There is an illusion in the wrestling world that many superstars decided to focus their attention on a career in Sports Entertainment because they weren’t able to gain the results they wanted in school. It is true that there are a number of WWE stars who dropped out of school (like Dean Ambrose) because they already knew what they wanted to do with their life. On the flip side, there are many stars who are still part of the company right now who have continued in education much further than high school. Despite the demands of higher education, they have still been able to pursue a wrestling career at the highest level.
Many of the wrestlers WWE employs are actually very smart people and have degrees in a number of varied subjects. This isn’t the norm in WWE though, since there are also a number of WWE stars who are considered to be quite limited in their mental capacities. While a career in the wrestling world means that there has to be some level of education with every superstar, there are still a number of wrestlers who have very low IQs. From PHDs to DDTs, it takes all kinds to make the WWE what it is. The following list looks at eight WWE stars who are all brawn and no brains as well as seven superstars who are much smarter than they seem.
15. All Muscle: Goldberg
Goldberg will always be seen as a legend in WWE because of his time in WCW where he was one of their biggest stars. The former star was even able to return to the ring last year and picked up the Universal Championship.
That being said, Goldberg is definitely not considered to be a smart man. Before he comes out to the ring he is often seen head-butting a locker as a way to build himself up for his match. This backfired and forced him to bleed quite a lot on an episode of Monday Night Raw in 2016. Goldberg was also known to forget his lines and even mess them up and improvise new ones which made Vince McMahon furious. He probably won’t be returning anytime in the near future.
14. Genius: Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods is currently a member of The New Day, who are a record-breaking Tag Team in their own right. But before he became a Unicorn obsessed Tag Team Champion, Xavier used the gimmick where he was seen as a smart superstar. He even called his finisher “The Honour Roll”.
Unlike many other wrestlers who have attempted to pull off a gimmick where they pretended to be quite smart, Xavier is actually smart. Xavier has a PhD in Educational Psychology from Capella University. Even though Xavier has been wrestling for most of his life, he ensured that he completed his studies and has something to fall back on when his career comes to an end. This is wise since wrestling isn’t a career that usually has a lengthy shelf life.
13. All Muscle: The Great Khali
The Great Khali is a former World Champion in WWE and was once one of the most feared stars that the company had. Only The Undertaker was able to overcome the strength and size difference to finally pin the Indian star.
Khali’s only plus was the fact that he was physically superior to anyone on the roster. He stood an imposing 7+ feet tall and weighed 420 pounds. Khali couldn’t speak English which meant that he couldn’t deliver promos and needed someone to do that for him. He also had problems learning matches so he was usually only part of basic short matches. Towards the end of his WWE career, the company had turned him into a complete joke. He is now considered to be one of the worst wrestlers that the company has ever employed.
12. Genius: Kane
It turns out the Devil’s favourite demon is also one of the WWE locker room’s biggest brains. Kane (real name Glenn Jacobs) is an interesting character to say the least. In reality, he is much more like his “Corporate Kane” gimmick than fans would believe. Jacobs is very interested and involved in politics, having run for the office of Mayor in Knox County, Tennessee. He impressed many with his political acumen and ability to clearly articulate his political platform. On top of this, he and his wife actually operate an insurance agency! I don’t know who would buy insurance from a demon, but it clearly shows that Kane is much smarter than you would have probably thought.
11. All Muscle: Sycho Sid
Sycho Sid is a wrestler that will always be found on lists like this because of some of his most famous promos on WWE TV. Sid once famously claimed to only have half a brain, which stuck with him throughout his career.
It is much harder to remember lines in front of a live crowd, but Sid set the bar for the worst that any superstar could ever be. His wrestling didn’t exactly shine next to some of the biggest stars in the business either. For some reason (even more than two decades after the event) Sid is still best remembered for that infamous “half brain” promo and the fact that WWE should never have given him a live mic in the first place.
10. Genius: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
The Rock is perhaps one of the biggest and best-known wrestlers of the past generation. But even The People’s Champion isn’t a stereotype when it comes to professional wrestlers.
Dwayne Johnson’s life over the past few decades has been concentrated on film sets and inside the squared circle. But back in 1995, he was able to graduate from Miami University with a degree in Criminology and Physiology. The Rock is another smart star who ensured that he had foundations for a future career just in case his plan in Sports Entertainment didn’t work out. Incredibly, The Rock hasn’t needed to use his degree over the past few years since he remains a huge star. That doesn’t change the fact that he worked very hard to achieve it.
9. All Muscle: Booker T
Booker T is a WWE Hall of Famer and a former five-time Intercontinental Champion. But any fans who have heard him on commentary on a Monday Night will agree that he definitely doesn’t have the highest IQ on that panel.
Add this to the fact that Booker once robbed a chain of restaurants that he actually worked for. The fact he was wearing his uniform during the crime and went to prison for it actually shows that Booker has always been lacking when it comes to IQ points. Booker T also famously appeared on “The Weakest Link” a few years back and was unable to answer some of the simplest questions. This begs the question of how he managed to blag a prominent place at the commentary desk on Monday Night Raw.
8. Genius: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is already the envy of many of his fans. He is somehow able to juggle a career at the highest level with WWE, a hectic touring schedule with his rock metal band Fozzy, and a family life. Jericho has it all, but one thing that many people don’t know about Jericho is that he has a degree in Journalism.
Jericho finished high school at the age of 17. Because he couldn’t go to wrestling school until he was 18, he decided on a whim to go to college just to pass some time. He majored in Journalism and later admitted that it was one of the best decisions he ever made since he learned some invaluable skills about radio and television production that came in useful throughout his career.
7. All Muscle: Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner was actually quite a decent wrestler for a number of years. This was before he decided to make his character much more about promos than about his in-ring ability. Every time Steiner picked up a mic in TNA he made himself look much worse than he already did.
Steiner was not a man who was good at math and it is unknown why Impact Wrestling kept him around for so long. It became so hard to decipher what Scott was saying in many of his promos that fans gave up trying to work it out. He is someone that should never have been given a live mic towards the end of his career. Steiner will always be seen as a wrestling legend, but many fans will agree that his promos definitely let him down.
6. Genius: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler is a former World Heavyweight Champion in WWE and has been a firm fan favourite over the past few years. As well as a successful wrestling career, Dolph also juggles a job outside of WWE as a comedian and unbeknownst to many, Ziggler also has a degree.
Ziggler has loved the wrestling business his entire life, but he was able to hold off on pursuing his dream to ensure that he created foundations for his future. In 2003 Dolph graduated from Kent State University with a major in Political Science and a minor in pre-Law. Dolph once wanted to become a lawyer, something that he admits that he still could be one day. This is why he remains up to date with current events and politics so that he could step back into the career in the future. He is also an avid reader as seen on his Instagram account.
5. All Muscle: Lana
Lana is a former dancer and actress. While she is able to use these to her advantage in a WWE ring when it comes to promos or even her in-ring work, her lack of education outside of performing arts has been brought up a number of times over the past few years. This is because Lana often plays on the fact that she isn’t as educated as many of the other females in WWE.
Lana focused her whole life on becoming a dancer or an actress which means her entire background is focused on Performing Arts. This means that Lana isn’t as smart as people like her husband. Rusev often comments on this but not in the way that John Cena usually brings up the fact that Nikki isn’t the smartest woman in the world.
4. Genius: Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett is a former Intercontinental Champion but he asked for his WWE release back in 2016 so that he could focus on his acting career. He has stated that he will return to the ring in the future when the time is right.
Barrett has been a fan of wrestling for most of his life, but before he dipped his toe into the business he was working in a Science laboratory after he was able to earn a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Liverpool. Barrett hasn’t used his degree over the past few years while he was focusing on life in the wrestling world. Now that he is coming to terms with life after WWE he could decide to reignite his passion for science in the coming years.
3. All Muscle: Nikki Bella
Nikki Bella is still the longest reigning Divas Champion in the history of the company and has been one of the best-known female wrestlers for the past few years. As part of Total Divas and Total Bella’s she has never tried to hide the fact that she doesn’t have the highest IQ in her current relationship.
John Cena is very smart and can even speak a number of languages. This is something that he usually points out when he’s with Nikki and even corrects her on her misuse of words. While Nikki has managed to create her own company alongside her twin over the past year, she lacks some of the most basic skills because she is often being corrected by her fellow Divas on the show.
2. Genius: Maria Kanellis
Maria Kanellis came to WWE through the 2004 Diva Search and was always seen as a ditsy backstage announcer. She played the role of a dim female so well that it’s hard to believe that even Maria has a degree after spending a number of years at University.
Paul Heyman once stated that Maria had one of the best wrestling brains he has ever seen and liked to take advantage of this when she was in FCW. Maria also managed to obtain a degree in Sports, Entertainment, and Event Management from Johnson and Wales University back in May this year. Maria had attended University before but she had never been able to obtain a degree in something that she considered useful when it came to her career in Sports Entertainment.
1. All Muscle: Ryback
Ryback was part of WWE for a number of years but was only ever able to lift the Intercontinental Championship in his final year with the company. Ever since his release, Ryback has somehow managed to make more enemies than he once had while he was in WWE because of his weekly podcast.
Ryback has told a number of lies as part of the podcast that he has been called out on because it was broadcast to many people who would have known the truth. Ryback has proven that he isn’t the sarpest guy in the world a number of times. While he was still part of WWE it was well-known that WWE allowed him to do what he wanted on Social Media because no one actually knew what he was doing most of the time anyway.
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