Wrestling can be a very dirty sport, obviously, and it is more often than not – if all of the time can be considered often. In fact, it would be much less entertaining to fans if there wasn’t a lot of dirty dealing involved.
Fans love a good story comprised by treachery, manipulation and collusion. What they probably don’t like, though, is the participants being actually dirty themselves. Thankfully, they hardly get affected, as they’re either watching from the crowd or at home. But the other guy(s) in the ring, if he isn’t dirty himself, is usually the one who pays.
Within any large group of men, you’re bound to find handfuls who don’t pay particular attention to common hygiene. But in wrestling – more so the WWE – some of those men have no choice but to be a bit foul based on the character they play.
Others, however, are just plain old nasty. And their sins range from body odor, to excessive sweating, to unsightly hair, to bad teeth and bad breath. The sweating, sadly, cannot be controlled, and there are a lot of wrestlers who sweat a little too much but aren’t repulsive. But the other offences are a matter of choice.
Below is a list of 15 wrestlers who had (or probably had) poor hygiene.
Gene Snitsky made his WWE debut on Monday Night Raw in a No Disqualification match against Kane in 2004.
He only spent four years in the business, getting released from his contract in 2008, per his request, following an Intercontinental Championship tournament loss to CM Punk.
Snitsky, who stands at 6ft 8in, was not very pleasant to look at during the last year of his WWE career, and was said to be proud of his challenging body odor. He also sported disgusting, dark yellow teeth, and his breath must have been an even match, or probably worse.
After leaving the WWE, the 296-pounder joined the Independent circuit and won the WXW C4 Ultimate Heavyweight Championship in the World Xtreme Wrestling promotion.
He also featured on TNA Wrestling.
14 Brian Knobbs
This guy made up for one half of the Nasty Boys, so that should be enough to go on. Brian Knobbs took pleasure in rubbing the faces of his opponents in his smelly armpits as part of a signature move called the Pit Stop - and I'm sure you could imagine how terrible that must have been.
Knobbs, along with his partner Jerry Sags, performed on World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF now WWE) in the 90s.
The pair moved back and forth a few times, winning three Tag Team Championships in the WCW and one in the WWF.
Sags was later forced to retire through injury, leaving Knobbs to do it all on his own as a singles wrestler. And he did pretty well for himself, winning the WCW Hardcore Championship on three occasions.
13 Bastion Booger
Bastion Booger was just one of Mike Shaw’s 15 stage names. He also went by Norman the Lunatic, Aaron Grundy, Klodike Mike and Mahkan Singh, just to name a few.
The fact that one of his names had the word 'booger' in it should say a lot, but the Michigan native’s looks also gave it away. He carried around a huge, hairy pot belly, less teeth than is required for a winning smile, and just gave off the aura of disgusting.
It is said that he was given the name Bastion Booger as a punishment for being too fat when he joined the WWF for a brief stint. And in 1993, he was named the Most Embarrassing Wrestler in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards, created by journalist Dave Meltzer.
Shaw unfortunately passed away at the age of 53 in 2010 following blockage in a major lung artery.
It was rumored that Big Van Vader never washed his wrestling gear because of superstitious beliefs.
Just how one wrestles for years, never washing his clothing, is only left for whoever did it to know. And if it’s true that he kept his gear stank up, it must have been pretty bad. Just imagine mixing it with different bodies on a weekly basis, plus your own, and then just tossing your garments aside until you wear them again.
Of course he didn’t wear the same gear all the time, yet it’s bad enough if someone only does this once.
One of Vader’s signature moves was the Bearhug. We don’t reckon anyone enjoying getting caught in that mess, or even sharing a ring with the smelly giant.
11 Abdullah the Butcher
Lawrence Robert Shreve, known as Abdullah the Butcher, is a WWE Hall of famer whose act made it so that he spoke no English although he hails from Ontario, Canada. Because of this, he worked under several managers during his career.
Shreve is also known for being part of some of the sport’s most violent and gory matches of all time. And like his stage name suggests, he did use sharp objects – forks, razor blades and weirdly, drinking straws - to cut opponents up. Apparently, he wasn’t exempt from his own butchery and was also accused of infecting other wrestlers with Hepatitis C by means of his blood getting all over their bodies.
He also possessed an unhealthy set of man-boobs, so it’s not difficult to see how poor his hygiene may have been. There’s probably still some blood left under those boobs.
10 John Tenta
John Tenta, also a Canadian, wrestled in both the WWF and WCW in his career. The 6ft 7in giant went by several names over the years, including Avalanche, Kototenzan, Earthquake and The Shark, and was a Sumo wrestler prior to him joining the American leagues.
The Shark’s character (WCW) was said to smell quite fishy, which is quite apt.
Although he was a big name in the WWE after getting in, he only managed to win a Tag Team Championship alongside Typhoon. But he did share a huge and entertaining feud with Hulk Hogan.
Tenta retired in 2004 after being diagnosed with bladder cancer. He was given a 20% chance to live as long as he continued treatment. He sadly passed away two years later at the age of 42.
9 Mark Henry
Anyone remember Derek Bateman’s World’s Strongest Man cologne commercial?
Well rumor has it that the whole thing came about because of Mark Henry, the WWE’s strongest/sweatiest man. Henry was said to have repulsive body odor, as well as a remarkable perspiring ability. Fellow wrestlers dreaded getting into the ring with him because of it, and they made their feelings known.
The 6ft 4in, 360 pound giant kicked things off as a power lifter in his younger days, and owns various accolades and records in weight lifting. In 2012, he was named the Strongest Man who Ever Lived by Flex Magazine.
Henry, who has moved back and forth between Raw and SmackDown, is also a one-time ECW, WWE and European WWF champion. And he could possibly add to his belts in future.
8 Mick Foley
This WWE Legend is loved by loads of fans, but it’s certainly not because of the way he smelled.
Foley, who also wrestled under the names Mankind, Cactus Jack, Jack Foley and Dude Love, was the General Manager of Monday Night Raw up until this March, when he was fired by Stephanie McMahon. And over the course of his career won several belts, including three World Championships and eight Tag Team titles.
Just looking at Foley was enough for one to realize that he didn’t care about hygiene very much. His hair and beard were always a mess, and his clothes were almost always very crappy.
And to make things worse, one of his signature moves entailed stuffing a smelly sock into the mouth of an opponent.
7 The Boogeyman
While consuming live earthworms may be considered healthy and admirable in some parts of the world, it’s generally viewed as being in poor taste in the Western Hemisphere.
So by that virtue alone, the gross, disgusting, repulsive and revolting Boogeyman just had to make this list.
Named Martin Wright, the man is already 52 years old, and actually started out in the WWE at age 40. He must have spent a lot of time acquiring a taste for worms, so it kinda makes sense. Yet what’s a bit confusing is the fact that he’s from Arizona – not Asia, Africa, or anywhere it’s cool to eat the slimy crawlers.
We imagine he would really do well on Fear Factor with such strange taste. But one just can’t be thought of as hygienic if he consumes worms all the time.
6 The Moondogs
As a wrestler back in the 80s you’d probably want to steer clear of the Moondogs as much as possible. The crew consisted of several members – including Moondog King and Moondog Rex who defeated Rick Martel and Tony Garea to win the WWE Tag Team Championship upon entering the show in 1981 – but they were all more or less the same.
Mostly sporting old blue jeans and unkempt blond hair, with dried up animal bones almost always in hand, The Moondogs used the objects both for chewing and/or beating the daylights out of their opponents.
They had no regard for anything really, so hygiene was certainly always far from the mind. The Moondogs were as wild as it got back then, and their animalistic nature always made it so that no one wanted to smell them.
Ryan Allen Reeves, known to many as Ryback, has incredibly white teeth, yet he is said to be one of the less user-friendly wrestlers out there. The 297 pounder wears a beard from time to time, and although he doesn’t keep it very long, there must be a lot of stuff that gets kept in there.
Beards are thought to be quite unhygienic, as they can create inviting accommodation for bacteria and the like, as well as odor.
Apart from sporting beards on occasion, Ryback is another one who sweats profusely, and is also described as having unfriendly breath.
No longer wrestling in the WWE, having been released last year, the Las Vegas native is currently working in the independent circuit and features as a character for British promotion Revolution Pro Wrestling.
Kane is not someone anyone would want to mess with. Yet Daniel Bryan didn’t seem to care when he made a song about the towering beast of a man being ‘super smelly’. And what’s worse, he made that song while Kane was beatboxing to aid his cause.
“When we were in the ring, I gave his glove a sniff, he hasn’t washed that thing in over 15 years!” Bryan rapped even after the beatboxing had ceased due to Kane standing there stunned.
“It's isn’t that he’s scary, it's smelliness we fear!”
Kane’s mask was also said to be super smelly. And he once sought advice from Mick Foley after trying Febreze.
“Wear old flannel and unwashed track pants all the time, and you’ll eventually get used to the smell,” was the advice he got. But what else did he expect?
To be fair, Rikishi didn’t look all that repulsive, but when your best signature move involves rubbing your ass in someone’s face, then you can’t blame anyone for thinking you’re a nasty piece of work.
Rikishi, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015, made his debut with the company in 1992, is cousin to Yokozuna (which comes as no surprise) and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (which comes as a surprise to some).
The Samoan listed at a whopping 425 pounds during his time in the WWE, but still had a very muscular frame. His ass, though, was just a huge mess. Rikishi's popularity soared after the group Too Cool was formed in the late 90’s. And teaming up original members with Scotty 2 Hotty and Grand Master Sexay, he helped birth a fan favorite of a trio.
Rikishi left the WWE in 2004 after being let go as a result of the organization’s request for him to lose weight falling on deaf ears.
2 Trevor Murdoch
Former WWE man Trevor Murdoch is unsightly as it gets. Actually named William Theodore Mueller, we still don’t know what was so special about him. Whatever got him into the WWE is quite the mystery; it couldn’t have been his body, and it certainly wasn’t his brains.
The hillbilly wore disgusting red sideburns most of the time, definitely not something that’s easily kept clean, and his trucker cap had surely never been washed. Oh, and let's not forget the unsightly armpit hair.
He got a bit of success after hitching himself to the more impressively built Lance Cade, but was dumb enough to leave his partner and attempt to shine on his own.
Predictably, he returned to wrestle alongside Cade before being released in 2008 following a three-year WWE stint.
1 Andre the Giant
Easing your bowels off on an opponent will always get you neatly placed on a list such as this one. And big man Andre the Giant finds himself in first place because that’s exactly what he did, albeit through no fault of his.
During a match against Bad News Brown in 1992, Andre was controlling the shots and giving orders, telling Bad News exactly what he wanted him to do. After being asked to remain slumped in a corner so the Giant would perform a trademark move in which he would slam his massive derriere into him, Bad News did just that.
But it’s probably the most regrettable thing he ever did, as Andre would lose control of his bowels and poop all over Bad News, who fell out of the ring and ran to the dressing room.
He claimed not to hold a grudge, though, as he knew that Andre had been sickly prior to the match.