Kayfabe has become such a big thing in wrestling that much of the wrestlers often suffer in their personal lives, and have to be careful about how they live so as to not taint their on-screen character. Over the years, the effectiveness of kayfabe has started diminishing, what with the flow of the internet and most of the fans now knowing what’ll happen beforehand, so wrestlers can breathe a sigh of relief as they aren’t necessarily as oppressed as they were a few decades back.
Vince McMahon is a big believer of the importance of Kayfabe in wrestling, as he’s extremely strict when it comes to maintaining it and makes sure his wrestlers follow his protocol, especially after the “Curtain Call” incident where all the members of the backstage group The Kliq (Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash) were pictured hugging together in the ring despite feuding against each other. When this got out, Vince was furious and punished Triple H by not allowing him to win King of the Ring that year (he was originally supposed to win it) and since then has made it his job to make sure personal photos don’t hamper the on-screen characters of his show.
But what Vince can’t stop is the candid childhood photos of the wrestlers from leaking out online. To look at these muscular, fit wrestlers in their childhood, you really get baffled at how much they’ve changed. Let’s have a look at 15 candid pictures of wrestlers as kids.
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16 The Bella Twins
The Bella Twins are probably the most dominating sisters in WWE history, as the two have won it all since their debut in the company and are now in a very comfortable position. Brie retired from the company after her husband Daniel Bryan had to retire, while Nikki just got out of a career-threatening injury to come back to Smackdown Live. Though The Twins might not be together on WWE TV anymore, they still got their own reality TV Show “Total Bellas” which will premiere in sometime as they have solidified themselves into mainstream success. But before the duo were heating things up in the field of sports entertainment, they were just regular twins as can be seen in this picture of them as kids, as the two sport cowboy hats and seem to have an unbreakable bond for a long time now. The twins as kids look super cute wearing those hats, and it’s doubtful that they’d imagined how big they’d become in the WWE then as they seem to be having fun ever since their childhood and their bond shows in this adorable picture as well.
15 Rey Mysterio
The Master of the 619 was quite the influence for children following the WWE in the mid 2000s when he catapulted from the Cruiserweight Division to main event status after defying all odds and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22 in a triple threat match against Kurt Angle and Randy Orton. Mysterio has kept his mask on since people can remember him wrestling, and his face cannot exactly be recognized by many who haven’t seen him off screen, but this picture of Rey as a child can give an example to fans on how cute, small-headed he is. Going by his picture as a small child, Rey was so adorable and this old picture of him smiling with his baby teeth and that hair makes you adore the luchador even more, as Rey hasn’t shown his face to many inside the wrestling ring but going by this picture must look pretty cute without it.
14 John Cena
John Cena has been the “face that runs the place” for about a decade now, as the man worked his butt off to get where he is right now. Having to start right from scratch, Cena got the attention of the fans with his “Doctor of Thuganomics” gimmick early in his career and then went for the more American Patriot like gimmick of the leader of the Cenation. Mr Hustle, Loyalty & Respect is one of the most celebrated wrestlers of all time, having won 15 World Titles during his time in the company so far and is Vince McMahon’s golden boy. Cena might have his share of haters and lovers, but there’s no doubting his passion for the product. This picture of him as a child proves his love for wrestling was born during a very young age, as the skinny, adorable Cena is holding his own custom title belt and this goes on to show how he was a normal fan like everyone else before he went on to become the top guy of WWE. This picture is another example of why Cena should be respected regardless of if one likes him or hates him, as his passion for the product is summed up in this wonderful picture.
Sheamus has developed himself as one of the toughest, hard-hitting wrestlers in the WWE right now as the force of some of his jabs and kicks can be almost felt while watching on TV. Amidst the “You Look Stupid” and jaunts from fans on how he “can’t wrestle”, Sheamus is now one of the veteran members in the WWE roster having spent almost 8 years in the company which is set to increase because of his passion for the product. The strong Irishman wasn’t this muscular and intimidating all the time, as can be seen in this picture of him in his childhood days as the gloomy young Sheamus is peeking to whoever has taken the picture (probably his parents) and doesn’t look amused. Going by the picture, Sheamus seems to have been broody from a long time back, as the kid Sheamus has that toughness in him right now but looks quite adorable (which can’t exactly be said about him now).
12 Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks is definitely “The Boss” of the Women’s Division right now in WWE, as she has attained a lot of fans because of her amazing in-ring work and her boss-like behavior outside it. Sasha has come up a long way since her NXT days, where she initially developed her “Boss” character and got her superb theme song which is sung at parts by Snoop Dogg, her real-life cousin. Yes that’s been mentioned in the WWE quite a lot of times and Dogg also escorted her to the ring at WrestleMania 32, but Banks’ childhood picture shows how close they have been for some-time now. This picture shows a young Sasha(who looks anything but like a boss) with her cousin Snoop as she looks so different from what she looks like now, with her features being pretty different then. The picture shows how well she has developed herself as a wrestler since then as she looks like a bad-ass girl in this picture with her cousin, and this picture itself shows signs of her boss-like personality which was in her when she was a child as well.
11 The Miz
The Miz might be an extremely cocky, successful heel in the WWE right now but he’s not had that “A-lister” mannerism to him all the time. If one is to see his earlier pictures of him wrestling in the WWE(especially his tough enough days), one could really see the change he has gone through in his decade long jouney at getting to the top of the WWE. The current Intercontinental Championship has won it all in the WWE and is one “Faces” of the heels right now, thriving under his position in Smackdown Live. But the Miz wasn’t exactly this glamorous all his life, as going by this picture of him as a child where he looked more like a nerd or a dork instead of the “Hollywood A-Lister” which he calls himself right now. Of what might have been taken when he was in high-school, The Miz looks completely different from his current self and one can be shocked at how hilarious he looks in this picture, and this goes onto show how preparing for excelling at wrestling can change the personality and figure of a superstar drastically.
10 Daniel Bryan
Mr. Goat Face Daniel Bryan asserted himself as one of the actual G.O.A.T in his final years for the WWE, as the extremely passionate Bryan risked his own body to entertain the crowd which resulted in him having to take an early retirement. Bryan was built as an extremely talented underdog and completed his ultimate underdog story at WrestleMania XXX when he won 2 matches in the same night to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to the fans' joy. The master of the "YES! Movement" is now the General Manager of Smackdown, as his bearded face is almost iconic right now. But going by this picture of him as a baby, he looks so adorable and cute that one couldn’t imagine what he would become at that age. Sitting alongside his older sister Billie Sue, the baby Bryan has some glorious hair and a weird pose for the camera and looks so cute that you would be surprised to discover what he’d become if one is to see the baby picture first and then the current state of him. Bryan has some of the baby features remaining, but this picture of him as a baby makes you love him even more.
9 Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins quite rightfully calls himself as “The Man” in the WWE, as the guy is probably the best performer in the company right now and is the guy who will usher them into success in this “New Era”. Rollins has come a long way since his Indy days, as he rose into the WWE admirably by winning the NXT Title to winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 31 when he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. Rollins may call himself as “The Man” right now, but this picture of him shows when he was a boy. Rollins started wrestling in his teen years and this picture might be one from them, as the teenage Rollins looks so different from his manly self right now, as that spiky hair and the kiddish features to him reveal him when he was just a boy. This picture of him as a kid also shows how much he has grown over the decade and how he has developed as a wrestler, as this picture of “The Boy” Seth Rollins shows him in his honest, young self.
Bayley is definitely one of the most adorable, lovable wrestlers right now in WWE as she’s just such a great face that no-one seems to dislike her. Right from her NXT days when she start out as an underdog to slowly become a huge fan favorite, Bayley is not only a very talented wrestler but a great ambassador towards the fans as well, as she often has fun with fans of all ages with her hugs making her so much more lovable. In this picture, Bayley’s childhood smark vibes seem to be tingling as the teenage picture of Bayley side by side with her current self shows how big of a fun-girl she is. Wearing that Hardy Boyz t-shirt and rocking that toy, she looks so cute and the resemble between her young and current self can be noticed in this and going by her Hardy Boyz t-shirt, one can presume that the young Bayley was just as big of a fan which the current Bayley is and this picture only makes you love her more!
7 Roman Reigns & The Usos
Roman Reigns is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing figures in wrestling right now, as the Samoan has received the wrath of the internet wrestling fans for his constant push into stardom in the WWE ever since The Shield broke up. It really isn’t Reigns’ fault, as he himself is actually a very good performer and can’t do anything if he’s booked a way where everyone turns on him. Reigns might be one of the best-looking strong guys in the company right now, but he wasn’t always this bulky and manly looking. Going by this picture of him and his cousins The Usos as children, they all look so different with their big ears and shaved heads at this young age, as this picture of them as kids will surprise many who have seen them in action recently. The young Roman on the top looks especially dorky and how he has built himself from that it admirable, as the Usos on the side look pretty innocent and cute as well, and this adorable picture probably can’t be hated by the most rancid of Reigns’ haters either.
6 Randy Orton
The son of Bob Orton Jr, Randy Orton had surpassed his father’s achievements in the WWE a long time back, as the Apex Predator of the WWE has been one of the golden boys of the promotion ever since going his own ways after his “Evolution” days. The 12 time WWE Champion is now a veteran in the ring and the WWE, as he now feuds with the big guys in the company and is a hotshot in the company as well. But going by this picture of him as a child with WWE Legend Hulk Hogan, one can see the genuine smile on his face upon meeting an idol like Hogan back in the days. Randy’s dad was in the WWE when Hulkamania was on the rise so it’s only fitting that Randy had met quite a few legends when he was a child, but this picture of him with Hulk shows how big a fan of the company before he went onto main-event for it decades later, as this picture is an example of how the wrestlers are fans themselves growing up with Randy’s beaming self standing out in the picture.
5 Brock Lesnar
“The Beast” Brock Lesnar is one of the most legitimate bad-asses in the history of sports-entertainment, as the guy just loves beating people up in the ring and absolutely hates doing promotional work outside the WWE(which can be seen in some of his interviews and all). Lesnar has won it all in the WWE, as he was the youngest WWE Champion at his time and even went onto win the UFC Championship at his time at UFC. He came back to the WWE to break The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak and has dominated the scene ever since as the alpha male of the company. But one would think that Brock wasn’t this cocky, intimidating as a child/teenager was he? Going by this picture he was! Even in his most candid picture, the unbelievable muscular teenager Brock is flexing out his muscles which he developed during his high school days! Of course it’s well known that he has amateur wrestling background and is a NCAA Champion too, but having this kind of a figure in one’s high school days is crazy! Goes to show the dedication he had right from his childhood, as the hard-work has paid off and he’s one of the richest wrestlers in the business right now.
4 Triple H
“The King of Kings” is a very suitable name for Triple H, who has slowly but surely grown into one of the most powerful men in the wrestling industry as he went from Terra Ryzing in his Indy days to Triple H, the 14 time World Champion and now the runner of the hit brand WWE NXT and also a highly influential person backstage. Triple H has seen it all in the past few decades from the Monday Night Wars to the Ruthless Aggression era to the PG Era as he has stayed loyal to the WWE since his first day and is now enjoying all the benefits for that. But he didn’t look or live like a king throughout his life did he? This picture of a very young Triple H shows him in his shocking youth, with his big nose, eyes and ears standing out as the very cute Triple H looks so innocent in this picture that you almost forget all the dirty deeds he has committed in his wrestling career. This adorable rare picture of Triple H goes onto show how this innocent looking child became one of the most potent brains in the wrestling industry, as he’s living like a King right now and will reap more rewards as years pass on because of his amazing work.
2 The Rock
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is now a world-famous movie star, but for wrestling fans he’ll always be the Rock aka the most electrifying man in all of sports-entertainment. The Rock is himself a third generational wrestler and made it big in the WWE with his highly charismatic character who enthralled all the fans when he was on top during the Attitude era. The Brahma Bull’s rivalry with Stone Cold was iconic during the era, as both of them became huge icons for generations to come. The Rock might be one of the fittest and biggest men around right now, but when he was a kid he was tiny just like the rest of us. Compared to Andre the Giant, The Rock looks like more of a pebble.
1 The Undertaker
The Undertaker’s mythical character in the WWE has reaped even the most casuals of fans towards the product in the past decades, as the Deadman has been quite the servant for Vince McMahon’s empire ever since his debut in the early 90s. Since then, The Undertaker has gone through some character changes but always maintains his intimidating, scary look which can terrorize anyone at the sight of him. But this picture of The Undertaker in his youth has a very different take on him, as it shows him as a kid with ginger hair! Can you imagine The Undertaker with ginger hair?! Another side of the picture shows him as a high school boy which shows his handsome side at those days, but both the sides have no intimidating nature to them whatsoever. He looks like a normal, cute child and this take on him gives you such a different take on Mark Calaway (his real name) the person and not The Undertaker, the character in WWE. This rare, candid picture shows two sides of him not many even knew existed, as Taker as a kid might not have intimidated him but turned out to be a nightmare for his opponents when he grew up.
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