during an episode of WWE Raw on February 24, 1997, while WWE and ECW were cross promoting.
WCW signed Sabu to a contract in 2000, but
legal action threatened by ECW precluded Sabu from ever making an appearance
before WCW's demise. From 2000 to 2001, he had a successful run in California's
XPW, which catapulted him back into the national spotlight after Paul Heyman
had tried to prevent him from working outside of ECW by actually suing him in
court for breach of contract, when - as it turned out - Heyman was actually
the one who had breached Sabu's contract.