Pro wrestling ain't ballet. That's an old refrain in the business, but it is still very much true. Although the PG Era has done much to clean-up the usual blood and guts of pro wrestling, accidents still happen. Accidents tend to leave scars.
In pro wrestling, numerous superstars from the past and present have noticeably marked up bodies. For old school wrestlers who specialized in hardcore, Texas Death Match-style bouts, "blading," or the art of intentionally cutting your forehead, was incredibly common. As a result, many of these wrestlers have hideously scarred foreheads.
Others, especially wrestlers who became professional workers after years in the amateur world, sport aural hematomas, otherwise known as cauliflower ears. These misshapen scars require constant draining in order to keep the collected blood from calcifying.
Finally, some wrestlers just have random scars on their bodies from barbed wire, knife fights, or random acts of violence. These scars, along with the ones acquired in the ring, give an air of legitimate danger to the sport. After all, say "fake" all you want, but pro wrestling can be dangerous and has been known to wreck more than a few bodies. The following men have experienced the brunt of this wreckage.
15 Brock Lesnar's Ear
In case you are wondering, Brock Lesnar earned his mangled ear the hard way. As a NCAA Division I wrestler at the University of Minnesota, Lesnar spent hours on the mat. Wrestling invariably involves repeated friction between the ear and headgear or between the ear and another man's body. As such, the constant friction and impact breaks down the cartilage and fills the resulting sacks with fluid. Most of it is blood. Thus the cauliflower ear is born.
Lesnar's ear is far from the worst, especially by the standards of MMA. However, in the WWE, few pro wrestlers walk around with the tell-tale mark of a legit grappler anymore. This scar is but another sign of Lesnar's uniqueness in pro wrestling.
14 Steve Corino's Forehead
Steve Corino has clearly paid his dues. This legend of independent wrestling has a well-earned reputation as a bleeder, although he has said in many interviews that he actually gets no thrill out of blading. Back during his days with Extreme Championship Wrestling, Corino frequently bladed. In fact, blood red, along with his dyed blonde hair, became one of Corino's signature colors.
Recently, during his feud with B.J. Whitmer in Ring of Honor, Corino once again took to blading in order to excite the audience. Back in the day, such bleeding was common in grudge matches. As the self-proclaimed "King of Old School," Corino's loyalty to blading makes sense.
13 Jack Gallagher's Ears
Jack Gallagher is supposed to be the arch gentleman of the WWE. His cauliflower ears tell a different story. Gallagher's crinkled, misshaped ears can only be the result of hours spent training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, MMA, or all three. Indeed, Gallagher has actually fought two MMA matches, winning both.
Like Lesnar, Gallagher's ears mark him as a legitimate threat. The WWE might utilize this fact to their advantage sometime in the future, but for now Gallagher's gimmick is getting him over in a big way. His cauliflower ears are noticeable and unique additions to his gentlemanly exterior.
12 Mick Foley's Ear
Mick Foley is the undisputed god of hardcore wrestling. He has the scars to prove his divinity, too. Few fans will ever forget Foley's maniacal smile, which clearly showed his detached tooth in his nose, during his infamous Hell in a Cell match against The Undertaker. Only Foley's missing ear is a more brutal reminder of how much he has sacrificed for pro wrestling.
During a WCW house show in Munich, Germany in 1994, Foley became the victim of ring ropes that were WAY too tight. Following complaints from other wrestlers that the ropes were too loose, the WCW ring crew tighten the ropes. During a match against Vader, Foley executed a planned hangman spot where he intentionally trapped his head between the top and second rope. When Foley hit the spot, he came close to losing oxygen. Foley extracted himself, but in the process, the ropes (along with Vader's massive mitt) ripped off the top portion of his ear.
11 Paul Boesch's Ears
Before the rise of Vince McMahon, Jr., pro wrestling was not obsessed with being cosmetically pleasing. Sure, there were plenty of good looking wrestlers. However, old school, territorial wrestling had far more rough-looking, genuinely tough hombres before the WWE's "Golden Era" made everyone want to look like Hulk Hogan.
Better known as the promoter of Houston Wrestling, Paul Boesch was a legendary grappler who toured North America for decades. Boesch was also a real man's man who earned a Purple Heart, Silver Star, and Bronze Star while serving as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II. Boesch's toughness could be summed by his two cauliflower ears.
Boesch's grotesque ears became such a trademark that a Houston jewelry company made an entire ad about them.
10 Sabu's Forehead
Sabu is synonymous with extreme wrestling. When most fans hear the name "Sabu," they immediately think about his infamous barbed wire match against Terry Funk for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. During that particular match, after a missed spot in the turnbuckle, Sabu's bicep got caught on the barbed wire. A 10-inch cut was the result. Amazingly, Sabu finished the match after his manager Bill Alfonso handed him some athletic tape.
Since he is no stranger to blading, Sabu's forehead is a maze of scars. One could call Sabu's forehead a roadmap of violence, for each scar on his head can be traced back to a veritable army of brutal matches. Clearly, Sabu is not a man to be messed with.
9 Necro Butcher's Forehead
Necro Butcher is a wrestler who openly embraces his ugliness. The mad man from Morgantown, West Virginia is a hardcore and death match specialist. He has plied his trade all across the independent circuit, most notably in the "ultraviolent" federation of Combat Zone Wrestling. There, Necro Butcher routinely took insane bumps on glass, thumbtacks, tables, barbed wire, and other industrial items.
It is more common for Necro Butcher to bleed than not, a fact which can be clearly seen by the numerous scars on his forehead. Colt Cabana has said a few times on his podcast that Necro Butcher has mused the idea of severing a digit in order to "pop" the crowd, which means that he's not one to shy away from a simple razor blade. Necro Butcher is certainly not one for weak stomachs.
8 New Jack's Forehead
In a land of hardcore freaks, Jerome Young, aka New Jack, still managed to standout as a complete psycho. And that is just in the ring. New Jack, who is known as the man who wielded the blade during the Mass Transit Incident in ECW, as well as the man who has stabbed multiple opponents in the ring, has often used his own forehead as a cutting board.
Frankly, New Jack has bladed so many times that even a slight touch to his forehead is liable to produce blood. Overall, the man's forehead is reminiscent of the Klingon foreheads that look like flesh-colored versions of the Fourier analysis. One has to admire New Jack's commitment to hardcore wrestling; it has clearly taken a big bite out of his overall health.
7 Bruiser Brody's Forehead
The late, great Bruiser Brody's forehead looked like it had been mauled by an especially angry cougar. The deep scars were actually the result of endless blade jobs performed in North America, Japan, and the Caribbean. Between the 1970s and 1980s, Bruiser Brody, along with his nemesis Abdullah the Butcher, personified hardcore wrestling.
If one were to go back and watch some of Brody's best performances in WCCW and All Japan, it is very likely that one would see Brody's face covered in a "crimson mask." Brody was a big league bleeder. His forehead is the result of such blood work.
Tragically, Bruiser Brody was murdered in 1988 by another wrestler who cornered him in the showers.
6 Dusty Rhodes' Forehead
"The American Dream" was mostly a clown in the WWE. This was a far cry from what he was in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas. Rhodes, despite his cheerful, fun-loving character, was known for getting down and dirty in hardcore matches. Rhodes even had a brief run in ECW, where he and fellow blade enthusiast Steve Corino both got "color" (pro wrestling lingo for bleeding) during a Texas Bull Rope match.
Years earlier, Rhodes made his name in Jim Crockett Promotions/NWA-WCW by working with Ric Flair, another man who is well known for blading. Suffice it to say, Rhodes' forehead was reduced to a jungle of scars after so many years of slicing and dicing. As he aged, Rhodes' scars commingled with wrinkles, thus making his forehead even more grotesque.
5 The Original Sheik's Forehead
The Original Sheik may be the greatest heel in the history of pro wrestling. Playing a mad man from the Syrian desert, The Sheik savagely attacked his opponents with his fists, feet, teeth, and his trademark pencil. The Sheik, who passed down his tactics and his penchant for blood to his nephew Sabu, ruled the Detroit territory for decades. The Sheik famously never broke kayfabe.
As one of the earliest hardcore wrestlers in history, The Sheik was always an attraction because of the sheer about of red paint he spilled inside of the ring. Long before it became commonplace, The Sheik swung chairs and used foreign objects to defeat the various babyfaces thrown against him. Throughout all of these years, The Sheik also massacred his own forehead, leading to a deeply scarred visage that was truly frightening.
4 Carlos Colon's Forhead
Most modern wrestling fans may only know Carlos Colon as the father of Carlito. However, during the 1970s and 1980s, Colon was one of the biggest and most beloved babyfaces in pro wrestling. Colon's popularity was especially strong in his native Puerto Rico. There, Colon not only held the World Wrestling Council title for a record twenty-six times, he was also the federation's chief booker and road agent.
Since Puerto Rican pro wrestling was particularly violent, Colon mostly spent his matches as a bloody mess. Whether or not he was facing the likes of Bruiser Brody or Ric Flair, Colon always bladed. As a result, his forehead wound up looking like ground meat. When it comes to hall of fame foreheads, Colon's is right up there with Abdullah The Butcher, The Original Sheik, and New Jack.
3 Villano III's Forehead
One wonders how Villano III managed to get such an ugly forehead. Obviously, the Mexican wrestler bladed millions of times. However, the deep, elevated, and large scars look like they might have been infected at some point. Basically, Villano III's blading scars are uniquely gruesome.
Believe it or not, Villano III spent most of his career wrestling under a mask. This did not stop him from blading his forehead. Let this be a reminder to any masked wrestler: cutting your forehead while wearing a mask still leaves scars. Villano III should have kept the mask on. Without it, his forehead is reminiscent of trench foot, with waving lines of stomach-churning scar tissue.
2 Abdullah The Butcher's Head
According to pro wrestling lore, Abdullah The Butcher's blading scars are so deep that he can hold quarters and poker chips in them. One look at these gigantic scars and that scuttlebutt is easy to believe.
Abdullah The Butcher's blading history is particularly controversial. According to Canadian wrestler Hannibal (real name Devin Nicholson), a bloody match with Abdullah the Butcher gave him hepatitis C, an affliction that cost him not only a contract with the WWE, but also his pro wrestling career. Abdullah has denied these accusations for years, but other wrestlers have claimed that Abdullah The Butcher is not known for cleaning his trademark weapon--a fork.
Whether or not he's carrying hep C, Abdullah The Butcher's head wounds are ghastly. They bleed easily, too.
1 Wing Kanemura's Forehead
Wing Kanemura's forehead is downright disgusting. Perpetually pink, puffy, and deformed, Kanemura's forehead puts on display his long career as a death match wrestler. In his native Japan, Kanemura is best known for wrestling for extreme promotions like FMW and Big Japan. Kanemura always had a few matches in ECW, while he was also a part of one of the most infamous moments in the history of Smoky Mountain Wrestling. While being attacked by Kevin Sullivan, Kanemura used a surgical scalpel to cut open his arm. The wound was incredibly deep and had to be censored on TV.
While other wrestlers have nasty scars, Kanemura's almost alien-like scar takes the crown as the worst of them. Kanemura's forehead should be kept for posterity to serve as a warning to aspiring wrestlers.